Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

June 26, 2006

Reader Trip Report: The Mirage

Posted by Hunter

Got a nice reader trip report from John Hall, one of our regulars. It's always good to get a recent perspective. Enjoy!

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I ran up to Vegas this weekend, for a quick little two night trip, and thought I might share some of my comments and criticisms from Mirage, Wynn, and Bellagio.

To get started, this was my first stay at Mirage, and it was in a few words “interesting”. It looks like, Scott Sibella (President and COO of The Mirage), is trying to increase the “luxury factor” at the Mirage, but from the looks of it, almost of every bit of Wynn styling is being taken away. First, almost all of the “Polynesian style” canopies, that used to cover all of the gaming pits, are gone (there are still some in a few areas of the casino), MGM or Mr. Sibella, has installed the very bland Bellagio-esque signage throughout the Casino, the Lobby has been stripped of any exotic themeing and has been replaced with very modern, yet bland designs. Now, I don’t want to rag on the Mirage, because there are certain things, that MGM and Mr. Sibella have done, that really improve the property. I really like, what they have done with the High-limit lounge, the new LOVE theatre is amazing, and some of the new restaurants are very well-designed.

After I checked in on Friday, I ran over to Wynn, and there are some interesting changes happening over there. The new outer-set of doors (at the Esplanade entrance), seems to work, even though they should replace the flooring that separates the two-sets of doors (its to harsh, and was designed to be used in an outdoors environment). Wynn has set up a new ticket booth, in front of the doors to the Sugar and Ice patio, this little desk works in its space and will probably deter people from just going out onto the patio, and sitting there (that space really is reserved for Sugar & Ice customers). By the way, it looks like the “L” has fallen off of the Personal Shopping Service sign, so it is now, the Persona Shopping Service. One addition to the Esplanade that I don’t like, is the new scrolling marquee that Wynn stuck in the middle of the walkway between Graff and Dior. The little marquee has a nice design, but it looks so out of place, just smack dab in the middle of the Esplanade. Also, one little complaint, and this may be related to a comment Hunter made on his Audiowalk, a little over a week ago, but certain things throughout the resort, aren’t being kept up. Some of the light fixtures in the bathrooms were just COVERED in dust, the doors to the bathroom stalls, were covered in scuff marks, and needed to be cleaned up. This might have something to do with the fact, that Wynn is spend the majority of his time in Macau (that resort is opening in a few months), or it might be attributed to the fact, that Wynn can’t see these little things. However, I’ll still say that Wynn is, by far, the nicest and most luxurious resort on the Strip.

I caught the 7:30 showing of ‘O’ at Bellagio on Saturday, and I was, in a few words, amazed. The show was spectacular, and now I don’t know whether to see another Cirque show, or another Dragone show when I return in about two weeks. After the show, I ran to the North Valet at Bellagio, and I was able to catch a cab, without having to wait in that massive taxi line, and the Main Valet. I got to Mirage, just in time, for my 9:30 reservation at Kokomo’s, but it all seemed in vain. I checked in with the hostess, and she told me that it would be a few moments, and they would seat me (there were two parties ahead of me, when I checked in). Five minutes later, those two parties had been seated, and then two parties who had checked in after me, were seated. That really didn’t anger me, until another four parties, who had checked in ten minutes after me, were seated. The hostess, came up to me, and told me that my table was being cleared, and I should be seated in about two minutes. Fifteen minutes later, I was still waiting for my table. Finally, another hostess, explained to me, that they didn’t want to seat me at a four-setting table, and that when the first hostess told me my table was being cleared, that in actuality, there was still a couple finishing their meals. The second hostess offered me a cocktail, so I got a rum and coke, and just waited a little bit longer. Finally, and 10:15 (45 minutes after my reservation), I was seated. My waiter apologized for the wait, and offered me a free clam chowder. I accepted it, and gave him the rest of my order. The meal was good, it was definitely not on par with SW at Wynn, or Prime at Bellagio, but it was good. I finished, paid my check, and I came to the conclusion that I probably won’t be dining at Kokomo’s anytime in the near future.

All in all, this was a nice little trip up to Las Vegas, but I can’t wait for my next trip, in a couple of weeks. This time, I’ll be staying at Bellagio, seeing Phantom at Venetian, and either seeing Le Reve or Ka’. If anybody would like another trip report or pictures, I’d be more than happy to do.


Read archived comments (12 so far)
June 26, 2006 3:56 PM Posted by Mike E

Thanks a lot John! I enjoyed your read.

I like what they've done to Mirage even though they really are intentionally removing anything and everything remotely resembling Wynn design. I wonder if those remaining tiki canopies will be removed soon as that space is one of the few remaining parts of the casino that's still reminiscent of the "old Mirage".

Does Wynn really offer a personal shopping service or is that just a front to keep people away from what's really back there? Hunter? Anyone?

June 26, 2006 3:56 PM Posted by Mike E

Thanks a lot John! I enjoyed your read.

I like what they've done to Mirage even though they really are intentionally removing anything and everything remotely resembling Wynn design. I wonder if those remaining tiki canopies will be removed soon as that space is one of the few remaining parts of the casino that's still reminiscent of the "old Mirage".

Does Wynn really offer a personal shopping service or is that just a front to keep people away from what's really back there? Hunter? Anyone?

June 26, 2006 4:12 PM Posted by Hunter

They do and that office is the first thing behind that door (I checked once)... The other offices are further back, accessible via that door and another on the Esplanade.

June 26, 2006 5:40 PM Posted by detroit1051

John, thanks for your great report. I saw the new ticket booth in front of Sugar & Ice and never thought about the patio. You are observant. I also didn't see the scrolling marquee.
It's interesting how people perceive things differently. When I was at Bellagio last week, I thought how much I like the new signage which apparently is being used throughout the MGM Mirage properties. It may be bland, but it's legible and crisp looking. Too bad about your experience at Kokomo's. When I was there a few months back, I enjoyed my dinner, but I was disappointed in the new decor.
I'm looking forward to your next trip report to learn how you compare Bellagio and Wynn. If you have photos on the web, I'm sure we'd all like to see them, too.

June 26, 2006 5:51 PM Posted by John

Thanks for all the great comments.

About the MGM signage, I like the Bellagio/Mirage signage a lot better that the signage that was installed at TI. The one nice thing, is that MGM has put smal details into the arrows of the signs, that, if they were included in the wynn signage, are more apparent in the MGM signs (i.e.- the bottom dot on the Bellagio arrows, and a small rectagle at the bottom of the Mirage arrows).

Getting to Kokomo's, the meal itself was nice. My filet was just about perfect, and the clam chowder was delicious. The new decor is so New York, that it almost feels out of place with the existing changes at the Mirage, the few things that really annoyed me, were the lights they have installed over the wire/bullet things (one kept shining right in my eye) and that with the kokomo's bar located right next to one portion of the restaurant, the music at the bar, is drowning out the jazz tunes that are playing in the other parts of the restaurant.

One thing that going to be interesting to see, is what the existing kokomo's space will look like, when Japanois opens (they look like they are so close, that they could be integrated with one another).

On my next trip, I'll be sure to capture some pictures for everyone.

June 26, 2006 6:16 PM Posted by brian Fey

Thanks. I would love to see future TR's and general comments. As far as pics, I think I speak for everyone when I say, we would love to see progress pics of Encore, Palazzo, PCC, and Cosmo. Any or all would be very welcomed. I hope this trend does not keep up at Wynn. Last time I was there, it was as clean as any hotel in town. That in the past has been one of Wynn's upperhands. Even the Mirage when it was over a decade old, was spotless and kept perfect. Wynn must keep up this trend, thats one place he always stood above MGM, and the CC Group.

June 27, 2006 9:09 AM Posted by motoman

John, we'd love to hear your impressions of Bellagio and how it compares now to Wynn. Pics of the Bellagio signage if you can. Also, for curiosity's sake, comments on the current iteration of Le Reve.

I'll be at Wynn in late July and will send some pics of Encore's progress. Also detail of the Esplanade entrance (since it's of interest here), and the Residences at MGM if they let nonguests in, and CC. Open to requests for more as well.

June 27, 2006 9:20 AM Posted by motoman

....oops sorry, I meant "Signature at MGM Grand," not "Residences." Hunter, please correct the orig. comment if possible....

June 27, 2006 11:19 AM Posted by John

I wrote a comment last night, but it doesn't look like it has gone through.

There is one thing, in that comment, that I didn't mention, and it is that Bellagio hasn't changed the signage in the casino. All of the signage in the guest areas (main tower elevators, conference, lobby, and the via fiore shops) has been replaced with the MGM signage. I don't know if this is permanent, but it almost makes a nice contrast and separation between the two areas of the hotel.

June 29, 2006 1:51 AM Posted by John & Shirl

We used to love the tropical feel and look of the Mirage. We're staying at Wynn this trip and I doubt we'll even set foot in the mirage. From what we've seen in the photos (thanks Hunter!), we've seen enough. We were always Steve Wynn fans.... now even more so.

July 30, 2006 2:21 PM Posted by socalduck

When I was at the Mirage back in June I remarked to a blackjack dealer that I really liked the Tiki canopies, and was disappointed to see them go. They added a lot of character to the casino. She stated that the decision was made, in large part, in response to complaints from the dealers about poor air circulation/removal of cigarette smoke from under the canopies. Apparently the HVAC mechanicals were all updated during this last remodel.