The Mirage Casino

The Mirage is without doubt one of Las Vegas’ most popular hotel-casinos. It was built on the Strip in 1989 on the site of an old hotel and was one of the first large complexes which influenced the design of the present day immense hotel casinos in Vegas.

The Casino’s History

When the Mirage was under construction, Las Vegas was going through a difficult time. This was due to the legalisation of gambling in New Jersey in the 1970s and the world’s gaming capital started to lose its attraction for players who were drawn to the newer Atlantic City casinos. However, in 1987, Steve Wynn, a young and ambitious entrepreneur bought the Castaways Casino from Howard Hughes and planned to replace it with a new type of hotel casino. He wanted to build a sensational Hawaii themed complex offering clients all the necessary services and attractions. Steve Wynn developed the project himself using the architect- designer Joel Bergman. At the time the cost was 730 million dollars, the highest ever for such a project and many of Wynn’s competitors thought it was just a utopian dream but it did become a reality and The Mirage opened to an amazed crowd on November 22nd 1989.

The 102 metre high Mirage has 3044 rooms and luxury suites over 31 floors. Wynn chose a Polynesian theme for the interior design where much of the spectacular interior is in marble and also incorporates an artificial volcano which erupts frequently. Clients were spellbound and business boomed. Other developers used the Mirage as the inspiration for their own huge architectural complexes on the Strip. In 1990 the Siegfried & Roy Show with magic and wild animals took place in the hotel until 2003 when it was replaced by a white tiger habitat. The Cirque du Soleil attracted visitors to the Mirage in 1993 and returned in 2007 to present the show “Love” which still runs to this day. The singer and comedian, Danny Gans was a big hit with visitors from 2004 to 2009 and this show was replaced by the famous local ventriloquist Terry Fator whose show still runs there to-day. All of the rooms in the complex were renovated in 2008. When Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts merged with Kirk Kerkorian’s MGM group, The Mirage became the property of the newly created group : MGM Mirage of which Kerkorian is the main shareholder.

The Mirage’s services and attractions

To ensure the best for its clients, in addition to its permanent entertainment and luxurious rooms, the Mirage also offers:

-The Mirage Volcano: not to be missed and forever linked to the Mirage, the volcano on the Strip erupts every hour between 8pm and midnight. A spectacular sight.
-The Secret Garden : an atrium at the hotel’s entrance containing hundreds of 20 metre high palm trees and other tropical plants.
-A Dolphin habitat: The Dolphin Habitat
-A white tiger habitat : White Tiger Habitat
– A 90 000 litre aquarium with many marine species
-14 restaurants
-An outdoor pool and spa
-A 15 790 m2 convention centre

The Mirage Casino

The 9 290 square metre Mirage Casino offers:
-2245 slot machines
-A hundred gaming tables
-A non- smoking poker room
-A sports betting and horse racing room with live racing on 10 giant screens and 25 television screens.

The Mirage in Films and Video Games

The Mirage has appeared in several films:

Vegas Vacation (1997) was filmed in part in the Mirage hotel where the Griswold family stayed.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001), the Mirage was one of the three casinos robbed by Danny Ocean and his accomplices.
One can also see representations of the hotel complex in video games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( where it’s called “The Visage”), Need for Speed: Carbon ( where it’s called “The Mirror”) and Hitman: Blood Money ( “The Shamal”)