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Opening of the Mirage

Discussion in 'Casino Industry & Development' started by UKFanatic, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Rawr!
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  2. hail2skins

    hail2skins VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting UK. This is another article that Steve Friess wrote close to the 25th anniversary of Mirage's opening:

    https://lasvegasweekly.com/news/2014/nov/20/mirage-remade-las-vegas-25-years-ago-steve-wynn/

    Wynn certainly raised the bar with both the Mirage and then again with Bellagio. After Bellagio it got to a point to me where you could only make these places so nice. This is evident in the mixed commentary about Resorts World. Service issues related to the opening aside, it is interesting to see the number of people who just aren't that impressed with a place that Genting spent over $4 billion on.
     
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  3. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Very much so. Let's not leave Roger Thomas out of this, though. The man has been instrumental in the history of every Wynn-connected resort in modern history. There's a story about how when Mirage first opened, there was a faux tree with hand-carved "leaves" on it. People kept stealing them, and Roger apologized. Steve responded along the lines of, "Roger, if people are stealing them, then that means you did a good job designing them."

    Mirage was also the first place to break the mold of previous casino design. Before, the goal was to avoid all natural light, make the casino basically a maze to disorient guests. Turned out, not doing that was incredibly successful. And the tri-wing design, and at least having separate towers with elevator banks, either centralized or separated out like Excal has, was a huge innovation.
     
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  4. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    LOVE this man though I've never met him. I'd pay serious $$$ to be in a master class with him. So much of what I love about Wynncore is because of his vision and design brilliance. I'd probably have to be restrained from hugging him if I saw him. LOL.
     
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  5. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Love this reminder. It annoys me somewhat when people credit Wynn for reinventing Vegas. He lead the team that did it, but these resorts wouldn't be what they are today without people like Thomas involved
     
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  6. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith VIP Whale

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    Prime example was Caesars of that time. I could never tell how to get out of that place. I think they've done major remodeling in recent years, but to tell you the truth, I never go in there. I loved the Mirage in its day and you have pinpointed exactly why—you'd come through that hallway with the white tigers on the left and then into a big open area with the sport book and then gaming tables beyond that. Good analysis on your part.
     
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  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Good point about what came after Bellagio. I would say of the resorts built after Bellagio, Wynncore is really the only one that compares in terms of opulence. I think Aria and Cosmo are fantastic too, but they both tried for an entirely different aesthetic than the Mirage/Bellagio/Wynn line of design
     
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  8. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    CP is still a maze. I know my way around it, but only because I have wandered around there a lot through the years. I still remember being totally confused the first several times I went in there
     
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  9. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    The problem is that it's like a half-dozen resorts loosely stapled together.

    Here's a great article on the subject: https://gizmodo.com/how-casinos-use-design-psychology-to-get-you-to-gamble-1667182023
     
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  10. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I personally think distinctiveness is more important than opulence. I could glimpse a photo of Aria or Wynn and immediately know where it was. RW... not so much.
     
  11. hail2skins

    hail2skins VIP Whale

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  12. hail2skins

    hail2skins VIP Whale

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    Probably a matter of personal taste. When I first walked into Aria I was underwhelmed, and remain so to this date. I haven't been to RW yet, but an interesting comment/take that I saw on Twitter was that RW was what Aria should've looked like.
     
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  13. woodsie

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    It's not just about dollars spent but rather about how those dollars are spent to serve a vision or not. Resorts World appears to be safe and unimaginative rather than visionary.

    Mirage, Bellagio, and Wynn are all a product of Steve Wynn and the people he chose to surround himself with. It's also a product of the fact that Steve Wynn had the degree of control of his companies necessary to pursue bold plans.

    Same goes for guys like Jay Sarno, Bob Stupak, and now Derek Stevens. All of them pursued projects which were the exact opposite of a "safe bet".

    A Roman themed casino in 1960s Vegas? That's a bold bet.

    A massive observation tower with a restaurant and roller coasters? That's a bold bet.

    Leveling an entire block of downtown and building a billion dollar resort? That's a bold bet.

    Building a generic glass and steel casino that follows the formula of any other recent modern casino and packs in as much retail as possible in wide open mall like spaces? That's not a bold bet.

    Not hating, I'll still check it out and I hope it does well. It's just not the kind of remarkable project that is so distinguished from anything that came before to the point that people come from all over just to see the property itself.
     
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  14. hail2skins

    hail2skins VIP Whale

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    Good points Woodsie. I just don't know what someone is going to build these days that is going to be considered bold. Mirage was certainly bold and Bellagio was in terms in raising the bar in opulence. Wynn's namesake resort is certainly luxurious and beautiful, but would you necessarily call it "bold," especially compared to Bellagio? I think the decision to build on the DI site, that far north, might've been considered bold, but not necessarily the property itself.

    Stevens has definitely built a nice place and the decision to build another casino downtown was certainly bold, but it was going to be tough not to top the existing inventory on Fremont.

    I've asked the question repeatedly about what people want in the next generation of resorts and the most common response is "I miss themes." Would RW have been considered more bold if it would've stuck more with the Chinese theme? I just don't know.
     
  15. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    100%. I personally feel the opposite on those two -- Aria is my favorite place in Vegas specifically because of its design, particularly the fact that it's sort of dark and dim (which I know some people hate), whereas Resorts World is too bright for me. I also love how Aria's casino is basically one big hallway without much stuff in the middle, save for Alibi and the Mlife desk. By contrast, it's impossible to get from one place to another at Mandalay Bay without a winding route, same for Paris.
     
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  16. Jimgotkp

    Jimgotkp Low-Roller

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    Same, Park MGM is the same as well with a very simple layout. Caesars Palace and MGM Grand's casino floors are a hassle too.
     
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  17. fugsworth

    fugsworth VIP Whale

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    MGM Grand's casino floor was designed by the devil himself.
     
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  18. woodsie

    woodsie VIP Whale

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    "I just don't know" is exactly it. For something to be bold in this context, it has to exceed expectations. When Mirage was announced, it was beyond most people's imagination of what was possible with a Vegas resort at that time.

    Wynn is probably not as great a leap as Mirage or Bellagio but you have to admit it still was a bar raising moment and a fitting finale to Steve Wynn's career in Vegas.

    As far as Circa goes, I understand your point but you have to admit that Derek took a single city block pretty much to the absolute limit. The Plaza used to be a big statement right at the end of Fremont and look at it now compared to the Circa tower. The old Mint tower is barely nipping at Circa's ankles. Even just thinking about the story of how he get there in terms of acquiring all of the disparate properties on that block and getting investors and banks on board for the roughly $1.2B project is pretty incredible. Nobody has ever done anything like it downtown ever and that in and of itself is bold.

    Capture.JPG

    As far as where to go from here, I guess if I knew the answer, I'd be trying to beat down doors to get a pitch meeting. What happened at Circa was actually my answer to that question 10 years ago. I always thought it'd be cool if someone leveled a block of Fremont and did a new resort from the ground up...and then it happened. I think if Circa works out financially, you'll see more projects like that shortly as Circa will have paved the way just like Mirage paved the way on the strip. Theses kinds of projects require lots of outside money and nothing attracts outside money like a playbook that is already proven on the field. I mean, who wouldn't have wanted to invest in Treasure Island or Bellagio after seeing what a financial success that Mirage was?
     
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  19. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Same. Wynn is a gorgeous resort, but a good example of what Steve could do rather than a major leap forward.

    It's going to be interesting to see how Circa does over a few years. It's nice inside, and it's very different from other places on Fremont, but to some that's a feature, and to others it's a bug. I'm not really a Downtown person, but I definitely know people (including on this board) who go Downtown specifically because it doesn't have giant, Strip-style properties.
     
  20. woodsie

    woodsie VIP Whale

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    I do miss the smaller sized casinos downtown and even on the strip. I like the scale of Golden Gate and formerly Mermaids.

    There's still that one block left across from The D where that could happen bit it's probably more likely to see something like Circa happen there than a string of smaller casinos.