In 1952, Mel D. Close purchased 160 acres on the Strip. In 1953, the 26 room Desert Rose Motel opened with the phone number 7140. This motel was advertised as having panel ray heat, cooled by "refrigerator", ceramic tiled baths, tub and shower combinations, full length mirrors, rooms for two to six people, swimming pool and cabana, and offered baby sitters. The remainder of the land was used to build the Lone Palm Motel and a part of it was sold to create the Dunes Golf Course.
Since this was a motel, something had to attract visitors. All the design went into the pink and green neon roadside sign. The sign was reportedly the inspiration of Larry McMurtry's novel "The Desert Rose".
This motel was also one of the few to cater to families with pets and even provided pet sitters. The average room rate at that time was $2.95.
During the 1950s, Close captured national attention when he put up a for sale sign on the property that read "One Million Dollars for this beautiful sun-kissed desert land." Time magazine picked up on the statement referring that this guy must be crazy.
Close had big ideas for this property including a moving sidewalk so people could get around easier.
In 1961, 25% of the Desert Rose was sold to the Klein family with patriarch Al Klein managing the motel. Over a period of time the Klein family accumulated a total of 48 1/2% of the property.
In 1965, an additional 30 rooms were added.
In 1980, Desert Rose was cast in a role of the movie Melvin and Howard.
Desert Rose also had a role in the movie The Howard Hughes Story.
In January of 1995, all owners sold the motel and its property. The seven-day-a-week pace of operating the motel took its toll.
"We were the survivors that held out for many years. We were ready to basically to retire from the business." - Howard Klein
Before the motel was shut down Klein spent hundreds of dollars to repair the motel's distinctive pink and green neon sign. The sign was turned on even after the motel closed, being set on an automatic timer. The sign shined brightly each night in defiance of the rows of vacant rooms. The Klein family still owns the sign and it is preserved in storage.
"We want to go out the way we went in. We came in with the sign being bright. We want it to go out in glory. God didn't turn out the lights, he just dimmed them." - Howard Klein
After the motel was shut down, an auction was held for the contents of the motel. The items included bed frames, mattresses, desks, TVs, paintings, air conditioners, ice makers, and the room doors.
Donated by Howard Klein
In March of 1995, ground breaking occurred for the joint venture between Mirage-Gold Strike and Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc. The new resort would sit on 44 acres of land purchased by Mirage-Gold Strike. Circus Circus will design the resort and operate it. Each company would receive 50% of the profits. To put this dream together, both Mirage-Gold Strike and Circus put up about $67 million each in cash and other equity, and set up a $210 million credit line with a bank consortium to finance the construction. The dream weavers for this project were Steve Wynn and Dan Lee from Mirage Resorts, Inc., and Glen Schaeffer, Tony Alamo and Vince Matthews of Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc. At the time, Michael Ensign was Chairman. Later Circus Circus and Mirage-Gold Strike merged and Ensign became the Co-chairman with Clyde Turner (who later resigned). Ensign then became Chairman of Circus Circus. Bill Richardson was Vice Chairman.
The resort known as "Victoria" suggested looks associated with 19th century Europe. Victoria would contain some 3,000 rooms and hired world class magician Lance Burton away from the Hacienda, agreeing to build him a showroom to appear in.
In June of 1995, speculation was around Victoria. At one time the resort was known at Grand Victoria but MGM Grand officials grumbled at the use of the word grand in any form on a resort just across the street from the MGM Grand. It was known that Victoria was valued at $325 million, would have 85,000 square feet of casino space, about 3,000 rooms, a recreational poolscape, and retail plaza. The question to one of the partners responsible for the Victoria concept, Dave Belding, was how did he choose Burton to hire for the new resort and to build a showroom bearing his name.
"That was the easiest part of the whole thing. Lance is a natural, a real talent. You ask cab drivers what show they suggest. Everyone mentions Lance." - Dave Belding
Mirage Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn hinted at the prospect of the hotel being called the Monte Carlo, but Circus Circus insiders doubedt this will be the case.
The top left is the artist's rendition of Victoria, the building of Victoria in the foreground with the building of New York New York behind it. The second photo is of the resort being built.
The $344 million, 32 story, Monte Carlo opened on June 21, 1996, with 3,002 rooms including 259 luxury suites, and employing 3,200 individuals sitting on 54 acres of land. The opening was attended by Circus Chairman Clude Turner, and Mirage Chairman Steve Wynn. (The 54 acres does not include the property which the restaurant Carrow's sat on which was also owned by this joint venture.)
Monte Carlo is modeled after the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The resort which is one-tenth the size of Monaco is larger than the entire hotel industry in Monaco which totals 2,500 hotel rooms. Another difference is the price. Hotel rooms in Monte Carlo, Monaco range from about $200 off season to more than $1,000 during its peak season. The Monte Carlo Las Vegas opened with $59 midweek to $99 weekends for a regular room and $129 to $500 for a suite.
The 102,197 square foot casino has large chandeliers, marble floors and fountains. They contain 2,092 slot machines, 97 table games, a high-limit gaming area, a race and sports book, a poker room, keno and a 55 seat bingo room. Also offered is European type roulette which has a lone green zero instead of a single zero and a double zero that American roulette has.
Also on June 21, 1996, the $27 million, 1,200 seat theatre was designed specifically for magician Lance Burton who previously appeared at the Tropicana and Hacienda. The room features theatre-style seating that is evocative of London's West End playhouses. Showcasing with Burton is comic-juggler Michael Goudeau. The resort also contains the Lance Burton Magic Shop where Burton signs autographs at midnight (Tuesday through Saturday).
Carlo also has a 21,000 square foot pool area including waterfalls, a beach like wave pool and a lazy river raft ride.
Monte Carlo's restaurants include Blackstone's Steakhouse (seats 186); Andre's French Restaurant (seats 100); Market City Caffe (seats 250); Dragon Noodle Company (seats 240); Buffet (seats 700); Cafe (seats 350); and Monte Carlo Pub & Brewery (seats 400).
The Monte Carlo Pub & Brewery is one of the largest breweries in the nation and the first on the Strip. The May/June 1999 issue of The New Brewer Magazine said the Pub & Brewery ranks second in annual beer production in the Mountain West Region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming). Six beers are produced regularly at the brewery which include "High Roller Red", "Las Vegas Lites", "Silver State Stout", "Winner's Wheat", "Jackpot Pale", and "Brewmaster Special".
"It is an honor for us to rank so high in production among more than 250 of our peers. I think that such a distinction reflects upon our high standards, our attention to customer needs and our prime location inside of a premiere gaming and resort destination." - Mark Wilk - Pub & Brewery Brewmaster
In addition to beer, the Pub and Brewery serves food including appetizers ranging from stretch shrimp and oysters to entrees such as brick-oven pizzas, salads and the Steak & Stein (a T-bone steak and a 16 ounce beer). It also has a DJ and live entertainment nightly as well as large screen televisions showing sporting events.
The Food Court sits 210 people. Included in the Court is Golden Bagel & Coffee, Nathan's Famous Hotdog Stand, McDonald's and Haagen Daz.
The Street of Dreams contains shops including Davante (unusual eyewear collection); Crown Jewels (jewelry and gemstones); Bon Vivant (Fashions for men and women); Beer on Tap (Monte Carlo Brews to go); Brats (childrens' designer clothing); Back Street Arcade (state-of-the-art video games); Universal Time (designer watcher); Pub & Brew Shop (Monte Carlo beer and merchandise); El Portal (luggage and leather goods); Monaco Men's Fashion (designer clothing for men); Monte Carlo Classics (logo wear); and Medici Cigar Club.
The Medici Cigar Club features fine cigars including the top 15 brands recommended by Cigar Aficionado magazine. This store carried cigars that range in price from $3.50 to $25. Brands include Cohiba, Monte Cristo, Arturo Fuente, Macanudo, Bahia among others. Unique humidors are also sold for the collector or first time buyer. Lighters are also sold and range in price from $2 for quality low-cost brands to $760 for names like DuPont.
Other stores in the resort include Bouquet De Fleur (florist); Club Casino Royale (gaming merchandise and gift choices); Euphoria Salon (unisex salon); Hypermarket (convenience store); Monte Carlo Beach Club Shoppe (items for the pool/beach goer); Monte Carlo Boutique (postcards, picture frames, clothing and romantic gifts); and Noveau News (newspapers, periodicals and beverages).
The Carlo also contains a French Victorian-themed chapel which seats up to 90 guests.
Not without its share of problems, on September 23, 1996, a fire was started in a fourth floor linen closet, possibly by a discarded cigarette. Visitors on the three floors surrounding the linen closet were evacuated from their rooms shortly before 7:00pm. The fire was put out quickly and visitors were admitted back to their rooms by 8:30pm.
In 1998, The Lance Burton Theatre showcased Lance Burton: Master Magician plus comic-juggler MIchael Goudeau, and Lee Greenwood.
In 1998, Monte Carlo made an appearance in the movie Dance With Me.
In 1998, Burton was awarded Best Magician by readers and staff at the Las Vegas Review Journal, and in 1999, he was awarded Best Magician by readers at the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Also during this year, Burton offered a $10,000 reward for the arrest of the person who shot and killed a Las Vegas cab driver.
On Sunday, May 2, 1999, Monte Carlo became a television star when The X-Files aired an episode entitled "Three of a Kind" that was filmed at the resort for two days in March of 1999. In the six years the show has been on the air, this was the first time it was filmed on location.
In June of 1999 Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc., changed its name to Mandalay Resort Group.
Production - 3,000 barrels per year or 93 gallons; 1 barrel = 31 US gallons; 250 barrels per month or 8,000 gallons.
Brewhouse Size - 20 barrels or 620 gallons (this is how much beer is brewed at one time.
Fermentors - 2-40 barrel or 1,240 gallons/6-20 or 620 gallons - This is where the beer ferments (ages) for as little as 14 days, or up to 60 days or longer. The aging period depends on the style of beer.
Serving Tanks - 8-20 barrels or 620 gallons - These are the vessels that supply the bar with fresh beer.
Production - The bottling machine runs approximately 50 cases, or 1,200 bottles per hour. The entire machine consists of (from left to right) a bottle rinser, labeler and bottle filler. The beer is not pasteurized and artificial preservatives are not added; therefore, the product must be kept refrigerated.
Alcohol Content - Las Vegas Lites - 3.2% a/v; Winner's Wheat - 4.6% a/v; High Roller Red - 4.8% a/v; Silver State Stout - 4.5% a/v; Jackpot Pale - 5.2% a/v; Brewmaster Special - Depends on style of beer.
In 1999, Lance Burton Theatre showcased Louis Anderson, Lance Burton: Master Magician w/comic-juggle Michael Goudeau, and Engelbert Humperdinck.
For December 31, 1999, magician Lance Burton appeared at 7:00 and 10:00pm. The Jungle Boogie band performed at a party from 8:00 to midnight in the Pub & Brewery. The $200 tickets included food, beverage and entertainment.
On March 6, 2000, it was announced that Mirage Resorts has been sold to Kirk Kerkorian/MGM Grand for $4.4 billion in cash. The assets range from Mirage's $1.60 billion Bellagio resort to the MGM Grand, the national's largest hotel. MGM also assumes $2 billion in Mirage debt. MGM executives agreed to the current deal after the stock market closed on March 3, 2000, and intensive negotiations continued through the weekend on details. The transaction must be approved by Mirage stockholders and is expected to close by the end of the year.
Steve Wynn, visionary of the Mirage, owns 23 million shares of Mirage stock or 12% of the company. The deal will bring him $483 million.
It is expected the new company will retain the MGM name. The combined companies will include 14 properties. Mirage owns the Bellagio, Boardwalk, Mirage, Treasure Island and Golden Nugget resorts in Las Vegas; the Beau Rivage in Biloxi in Mississippi, and the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, Nevada. The company also owns half interest in the Monte Carlo hotel-casino on the Strip.
In March of 2000, Lance Burton was picked as the "Best Magician" and "Favorite Male Las Vegan" by the news staff of the Review-Journal's "The Best of Las Vegas" poll. In addition, American Online Digital City's reviewer Jackie Gladfelter rated Burton" as a five-star show - a "must-see" rating.
The world-renowned producer and impresario Yoshinaga Ichinose of M&I Co. Ltd. contacted Lance Burton and flew to Las Vegas to see "Lance Burton: Master Magician" in The Lance Burton Theatre because Burton was becoming a "hero to the Japanese people" after his television special aired.
"After I won the `World Champion of Magicians Award' in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Japanese were the first to invite me to their country for a visit. Over the years I have made friends with many Japanese magicians. In addition to Princess Tenko I am friends with Yoshi Temura, Ton Onosaka, Shimada and award-winning magician Shintaro Fujiyama among many others. This is one of our most ambitious undertakings ever. Even some of the birds are going. Some of the larger illusions are going by ship and the birds; cast and crew are going by a 747 jumbo jet. We'll complete the move leaving Las Vegas on Saturday, April 29 and be ready to do the shows on May 3. This will be our first time performing on the Asian continent and I am certainly looking forward to it." - Lance Burton
In May 2000, 26 year old Brandi Nelson was 1 in 70 in winning a spot in Lance Burton's show.
"I grew up in a village with only 1,000 residents. It was called Revloc on a mountain surrounded by trees. We lived next door to our grandparents. . . . It was a coal-mining town. We didn't have any stores, street lights or gas stations. We got all of our necessities in Evansburg. At age 13 we moved to Tempe, Arizona. I lived there during my high school years and moved to Las Vegas right out of high school. I was training with a choreographer named Julie Renn and she was choreographing the show American Superstars about seven years ago. She asked me to come to Las Vegas and join the show.
I took ballet from Vicki Bertolino and jazz from Patty Randall in Pennsylvania. I went for classes two or three times a week and then we moved to Arizona and I took classes five or six times a week. I trained for 12 years and have been dancing for 20 years. We moved there for better opportunities. I applied for the spot in Lance's show because my priorities have changed. I have a husband and two stepchildren now and in my last show I wore a lot of hats which kept me quite busy. I was line captain and was rehearsing during the afternoons and working at nights. I needed more freedom and to spend more time with my family and Lance Burton's show fit the bill. I heard it was the best gig in town for dancers with families. It is because you get two days off, vacations, benefits, and work with great people. It's a fabulous show and one that I'm proud to be in." - Brandi Nelson
Others showcased in 2000 were Robert Schimmel, Mark Curry, and Jeff Dunham.
Lance Burton won the 2001 What's On Visitor's Choice Award for best magician. Also in 2001, Burton celebrated his five year anniversary at the resort. Pictured at the celebration were Manager Peter Reveen, Burton, and Monte Carlo General Manager Jim Thomason.
On November 11, 2001, Mandalay Bay hosted the USO benefit "Las Vegas Salutes the Spirit of America." Many impressionists were on hand. Pictured are Frank Marino as Joan Rivers, Andre Phillip Gagnon, Bill Acosta, Bob Anderson, Fred Travalena, Rich Little, and Joey Scinta. The event was arranged by Stardust's Wayne Newton, Monte Carlo's Lance Burton, and Harrah's Clint Holmes who were in attendance. Other celebrities in attendance were Bob Anderson, The Scintas, Siegfried & Roy, and Earl Turner. National media including Entertainment Tonight covered the event. They raised a total of $250,000.
In late November/early December 20001, during one of his shows, Lance Burton helped introduce a postage stamp honoring magician Harry Houdini. Actor Tony Curtis, who portrayed Houdini in a movie about his life, was part of the ceremonies. The stamp was issued in July of 2002.
The date will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Society for American Magicians. Houdini was its president from 1917 until his death on October 31, 1926. The stamp is taken from a 1911 lithograph in the collection of Gary H. Mandelblatt.
"A a boy I was inspired by Tony Curtis playing Harry Houdini. I enjoyed the film about the famous magician so much that it inspired me to follow in his footsteps and perform his escape tricks." - Lance Burton
"I was privileged to play Harry Houdini on the screen and tried when I made the movie to instill all the subtleties and genius of the man. Magic is a fine art. Lance Burton has carried it and the legend of Harry Houdini to its highest level." - Tony Curtis
"I was sitting in the casino after a Lance Burton Show one evening and we heard the whisperings of several people saying that OJ was in the house. As we turned to look, Mr. Simpson and a what appeared to be his girlfriend as well as several husky bodyguards walked by. Funny how no one said there is OJ Simpson...everyone was saying...'Look it's the murderer'." - Carol Knoll
In 2001, Lance Burton showcased with comic-juggler Michael Goudeau, and Wayne Brady (6/8-9).
On January 9, 2002, Lance Burton was awarded the key to the city by Mayor Oscar Goodman for his patriotism and charitable acts. to show over the past four months. Until March 31, fans can save $15 off the regular price of his show by using the coupon contained in Vegas' local magazine What's On.
In support of the September 11, 2001 attacks with Monte Carlo's blessing, Burton had given out 5,000 tickets (valued at $300,000). Burton gave away nearly 1,000 tickets to people who made donations to the Red Cross during a fund-raiser held at the Fashion Showshopping mall, where he and several entertainers sold and autographed newspapers while raising $3,700. He also gave 1,000 tickets to senior citizens, another 1,000 tickets to various veterans' groups, and 2,000 tickets to city and county fireman and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
"We must all do our part to stimulate the economy after the September 11th tragedy. Las Vegas was built on good values. We can't change what happened, but we can support the healing of America by returning to our activities." - Lance Burton
In April 2002, Mandalay Resort Group announced they were bowing out of the American Gaming Association (AGA) when it membership expires in July of 2002 (they had been a member since 1995.) It is rumored that a company the size of Mandalay Bay usually pays in the neighborhood of $500,000 a year in dues. Industry watchers said the move reflected a growing feeling that giants MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment Inc., have gained undue influence over the AGA's agenda.
"I view it as a set back for the industry because it's hard to have a unified voice if there's dissention among the leading companies, but industry conditions are very competitive, and relationships in some cases have gotten more strained over the years. Creating an organization like the AGA has been a political balance from day one." - Jason Ader, Bear Stearms Gaming Analyst
In May 2002 - Casino operators reached contract agreements with the union representing waitresses and housekeepers, virtually eliminating the prospect of a strike. The latest agreements between the Culinary Workers Union and the casinos were reached with Mandalay Resort Group, MGM Mirage, Park Place, Aztar Corp., and Harrah's. The new agreements cover about three-quarters of the 40,000 cooks, waitresses and housekeepers the union represents in Las Vegas. Under the new tentative contracts, workers will receive anaverage of $3.24 in increased hourly wages and benefits over the new contract's five-year life. Much of that will go to pay for higher health insurance costs, which workers will continue to receive free of charge.
In 2002, Houdini's Lounge showcased entertainment nightly. Lance Burton Theatre showcased Magician Lance Burton.
Houdini's Lounge showcased Michael Close Tues-Thurs, Monte Carlo Pub & Brewery showcased Jungle Boogie on Monday, and Cafe Karaoke nightly.
In 2003, Houdini's Lounge showcased nightly entertainment.
Lance Burton Theater showcased Lance Burton: Master Magician (dark Sundays and Mondays).
In 2004, Lance Burton Theatre showcased Lance Burton: Master Magician indefinitely (darks Sundays/Mondays).
On Monday, April 25, 2005, MGM Mirage purchased the Mandalay Resort Group for $8 billion. "This company has put its money where its mouth is and is very committed to the future of Nevada. Most of our assets and employees are in Nevada. Our dream combination of people and assets creates the best opportunity to serve an ever more diversified customer base." - Chief Executive Terry Lanni
With this purchase, MGM Mirage becomes the world's largest gaming company, owning and operating 24 major properties, 11 of them in Las Vegas, with more than 70,000 employees. Before the purchase MGM Mirage was the largest private employer and taxpayer in the state, but now will control about half of the Strip resort market, or most of the major resorts on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard. The company swallowed three of the world's largest hotels, the 4,760-room Mandalay Bay, the 4,400-room Luxor, the 4,000-room Excalibur, the 3,740-room Circus Circus, and the company assumed control over the 3,000-room Monte Carlo, a joint venture with Mandalay. In a memo to employees Monday, Lanni said the transaction has "assembled the strongest management team in the history of the gaming industry and one of the most respected in any industry." About 90 management-level workers at Mandalay Resort Group left the company in advance of the transaction's close, Lanni said in an interview. Most left voluntarily and the others received severance packages. Unlike the merger between MGM Grand and Mirage Resorts that created the company in 2000, several Mandalay executives had notified MGM Mirage early on of their intent to leave the company, he said.
While the future of rank-and-file workers is less certain, Lanni pledged "unrivaled opportunities" for employees." Close to 2:00pm on the 25th, Mandalay closed on the transfer of its interest in a Michigan casino and placed into an escrow account that company's half interest in an Illinois casino. Both were made to satisfy regulators in those states. The recent appointment of three new regulators to the Illinois Gaming Board delayed action on the transfer, which ultimately pushed out the expected close of the deal from the end of March. The Detroit casino sale also had its complications, Lanni said in an interview. More than 100 individuals own the remaining stake in MotorCity Casino and "were not always the best of friends" with Detroit businesswoman Marian Ilitch, who bought out Mandalay's interest, he said. MGM Mirage had originally contemplated selling its MGM Grand Detroit casino instead but the MotorCity sale was more expeditious because the purchaser already had a Michigan casino license, he said. The transaction was initially met with "much skepticism" from analysts and competitors who believed the company would be forced to sell off assets, Lanni said. But the Federal Trade Commission, along with state regulators, were unanimous in their opinion that no sales outside of Detroit were needed. "I think it went very well," Lanni said of the deal's timing. "If anything I'd argue that we were 25 days off. In the scope of an $8.1 billion transaction, that's not too bad."
Also on the 25th, MGM Mirage announced several management changes at the resorts as a result of the transaction. Named to new posts were: Bill Hornbuckle, formerly president and chief operating officer of MGM Mirage Europe, who becomes president of Mandalay Bay; Former New York-New York resort President Felix Rappaport, who becomes president of the Luxor; Renee West, president of MGM Mirage's three Primm casinos, who becomes president of Excalibur; Mike Puggi, senior vice president of MGM Mirage development, who becomes president and chief operating officer of Primm Valley Resorts; Randy Morton, former vice president of hotel operations for Bellagio, who has been named president of Monte Carlo; Beau Rivage President Jeff Dahl will expand his responsibilities to include the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Miss; Bobby Baldwin, chief executive of the company's Mirage Resorts operating unit and John Redmond, chief executive of its MGM Grand Resorts unit, will remain with the company. Presidents of the company's existing MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island and Boardwalk casinos in Las Vegas will remain in their positions. Also continuing with the company are the presidents of the company's previously owned MGM Grand Detroit casino and the Beau Rivage resort in Biloxi, Miss. As previously reported, former Flamingo resort president Lorenzo Creighton moved across the Strip to become president of New York-New York.
Bill McBeath continues as president of Bellagio after assuming that post last month from Baldwin, who will also oversee the future CityCenter development at the Boardwalk. Scott Sibella continues as president of the Mirage, which he assumed from McBeath last month. Tom Mikulich continues as president of Treasure Island, where he was recently promoted from senior vice president of casino operations at the Mirage. Executives at four Mandalay properties will continue with MGM Mirage. They include Curtis Jacks, general manager of the Colorado Belle in Laughlin; Frank Baldwin, general manager of Circus Circus-Reno; Donald Thrasher, general manager of Circus Circus-Las Vegas and Ben Speidel, vice president and general manager of the adjacent Slots-A-Fun casino. Jacks will expand his responsibilities to include the Edgewater casino, also in Laughlin.
Replacements have not yet been named for departing Mandalay executives at the Railroad Pass casino in Henderson and the Nevada Landing and Gold Strike casinos in Jean. Those properties will report directly to Redmond until permanent general managers are appointed, MGM Mirage said.
Joe Brunini, president of national marketing for MGM Grand Resorts, will expand his responsibilities to include Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur in addition to MGM Grand.
Other executives in the areas of information technology, marketing, public relations, human resources, retail and entertainment will expand their roles to oversee the Mandalay properties, the company said.
The purchase leaves MGM Mirage with about $13 billion in debt. That's about six times what the company's properties generate in operating cash flow per year. As expected, ratings agency Standard & Poor's today lowered the company's bond ratings further into "junk bond" territory. The increased debt burden led to a revised rating of BB from BB+, though S&P said the acquisition "improves the overall business position" of the company by expanding its presence in Las Vegas.
Executives say the transaction will ultimately generate profit for shareholders and that the company expects to rapidly pay down debt. MGM Mirage President and Chief Financial Officer Jim Murren said the company's balance sheet is its strongest since 1999. During the first quarter, MGM Mirage spent $105 million to add new resort attractions yet also paid down $124 million in debt, he said. The company changed its ticker symbol from "MGG" to "MGM" on May 2, 2005.
In 2005, Lane Burton Theatre will be showcasing Tuesdays-Saturdays - Lance Burton: Master Magician.
Smoke engulfs the Las Vegas skyline as the Monte Carlo burned for about an hour Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Las Vegas and Clark County firefighters were able to contain the three-alarm fire that touched off on the top floors of the 32-story resort. At least seven people were injured in the nearly full 3,002-room hotel — the 13th largest in Las Vegas.
County Fire Chief Steve Smith said 120 firefighters used 35 pieces of apparatus to fight the blaze. The last smoke was seen coming from the hotel at 12:07 p.m.
Some hotel guests complained that the fire alarm didn't go off until they already had seen the fire on television. No cause has been determined. Officials said the hotel would reopen tonight so guests could retrieve luggage left behind during the evacuation. "We have the best fire safety systems in the world in the resort corridor of Las Vegas," says Fire Chief Steve Smith. All roads have reopened, except Monte Carlo Drive
As long as the majority of its rooms and its casino are reopened quickly, the Monte Carlo fire shouldn’t have a big economic impact on its owner, MGM Mirage. MGM Mirage collectively reports its operating results for its 10 Strip casinos (Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo and Circus Circus), so we'll use a series of educated guesses, using the company's revenue and cash flow numbers, to estimate the Monte Carlo fire's impact on the company's results. MGM Mirage reported Las Vegas Strip revenues of $6.2 billion in 2006 and has yet to report full-year results for 2007. Cash flow for its Strip properties in 2006 was $2 billion. Cash flow is the casino industry's preferred metric for profitability, also called EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. More recent numbers, through the second quarter of 2007, show increases that should result in the company's Strip casinos posting revenues of about $6.5 billion and cash flow of about $2.16 billion in 2007. Monte Carlo's revenue and cash flow certainly ranks below that of Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mirage and Mandalay Bay, and is probably close to the property results posted by the remaining five MGM Mirage Strip properties: Treasure Island, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus. Using those numbers — and these are the biggest educated guesses involved in these calculations — we'll estimate Monte Carlo's annual revenues at $400 million and its annual cash flow at $135 million. If the entire property is closed for business, those annual numbers would translate into a revenue loss of $1.1 million per day, $45,662 per hour, $761.04 per minute and $12.68 per second. Cash flow would be lost at the rate of $369,863 per day, $15,410 per hour, $256.85 per minute and $4.28 per second. Of course, the cash flow losses could be partially offset by any expense-side gains — in other words, savings that would be realized by eliminating costs like salaries, food and beverage expenses, utilities, etc.
The reality check for this exercise is that most of Monte Carlo's 3,002 rooms will likely quickly reopen as will the casino's gaming floor. Rooms and gaming are the big two revenue and cash flow drivers, so the economic impact should be relatively small, relatively quickly.
On May 8, 2018, Monte Carlo's name was changed to Park MGM, but it will still be several months before the scaffolding is removed
"There have been challenges along the way, but I think that's the excitement of this town and what this transition really means is that we do things that are difficult," Miller said on Wednesday, the first official day of Park MGM. "I like to use the word 'intrepid.' This is intrepid. I think great things come from that component of being intrepid and Park MGM is going to be that because of where it sits and how we did it." - Patrick Miller, President and Chief Operating Officer of Park MGM.
MGM announced last year that it was going to make the switch from Monte Carlo, its name since it opened in 1996. Taking the name of the principality in Monaco bordering southern France, the Strip's Monte Carlo opened with single-zero roulette and a theater named for magician Lance Burton. But as MGM remolded the neighborhood that includes T-Mobile Arena, Toshiba Plaza and The Park, company officials felt a name change was in order. And, instead of just changing the name, the company opted to invest more than $550 million for a complete makeover. The Lance Burton Theatre is now the 5,200-seat Park Theater, where Bruno Mars, Cher and Ricky Martin have performed, and where Lady Gaga soon will have a residency.
By fall, 300 rooms on the Park MGM’s top four floors will transition to the NoMad brand, providing a hotel-within-a-hotel experience. NoMad guests will have a separate arrival, reception, pool and restaurant.
Two new restaurants have opened, meeting and convention space has been added, and the casino floor and lobby are getting a new look. The last piece of the transition will come at the end of the year when Eataly, an Italian marketplace offering sit-down dining, casual dining, coffee bars, wine bars, gelato bars and retail, opens. "It’s really going to be something different, not just for the Las Vegas visitor but to Las Vegans," Miller said.