I recently visited MGM Grand, a property I’d only ever had fond memories of but had not stepped foot in since indulging in 16 courses at the fancier of the two Robuchon restaurants over a decade ago. A relic of early 90s family-era Las Vegas, MGM’s theme celebrated classic Hollywood glamor. Having booked a two-bedroom Skyloft and several standard rooms for a potential birthday trip, I figured I’d walk through on a little reconnaissance mission—what will the table minimums be like for my friends and I, how are the public spaces holding up, and do I even like being here?
I took the pedestrian bridge from New York New York and was stunned upon entering: MGM is now a massive shithole. Yes, they care about updating their amenities—restaurants look great, rooms are solid enough, the pool is still a contender—but the casino itself looks like the kind of shabby movie theater Pee-Wee Herman got arrested in for yanking his dick.
This joint’s theme did not age well.
The table games sections are crowded and disorganized. The atmosphere feels akin to the neighborhood cinema you used to go to as a child that should have long been shuttered but is now a casual hangout for sex offenders/people in trench coats. I can’t seem to understand how MGM can update nearly everything and yet let the casino degrade into a dollar theater/cum depository. And don’t tell me it’s because food and beverage drop has overtaken casino—overpriced restaurants, overpriced drinks, overpriced nightclubs, overpriced shows, and overpriced shops get big business from the occasional winner feeling loose with their winnings. But why would anyone want to gamble at a casino that looks like it serves popcorn self-buttered with splooge?
Take a jackhammer to this place. Please.
“You’re an asshole!” says the reader oblivious that he’s reading Vegas Snob. Look, I’m not saying there isn’t room on the strip for a semen splattered cinema theme. If there were ever a place for a casino fashioned after a silver screen sperm bank, Vegas is the spot. But maybe a den of one-armed and one-handed bandits should consistently be $50-$100 per night less than a Mirage or Mandalay Bay.
Perhaps MGM wants to hang on to its roots but this classic Hollywood Art Deco to blow your wad in isn’t working. Disagree with me? Let me just look you up.
MGM Resorts, do to MGM what you did to Mirage. I promise there’s nothing I’ll miss. Give a little love to the casino and make it look less cummy.