30th anniversary of the Mirage- Las Vegas’ first mega-resort arrives on the Strip

This coming Friday marks the 30th anniversary since the opening of the first mega-resort on the Strip. The Mirage was the idea of casino mogul Steve Wynn who was regarded as a visionary 30 years ago. 

The Mirage celebrates three decades as a magnificent property at the centre of the strip, which set the stage for modern Las Vegas. 

When Steve Wynn first announced the project he said. “This is a totally integrated, balanced resort..it’s a wonderful place to go. It also has a casino.”

The resort had a tropical setting with lagoons and an atrium as well as palm trees. Mr Wynn, said at the time, “I don’t know what we’ll call the damned thing. They’ve come up with the Bombay Resort, the Palm Bay Club, but don’t be surprised if he just ends up calling it the Golden Nugget.” 

How did the Mirage look like back then?

After Mr. Wyn managed to transform the original modest Golden Nugget he called in a news conference at his hotel to comment on the new resort’s name, “every time someone called this beauty that we’re standing in ‘the old one,’ it’s like acid dripping on my butt,” fumed Wynn. “I could not stand it, and it didn’t seem fair to the Golden Nugget that it would become the old one.”

It is worth noting that at the time the company invested in an advertisement campaign involving director George Lucas’s Star War. 

In a news report from the time, News 3’s David Riggleman on a story about the anticipated resort. 

“Through some magic of our own, we’re going to take you inside the Mirage, and you can see the showroom where Siegfried and Roy will perform. That room alone will cost Steve Wynn $20 million.”

“Many of the people walking by the Mirage this morning had one thing in common,” confirmed News 3’s Steve Eagar before dawn on November 22, 1989. “They were dying of curiosity. They say if the outside can look this spectacular, what can the inside look like?”

“You know, I think there’s something special about this one,” observed a tourist with a heavy Scottish accent. “It looks different from the rest. I don’t really know until I get inside it what it’s going to be like inside.”

“It just makes Atlantic City look like a 7-Eleven,” exclaimed one East Coast visitor. “I wanted to see if this was going to be nicer than the Taj Mahal that Donald Trump’s building, and I really think that it is.”

Three decades later

Three decades later and things have changed in a lot of ways. MGM Resorts acquired the Mirage and associated Wynn Properties in 2000.

Moreover, Steve Wynn built a hotel that now has his name on it, as well as the Encore and land that was formerly the Desert Inn. 

I'm Adam Shaw, Senior Editor and one of the first members at VegasSlots. I'm a massive football sports fan but also love casinos and occasional trips to Las Vegas. Gaming runs in the family

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