A little background on the MGM Grand Las Vegas
22 September 2008
The main building is 30 floors and 239 feet high and features five large outdoor pools, waterfalls and rivers, all covering 6.6 acres. It also has a 380,000 square foot convention center; the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Grand Spa, and CBS Television City are all housed on location. And if that's not enough for you to take in, MGM also has 16 restaurants, two food courts, and one of the largest casinos in Vegas.
Kirk Kerkorian purchased the Marina Hotel in 1990 to obtain the site that would eventually become the home of MGM Grand. During that time, the Marina was commonly known as the MGM-Marina, and the site was closed on November 30, 1991, and the ground was broken on October 7 the same year.
In February of 1993, MGM celebrated a topping off ceremony with the placement of the last panel of glass hoisted onto the 30-story hotel tower. 5,005 green balloons were released, each of which contained a gift certificate valid for one complimentary stay in a room.
The 1993 MGM Grand was owned by MGM Grand Inc. At the time, the hotel had a Wizard of Oz theme, which included the green Emerald City color of the building and the decorative use of Oz memorabilia. The main entrance of the casino was originally in the shape of a lion's mouth (Mascot: Leo the Lion), but this feature was changed due to many Chinese gamblers' feng shui belief that entering through the mouth of a lion was bad luck.
In 1998, a bronze statue of Leo was erected above the entrance in order to keep the theme without scaring away superstitious guests. The status is 45-feet tall and weights 50 tons. It is the largest bronze statue in the U.S.
When MGM Grand opened, the idea was to create the first true destination hotel in the Vegas area, including a theme park. The plan was to make the strip a more family-friendly place by providing children with activities to participate in since they were too young to step foot in the casino.
The theme park performed rather poorly, and failed to reopen for the 2001 season. In December of 2002, MGM Mirage announced that the former theme park would be replaced by a luxury condominium complex called The Signature. In 1995, a monorail was built to connect the MGM Grand to Bally's. The track was recently updated to become the southernmost section of the Las Vegas Monorail.
In 2000, the Wizard of Oz theme was replaced in order to appeal to more mature clientele. The hotel underwent a major renovation, and all traces of Oz were removed. The theme is now an Art Deco meets classical Hollywood theme, and the hotel started billing itself as The City of Entertainment.
Tags: las vegas, mgm grand, las vegas strip, mgm mirage, kirk kerkorian, marina hotel, wizard of oz, the city of entertainment,
Posted In: Land Based Casinos, Casino Entertainment, Company History,
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