HomeEconomyLas Vegas Icon: Mirage Casino, the ’90s Megaresort Pioneer, Bids Farewell!

Las Vegas Icon: Mirage Casino, the ’90s Megaresort Pioneer, Bids Farewell!

The Mirage, which once stood as an emblem of the grandeur and glamor of Las Vegas, is now poised to permanently close its doors. With the announcement of its impending closure, the landmark casino-resort is not just marking the end of an era, but a massive shift in the city’s entertainment landscape.

The Mirage casino came to life in 1989, a visionary creation of developer Steve Wynn. It was the first of its kind to be built with the idea in mind that Las Vegas could be more than a redundant strip of neon, casinos and entertainment venues. Instead, it presented the idea of the megaresort – a single entity offering everything from top-tier dining and entertainment to luxurious accommodations and gaming options, all under one roof. The concept revolutionized the face of Las Vegas, setting the bar for many such establishments that popped up in its wake.

A striking feature about The Mirage is that it was founded on the idea of fantasy and illusion. Its iconic volcano, which would ‘erupt’ every now and then, creating a spectacle of smoke and fire, drew in crowds. Its wonderfully designed atrium gave visitors the illusion of being in a tropical rainforest, complete with artificial waterfalls, a dolphin habitat, and adjoining animal park. Aside from these attractions, it housed a 20,000-gallon saltwater tank teeming with marine life and an acrylic tunnel for visitors to walk through – a tangible reflection of the casino’s name.

Taking mega-entertainment to an entirely new realm, The Mirage was also the home venue for the iconic entertainment duo, Siegfried & Roy’s magic and animal shows, from 1990 to 2003. Judging by their popularity and the footfall they generated, it was clear that the megaresort was more than just a gambling hotspot; it was an entertainment destination.

In terms of its gaming facilities, The Mirage was known for its vast 100,000-square-foot casino, housing an array of slot machines, a high-limit lounge, table games and a race and sportsbook. Its distinct gaming sections catered to different segments of gamblers, ensuring that casual players and high rollers alike had something to enjoy.

Over time, The Mirage set a precedent for many other renowned establishments that would come to redefine Vegas, including The Bellagio, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Wynn Las Vegas. Each built on the foundation that The Mirage established, integrating gaming, hospitality, and entertainment into one singular, magnificent experience. The Mirage was more than a casino, it was the epitome of what Las Vegas Strip came to represent.

In the years following its boom in the ’90s, The Mirage has grappled with competition and the surge of contemporary trends. The lure of its now-aging effects has waned, and the constant need for renovations and updates particularly in a city that seems to be in constant evolution took a toll.

With The Mirage’s closure, an era of Las Vegas Strip megaresorts comes to a fitting close. It is a poignant moment and a sign of changing times. Its impact, however, lives on. The Mirage altered the course of Las Vegas for the better part of three decades, and its influence will undoubtedly continue to shape the iconic strip for many years to come, telling tales of a time when The Mirage was the magical epitome of Las Vegas mega-resort entertainment.

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