The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas, the first mega-gambling-resort to open on the Strip back in 1989, finally reopened after being shuttered in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. The casino also paid homage to Siegfried and Roy by renaming a nearby street -- Siegfried and Roy Drive. For 14 years, Siegfried and Roy and their white tigers were one of the biggest shows in town. Roy passed away in May due to COVID-19 complications.
While numerous Las Vegas casino began reopening in June, the suits at MGM held off opening the Mirage Casino until now. The Mirage finally reopened its doors to gamblers today with washing stations and hand sanitizers stations scattered throughout the floor. The famous sportsbook will reopen as well.
At this point, mostly all of the casinos on The Strip have reopened, except for Planet Hollywood and the Cromwell.
In the 1980s, Steve Wynn has vision for a swanky new casino inspired by Polynesia. He opened his new casino on Las Vegas Blvd where Castaways formerly stood. Castaways was most known for their gigantic aquarium bar that included aquatic showgirls.
The Mirage ushered in a new era of Las Vegas when Wall Street banksters and old-time Vegas crossed paths. Wynn's Mirage was financed by mortage bonds. The Mirage, the most-expensive casino construction project at its time, went waaaay overbudget. The final price tag was over $630 million.
With 3,000-plus rooms, the Mirage was the largest hotel in the world when it finally opened in late 1989. The Mirage featured gold-tinted windows on the outside and a lush tropical theme inside. The architects added exploding volcano out front for tourists to gawk at on Las Vegas Blvd. And they added a dolphin habitat in the back.
In the early 1990s, the poker room at the Mirage was were a lot of the nosebleed high balla action occurred. The room got a shoutout in the cult-classic film, Rounders. Sometime around the glorious online poker boom in the early 2000s, word got out that Bill Gates played poker at the Mirage. But he only sat down at the $3-$6 table.
Once the Bellagio opened up, the action moved down the Strip. But the Mirage always had a sweet spot in the heart of poker players. When I lived in Vegas and was down on my luck or just feeling nostalgic, I'd head over to the Mirage and sit down to play with sloshed tourists. I broke out of numerous losing streaks and slumps at the poker tables at the Mirage. It had always been a way to reset my soul, mind, and body.
The Mirage's sports and race book was state of the art when it opened. The sportsbook is the first place I ever placed a sportsbetting wager back when I was in college and visited Vegas for the first time to attend a Grateful Dead and Traffic Concert at the Silver Bowl. The first time I attended Vegas for the March Madness basketball tournament, I sweated my bets at the Mirage sports book.
Siegfried and Roy and their magical tigers began performing at the Mirage in 1990. Their stunning stage show featuring big cats remained one of the most popular attractions until Siegfried Fischbacher died in a tragic accident in 2003. Roy Horn passed away recently due to COVID-19 complications. It was a sad day in early May when Las Vegas lost one of their performing legends.
A road near the Mirage was recently renamed Siegfried and Roy Drive in honor of the iconic performers.
"Their names lit up The Mirage marquee for nearly 14 years. Now their names will lead guests into the resort forever," said the Mirage in a press release.
By the way, there will be no live shows performed at any of the Mirage live theaters during the reopening. The theaters will be dark, which includes concerts and the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show 'Love'. Sadly, the Beatles Cirque du Soleil will not run during the initial phase of reopening.