Retail, restaurants, public art spotlighted in sneak peek of MGM National Harbor

OXON HILL, Md. — One of MGM Resorts International’s objectives in building MGM National Harbor was to bring a slice of Las Vegas to the nation’s capital while preserving a touch of Maryland hospitality.

Mission accomplished.

“I like to call it an all-star team of all of our properties,” said Bill Boasberg, the resort’s general manager, following a sneak-peek preview of the resort on Monday.

The resort, which resembles a giant docked cruise ship, opens its doors to the public Thursday at 11 p.m., after a VIP reception. It will be Maryland’s largest casino and the closest one to what locals refer to as the DMV — the District, Maryland and Virginia.

“We’ve had Las Vegas people from our company come in and help with the opening this week and they’re amazed at what they see here,” he said.

And, as far as bringing Las Vegas to Washington, MGM has produced multiple tributes to some of its signature Strip properties to what will be the largest of six Maryland casinos when it opens.

Start with the bright and airy National Harbor Conservatory. Like the conservatory at Bellagio, it’s a welcoming pedestrian area filled with more than 70,000 flowers arranged in a seasonal theme. When the doors open Thursday, it’ll have a wintry holiday flavor.

“The conservatory here is actually 30 percent larger than the one at Bellagio,” Boasberg said. “The region hasn’t seen anything like it.”

In addition to the conservatory, Las Vegas’ Bellagio is contributing its Bellagio Patisserie concept, complete with a massive chocolate fountain — smaller than the world-record holder in Las Vegas — at National Harbor.

Reminiscent of the MGM Grand is a restaurant row called The District in a corridor off the conservatory. It also includes a mix of retail among the restaurants populated by Ginger, an Asian restaurant with Chinese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese food; Fish by Jose Andres, which has an outdoor patio where summer clambakes are planned; the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, a local favorite; Marcus, which will serve American dishes and local favorites; and National Market, a potpourri of quick food choices.

The National Market includes a crabcake outlet, pizza, chicken and doughnuts and a sushi bar.

A celebrity retailer will occupy one of the outlets at National Harbor. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” fame will debut her first standalone SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Boutique at the property.

One of the Las Vegas contributions from CityCenter involves MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren’s passion for publicly displayed art. The company has enlisted artists from the region and a few big names, most notably songwriter, singer and recent Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan, to display their work.

Dylan, whose piece “Portal” is a wrought-iron collage gateway that is literally a portal to one of National Harbor’s casino entrances, is his first artwork put on public display.

Another interesting piece — Chul Hyun Ahn’s “The Wells” — is a collection of five shafts of lights and mirrors viewed through ground-mounted windows that seem to be hundreds of feet deep and are similar to some of the water features on display at Crystals at CityCenter.

But among the 30 art pieces scattered throughout the resort, one that may receive considerable attention is Liao Yibai’s “Fighting Cash,” a 12-by-7-foot polished stainless steel sculpture near the casino porte cochere depicting Benjamin Franklin emerging from a $100 bill and Chairman Mao from a yuan, squaring up for a boxing match.

Another Las Vegas staple — entertainment — will be on full display at National Harbor’s concert theater. Company officials didn’t include it in Monday’s tour, but will open it up Thursday.

The property’s opening act in the theater that can be converted to seat between 3,000 and 4,000 people, will be Boyz II Men. MGM, collaborating with concert promotional company Live Nation, has an impressive lineup of shows planned with Bruno Mars, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Ricky Martin, Joe Bonamassa and comedian Jim Gaffigan on the calendar.

The property’s 135,000-square-foot casino — a little less than the size of Las Vegas’ Orleans casino — has 3,300 slot machines and an Asian table game pit adorned in red and decorated with Chinese lanterns. Some of the slots have USB outlets so that players can charge their cellphones while they play.

The 3,300 slots onsite would be more than most Las Vegas casinos.

Anton Nikodemus, MGM’s chief operating officer of regional operations, said National Harbor is the second piece of the company’s efforts to dominate the mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. MGM bought out Boyd Gaming’s half of the Borgata, regarded as the dominant player in the Atlantic City market, in August for $589 million.

The company also is building MGM Springfield, the company’s entry in the suburban Boston market. It’s scheduled to open in 2018.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like