Jim Murren occasionally clears up confusion about the hotels MGM Resorts owns in Las Vegas.
Well, maybe not “occasionally.”
“How about, every single day,” says Murren, MGM Resorts’ chief executive officer. “Forget about people asking that when I travel outside of Las Vegas. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of people in Las Vegas don’t know what MGM Resorts owns.”
Seeking to address the question, “Does the company that owns Bellagio also own Circus Circus?” MGM Resorts is launching its “Welcome To The Show” marketing campaign. The effort will consolidate the company’s Strip resorts, including the renovated Monte Carlo when it is rebranded Park MGM and NoMad Hotel in 2018.
MGM National Harbor in Washington D.C., and the under-development MGM Springfield in Massachusetts (opening in September 2018) and MGM Cotai (projected to open by the end of the year) are also spot-checked in the campaign.
Hard-focusing on its innumerable “holistic,” or immersive, entertainment offerings, the company is airing a new “Welcome To The Show” commercial on tonight’s prime-time Emmy Awards telecast on CBS. The company is sponsoring a VIP lounge, pool area and comedy stage at the inaugural Kaaboo entertainment festival in Del Mar and San Diego, was flashed on the big screens during Sunday’s Canelo Alvarez-Gennady “GGG” Golovkin bout at T-Mobile Arena, and is represented in an expansive social media campaign.
Expect to see the catchphrases “OMGM,” “50,000 Spines Tingled Daily” and “Humans Were Not Meant To Be Bored” on Twitter (where emojis are being used for the first time in a formal MGM Resorts social media blitz) and Snapchat.
The commercials are filled with quick cutaways of T-Mobile Arena, partiers at Hakkasan at MGM Grand, Bliss Dance at The Park, a gaggle of Cirque performers, some Ulitimate Fighting Championship action by unidentified combatants, a wine angel at Aureole at Mandalay Bay, pool decks and the requisite shot of the Bellagio fountains.
MGM Resorts will continue to invest in Las Vegas, and is continually rumored to be kicking the tires at some choice properties (buzz recently was that the company was interested in buying The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas).
Murren clarified the company’s objectives on the Strip.
“Our energy here in Las Vegas will be primarily directed toward the resorts that we own today, and what we have done at Monte Carlo, we can do two or three times over the next 10 years,” he said. “If you look at Excalibur, with 4,000 rooms, imagine what we could do there, over time. We have Raiders Stadium being built across the highway from Luxor and Mandalay Bay. At MGM Grand, the west-wing tower is the original Marina Hotel tower. What should that look like, over time? Mirage has some really growth opportunities to it.”
Murren also pointed to the 40 acres now known as MGM Resorts Festival Grounds as ripe for redevelopment. That parcel on the southeast corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue is in an advantageous location, with the recent acquisition of Fontainebleau the planned development of Resorts World Las Vegas and the upcoming expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center all in the offing for that neighborhood.
“There are a number of really exciting ideas, we just need to prioritize them in our own minds,” Murren said. The company will space out these revitalization efforts over the years, but as the man at the top says, “This campaign is the coming-out party of MGM Resorts as global entertainment company.”
He’s not speechless
Louie Anderson is the defending champ in Emmy Awards’ Outstanding Actor in a Comedy category. The Las Vegas-based stand-up comic and actor won the award last year for his role as Christine Baskets in the Zach Galifianakis comedy “Baskets” on FX.
Anderson, who headlined Friday and Saturday at Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort, is nominated again tonight. He doesn’t believe in the concept of jinxing your action, either.
“I’m working on my speech right now,” said Anderson, practicing pragmatism. “I don’t want to be one of those winners who gets up there and says, ‘Oh, no! I don’t know what to say!’ “
As was the case last year, Anderson is nominated in an powerhouse field: Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), and Matt Walsh (also of “Veep”).
Siegfried & Roy quaff it up
Siegfried & Roy once again tapped the keg to kick off Oktoberfest at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas on Friday night. The place was slammed, loud, sweaty and there was serious oompah-oompah action from the house band. A real party.
S&R opened the annual festival for 13 straight years until last year, when Roy took the night off. The duo was back together for this year’s fete.
Siegfried still makes regular visits to the Secret Garden at Mirage. “I then go home and tell Roy all about my day, what I have seen and who I have met,” he said. “I always am reporting back to him.”
Siegfried is also working on the biopic about the duo, which was announced in July 2016. Philipp Stolzl, director of the 2013 period drama “The Physician,” is directing and that film’s screenwriter, Jan Berger, is drafting the script, with able assistance from Siegfried.
“We write, and we rewrite,” Siegfried said. “It is a lot of work.”
No casting or filming schedule has been finalized.
Mike Tyson made what is, so far, the Malaprop of the Year on Friday night during his “Undisputed Truth: Round 2” one-man show at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. He told the story of how he promised Muhammad Ali he would atone for Ali’s 1980 loss to Larry Holmes by knocking Holmes out himself when he turned pro.
“I was crying and I told Muhammad, ‘Someday, I’m gonna kick Larry King’s ass!” Tyson said, then caught himself and shouted, “Wait! Not Larry King! I wanted to kick Larry Holmes’ ass! I mixed up Larry Holmes and Don King!”
For a moment, I was worried about the safety of the legendary broadcaster …
Before the show, Tyson and Garrett, along with SPI Entertainment’s Adam Steck and his wife, Bri, announced a $27,000 donation to the Salvation Army for hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Garrett donated the ticket sales from Friday night’s show, and also “sweetened the pot.” SPI Entertainment kicked in $10,000.
Also at the show Friday night, comic actor Damon Wayans, and sportscaster Jim Gray, who interviewed Tyson throughout his career, including the infamous “Bite Fight” fight against Evander Holyfield at MGM Grand in June 1997.