If rumours are to be believed, the days for the Luxor Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip are numbered. This staple casino that opened in 1993 is soon to be demolished. According to Scott Roeben, the Las Vegas insider, the parent company MGM Resorts is planning to bring down the iconic pyramid, changing the Strip skyline forever.
In fact, the demolition of Luxor, as well as Excalibur, have been discussed for five years now. However, there has been no execution on the plans because of union contracts. The coronavirus pandemic has been the last nail in the coffin, speeding up the inevitable demise of Luxor.
It is to be noted that the physical assets of the resort and casino are owned by MGM Growth Properties – the real estate investment trust of MGM Resorts. Currently, Luxor has 4397 hotel rooms and casino sprawling 101000 square feet.
According to Roeben, Las Vegas has digressed in recent times from themed resorts. This is evident from the fact that MGM ditched the Wizard of Oz theme at MGM Grand and transformed its Monte Carlo into Park MGM. Another Strip resort that suffered because of these themed premises is Treasure Island. The casino doesn’t harp about its classic novel theme anymore and has dismissed its ‘Siren of TI’ in 2013, which was a free nightly show.
Talking about Luxor, the casino was opened south of Excalibur in 1993 on a budget of $375 million. It carries an Egyptian theme depicting the Red Pyramid, which is the largest of the three pyramids situated in Cairo. With 30 storeys, Luxor had opened to be the tallest building in the Strip. Worth noting is the fact the MGM has already invested $300 million to renovate the casino and 80% of the resort’s public area.
Fans of Luxor, however, are disappointed. One Shawn Smallman tweeted that for Las Vegas to survive, attracting families is important. Luxor and Excalibur are familiar, if not fancy. Losing the duo is painful, especially when people are already losing classics such as Frontier, Stardust and Riviera.
MGM Resorts has not made any official statement in this matter or dismissed the rumours. Although Scott Roeben is a trustful source of information, plans can always change, thus proving rumours to be untrue. A good example is a rumour that built up around Caesars Entertainment, claiming that the company is all set to demolish its Brazilian-themed Rio to make room for an MLB ballpark.
However, it turned out to be untrue and the resort was sold Eric Birnbaum’s Dreamscape Companies for $526.3 million. According to Birnbaum, there are no plans for demolishing the resort. In fact, he entered into a leaseback exchange spanning two years with Caesars Entertainment to run Rio for an annual rent of $45 million.