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Mirage Las Vegas

Updated on November 27, 2010

Mirage Las Vegas

Mirage Las Vegas, with some digital editing.
Mirage Las Vegas, with some digital editing. | Source

Mirage Las Vegas appears to be the same color as the planet Saturn. I wonder if that was intentional or accidental. Opened in 1989 next to Caesars Palace, Steve Wynn's Mirage was the first of a long line of new corporate owned Las Vegas casinos that went up during the 1990s (including NY NY, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Treasure Island.) In previous decades, casinos were rumored to be owned and operated by organized crime figures, starting with Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's opening of the Flamingo in 1946.

Mirage Las Vegas at sunset

Mirage Las Vegas at sunset, December 14, 2007
Mirage Las Vegas at sunset, December 14, 2007

This is how the photo originally appeared. I shot this from the roof of Treasure Island's parking garage. Mirage is, in my opinion, a solid midrange property; much nicer than budget properties yet not quite achieving the level of a luxury property. I was a guest at Treasure Island in December 2007; and Treasure Island initially was designed to be a second room tower for the MIrage. So while I haven't been a guest at the Mirage, I have been a guest at what was supposed to be the Mirage. And I've visited Mirage about a dozen times. The main complaint you see in online reviews is that the rooms are small. So I suggest upgrading to a suite if you plan to stay at either MIrage or TI.

Inside the Mirage Las Vegas

Inside the Mirage Las Vegas
Inside the Mirage Las Vegas

If you could pick up the MIrage with a giant helicopter and drop it into Los Angeles or Seattle then it would be considered a luxury resort hotel. After 20+ years of new construction on the Las Vegas Strip, Mirage has faded a bit from its original glory. You can get a good look at the Mirage property by watching National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation with Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Quite a few scenes were filmed there, and it's a decent comedy as well. The young actor Ethan Randall aka Ethan Embry does a great job with his role as teenager Rusty Griswald - obtaining fake ID and living the high roller lifestyle as "Nick Pappagiorgio." Pranksters still call Las Vegas casinos and page Nick Pappagiorgio; it's an inside joke that perhaps only one out of 20 people in the casino will recognize.

Mirage Las Vegas volcano

Mirage Las Vegas volcano, late 1990s
Mirage Las Vegas volcano, late 1990s

The volcano in front of the Mirage has been its main attraction, and I read that the volcano was updated and improved during 2008. Instead of standing on the Las Vegas Blvd. sidewalk with hundreds of other tourists, see if you can get the table at the Outback Steakhouse across the street that offers a perfect view of the volcano.  Mirage has an excellent location in between Treasure Island and Caesars Palace; across the street from the Harrah's megablock (Harrah's, O'Sheas, Casino Royale, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Bill's). Mirage is an excellent choice for a moderately priced property on the center strip and lets you avoid the frantic pace and crowds of the Harrah's block.

Mirage Las Vegas

Mirage Las Vegas volcano, June 2009
Mirage Las Vegas volcano, June 2009

Here's a photo of the new volcano at the Mirage erupting at sunset on June 9, 2009. It looks like they moved it over to the left, and the flames shoot higher than the old volcano. Mirage is 30 floors high and the flames appear to reach about halfway up.

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