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Luxor Hotel And Casino Las Vegas Nevada
Tags: las vegas (11 pics), nevada (51 pics)
The Luxor Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It was one of the city's first fully-themed mega-resorts. Ground was broken for the Luxor in 1991 (22 years ago), that same year construction began on the Treasure Island. It has a new highly modernized design and contains a total of 4,407 rooms lining the interior walls of a pyramid style tower and contained within twin ziggurat towers that were built as later additions. The hotel is named after the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt, the site of the Valley of the Kings, Karnak and Luxor Temples, and scores of other pharaonic monuments.
In Jul. 2007 (6 years ago), owner MGM Mirage announced plans to thoroughly renovate the Luxor, spending $300 million to remodel 80 percent 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. Among the distinctive changes to the exterior occurred in mid-2007, when management covered one of the pyramid's massive black faces with a 15-story sign that advertises Absolut Vodka. On Jun. 16, 2008 (5 years ago) the sign was taken down.
Location and historyThe Luxor is located on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, opposite the McCarran International Airport. 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. All three properties were built by Circus Circus Enterprises, which later became Mandalay Resort Group.
When it opened on Oct. 15, 1993 (20 years ago), the pyramid was the tallest building on the strip and took 2 years to build and a total of 968 workers; it cost $375 million to build. A theater and two additional hotel towers totaling 2,000 rooms were added in 1998 (15 years ago) for $675 million. In Jun. 2004 (9 years ago), the Mandalay Resort Group was purchased by MGM Mirage, adding this hotel to its vast array of properties on the "Strip".
When the resort opened, it featured a river that encircled the casino with a ferry that would carry guests to different parts of the pyramid. After guests complained that the ferry service took too long, it was turned into the Nile River Tour, a river ride that passed by many pieces of ancient artwork. Most of the ancient Egypt theme and the river ride were taken away as part of a campaign to tailor the property towards more upscale tastes in 1995 (18 years ago).
The resort has been home to some popular entertainment attractions in the Las Vegas area. The main level featured the nightclub, RA, which closed indefinitely on Jul. 22, 2006 (7 years ago). From 2000 (13 years ago) to 2005 (8 years ago), the Luxor Theatre was the home of the enormously popular performance-art show Blue Man Group, which has since moved to The Venetian. On Feb. 15, 2006 (7 years ago), the main theater became the home of the musical Hairspray which ran until 2006 (7 years ago).
In 2006 (7 years ago), MGM-Mirage began completely remodeling Luxor. Rooms in the East and West Towers have been refurnished. Two upscale restaurants, Isis and Sacred Sea Room, closed. This space became CatHouse and the renowned Company American Bistro. The RA nightclub, which had previously been one of the most successful in the city but had been seeing reduced attendance in recent years, was shuttered. Replacing it is the Las Vegas branch of LAX, a Los Angeles nightclub, which opened on Aug. 31, 2007 (6 years ago), in an event hosted by Britney Spears (80 pics). The Luxor Steakhouse was renovated and reopened as Tender Steak & Seafood. The IMAX is now used to host a human bodies exhibition, and the IMAX theater is being renovated to host an exhibition on the RMS Titanic.
Illusionist Criss Angel signed a deal in 2006 (7 years ago) to tape episodes of his TV series Mindfreak at the hotel. Angel currently has a production office and store in the Luxor. In 2008 (5 years ago), Criss Angel starred in a new magic-themed Cirque du Soleil production at Luxor.
2007 explosion incidentOn May 7, 2007 (6 years ago), the Luxor Hotel parking garage was the site of a vehicle explosion which killed one of its employees. Local authorities believe the victim, who worked in a business inside the hotel, was the target for this killing. The hotel was not evacuated, and the parking structure where the explosion occurred suffered no damage. Investigations into this incident are ongoing. The explosion is believed to be caused by a homemade bomb.
DesignThe Luxor is among the most recognizable hotels on the strip because of its striking design. Designed by hotel architect Veldon Simpson, the main portion of the hotel is a 350-foot (110 m)-high (106 m), 30-story pyramid of black glass (in comparison, the Great Pyramid of Giza with original capstone topped out at 481 ft). The footprint of the pyramid is a 556-foot square. The hotel is marked by a large obelisk with the name of the property in lighted letters, while the porte-cochere travels underneath a massive recreation of the Great Sphinx of Giza. The pyramid was originally conceived with a tram connecting the north side of the hotel with the neighboring Excalibur Hotel and Casino. This was soon removed for later property changes. A second tram linkage now connects the east-facing porte-cochere with both the Excalibur and Mandalay Hotel and Casino. The pyramid is clad in very dark bronze glass, which appears black on clear days and a dark, golden-bronze on overcast days. There are 30 guest-room floors, six higher service floors (including the SkyBeam penthouses) and a large sublevel. Many of the original aesthetics of the external property have been eliminated. The original front water and laser show was the first to succumb. The laser show was stopped due to complaints of stray beams illuminating aircraft on approach to the very nearby international airport. The fountains themselves were removed and replaced by a parking lot and the new tram station. The tram station and tracks hinder the views of the pyramid tower from the strip. The pyramid tower is also rather lost to view as it has been surrounded by the large East/West Towers, the two Mandalay Bay towers and the large auditorium on the SW side. The pyramid tower has also been transformed into a four-sided billboard (with three sides in use as of 3-09) for advertisements. Additionally, the Starlight Lighting System - a nightly remote-controlled show of lights along the pyramids corners powered by thousands of circuit boards and computer chips - was scaled back tremendously as it was plagued by faulty equipment and power shutdowns.
The tip of the pyramid contains a fixed-position spotlight that points directly upward and is claimed to be the brightest beam in the world at over 42 billion candle power. It is visible from anywhere in the Las Vegas valley at night, and can be seen at flight level from above Los Angeles, California, over 275 miles (440 km) away. At ground level, on clear nights, the beam could also be seen as far south as Laughlin and even as far north as Mesquite or Beatty. The beam is visible straight ahead when driving northbound on US 93 in Arizona, north of Kingman before reaching Hoover Dam. In the spring, the bright light attracts huge numbers of moths into the light beam, creating a phenomenon that has been likened to snow. Light is generated using 39 Xenon arc lamps of 7 kilowatts each. When turned on, the lamps heat up to over 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The hourly cost, including lamps, electricity, and repairs, is US$51 — roughly two weeks' worth of electricity for the average American household. Hotel engineers, as well as the hotel's own website also claim that the light can be observed from space.
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