Luxor Hotel & Casino
Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas is a 30-story hotel and casino situated on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The hotel is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International and has a 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) casino with over 2,000 slot machines and 87 table games.
The casino opened in 1993 and was renovated and expanded several times. The 1998 renovation work modernized the design of the property and raised the hotel’s capacity to 4,407 rooms, including 442 suites. The hotel’s rooms line the interior walls of the main tower, which has a pyramid shape, and other recent 22-story twin ziggurat towers.
The hotel is named for the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt.
As of 2010, the Luxor was designated as a 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, which evaluates what is known as “sustainable hotel operations.” The hotel features inclined elevators which travel up the side of the building on a 39-degree incline.
Ground breaking for the Luxor occurred in March 1992 and the resort officially opened at 4 AM on October 15, 1993, to a crowd of 10,000 people. When it opened, the pyramid, which cost $375 million to build, was the tallest building on the strip and contained 2,526 rooms and a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) casino. The resort was financed by “petty cash” earned from other Circus Circus Enterprises properties and did not include any outside financial investors. The hotel’s pyramid is similar in size to the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid of Egypt. When the hotel opened, it was the tallest structure on the Strip and featured the world’s largest atrium, since surpassed.
A theater and two additional towers totaling 2,000 rooms were added in 1998 for $675 million. When the resort opened, it featured the Nile River Tour which was a river ride that carried guests to different parts of the pyramid and passed by pieces of ancient artwork on a river that encircled the casino. The casino also featured King Tut’s Tomb and Museum, a duplicate of King Tutankhamen’s tomb as found in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt.
On May 7, 2007, a vehicle exploded in a Luxor Hotel parking garage due to a homemade pipe bomb which left one dead. Local authorities believe the victim, a 24-year-old employee at Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant in the Luxor food court, was the intended target. The hotel was not evacuated, operations continued uninterrupted, and the parking structure as well as the casino were undamaged. Two men were found guilty of the bombing, and in 2010 were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
In July 2007, owner MGM Resorts International announced plans to thoroughly renovate the Luxor, spending $300 million to remodel 80% of Luxor’s public areas, removing much of the ancient Egyptian theme and replacing it with more adult-oriented and modern lounges, restaurants and clubs.
Luxor Las Vegas includes 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) of convention space, four swimming pools and whirlpools, a wedding chapel, Nurture Spa and Salon, and 29 retail stores.
The Luxor is home to two shows which consist of “Fantasy” (a topless revue), and comedian Carrot Top. The hotel also began hosting in 2009 “Bodies: The Exhibition,” an educational display on the human body, and “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” replacing their three-story arcade. From 2000 to 2005, the Luxor Theatre was the home of the performance-art show Blue Man Group, which then moved to the Venetian Las Vegas. Blue Man Group returned to the Luxor Theatre starting November 18, 2015.
Inside the pyramid was an IMAX-Cinema, operating from 1996 to 2008. At time of the opening it was one out of 20 IMAX screens.
On August 31, 2007, LAX Nightclub officially opened at a party hosted by Britney Spears. A number of other celebrities, including Christina Aguilera, have also hosted events at the club. The two-level, 26,000 sq ft (2,400 m2) venue contains 78 VIP tables and Noir Bar, which according to the Las Vegas Review Journal is an “ultra-elite bar” with a reservations-only policy. LAX Nightclub was closed on April 1, 2017 and was transformed into an eSports venue, eSports Arena Las Vegas. Work on the eSports Arena began in July 2017 and completed in March 2018. Additional nightlife destinations within Luxor include CatHouse, Aurora, Liquidity, and Flight.
Luxor Las Vegas has the largest atrium in the world (by volume) at 29 million cubic feet (820,000 m3).
Luxor Sky Beam
At 42.3 billion candela, the Luxor Sky Beam is the strongest beam of light in the world, using curved mirrors to collect the light from 39 xenon lamps and focus them into one intense, narrow beam. On a clear night, the Sky Beam is visible up to 275 miles (443 km) away by aircraft at cruising altitude, such as over Los Angeles.
Each of the 39 lamps is a 7,000 watt Xenotech fixture costing about $1,200. When at full power, the system costs $51 an hour to operate, with $20 per hour of that just for its 315,000 watts of electricity. The beam has operated reliably since first enabled on October 15, 1993.
The lamp room is about 50 feet (15 m) below the top of the building and serviced by a staff of two workers during the day. The room’s temperature is about 300 °F (150 °C) while the lights are operating. Since 2008, only half the lamps are lit as a cost and energy saving measure.
Luxor is located on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The resort is flanked by the Mandalay Bay to the south and by the Excalibur to the north; all three are connected by free express and local trams, as well as by walkways, with The Shoppes of Mandalay Bay, a boutique shopping centre built on a bridge over Mandalay Bay Road, directly connecting the Luxor with the Mandalay Bay resort to the south. All three properties were built by Circus Circus Enterprises, which in 1999 became Mandalay Resort Group, which was then succeeded by MGM Mirage in April 2005 (now named MGM Resorts International).
Usage in popular culture
This destination hotel is often viewed as a prime example of 1990s Postmodern architecture, and appeared on the cover of architecture scholar James Steele’s book Architecture Today. Since opening in 1993, the hotel has appeared in numerous films including the 1996 film Mars Attacks! (in which a major character is depicted as an employee of the hotel, dressed in Egyptian costume), and the film 2012.
In Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, is asked to take a picture in front of the Luxor hotel. The Hotel was also seen in the movie The Hangover. The hotel has also been featured in the television shows Fear Factor, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Great Hotels, and CSI. A replica of the Luxor, named “The Camel’s Toe”, appeared in the Las Venturas area of the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and another replica appeared in the Las Vegas area of the 2000 video game Driver 2. The Luxor Las Vegas also appears in Futurama episode, “Viva Mars Vegas”. It also appears in Vegas Vacation starring Chevy Chase. Tupac Shakur also stayed in The Luxor in September 1996 when he was gunned down on the strip after a Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight on September 7, 1996. Will Smith filmed the 1998 video for “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” in the hotel’s lobby.No tags for this post.