Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 5, 2007

The Mirage Replaces White Tigers With Burgers

Posted by Hunter

I got a press release this morning from MGM Mirage regarding a new restaurant going in at The Mirage. BLT Burger will be replacing the Habitat at the resorts' Southern-most Strip entrance.

This is another nail in the coffin of Siegfried and Roy's tenure at The Mirage. As for the restaurant, the press release states:

"BLT Burger's diverse menu will offer quality ingredients including beef (sirloin, short rib, chuck and brisket cut), American and Japanese Kobe, lamb and Ahi tuna burgers along with soft, no-frills buns. Onion rings and a variety of French fry options, including waffle-cut, sweet potato and chili cheese, will complement the meal. An array of milkshakes in classic and spiked varieties will be available along with a selection of ice cream floats. Nostalgic glass-bottled sodas, innovative cocktails, as well as a focused selection of wine and beer will quench every guest's thirst."


Read archived comments (21 so far)
November 5, 2007 3:22 PM Posted by steve_c

I was hoping they would remodel this area to still include the tigers. I guess times change. This is a good thing though as far as restaurants at the Mirage go. It would be nice to have a nice burger place.

November 5, 2007 3:22 PM Posted by Tim

Mmm... white tiger burgers.

November 5, 2007 3:53 PM Posted by Dave

A sad day for Las Vegas. It won't be the same without the sleeping tigers on display.

What exactly is a "spiked" milkshake? Something with more sugar and less alcohol than the classic yard-long margarita, maybe (if that's possible).

On the other hand, burgers are good. But will they have deep-fried pickles? I tried these at Strip Burger last weekend and I've got to say they were surprisingly good?

November 5, 2007 5:53 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Once again, MGM cares more about revenue than they do the customer experience. They have managed yet again, to squeeze more money out of a square inch of another property. I just wonder how long it will be, before the Fountains of Bellagio are replaced with a casino, or more rooms? I think City Center proves my point, if it does not make money directly, MGM things it serves no purpose. Little do they realize, that the reason Wynn beats them in almost every single catagory, is because he knows it takes the things like Gardens, and Lakes, and all these big, expensive non revenue generating things, to make us willing to pay $6 for a bag of potato chips, and not think a thing about it.

November 5, 2007 8:16 PM Posted by a

could the tigers move to wynn?

November 6, 2007 1:41 AM Posted by mike_ch

Now, now. This was, at best, a poorly designed area. There was never anywhere to "hold" the crowds, stores and restaurants were all around, and to make it worse this is an entrance/exit too. Furthermore, the cats don't perform in a big production anymore and one's involvement in the situation why only further diminishes the attraction's value.

C'mon, fess up: Who here, after coming to Mirage for the first time after the accident, walked past the kitty tank and DIDN'T think "I wonder if this is where they're holding 'the one?'" Furthermore, I'd venture to say the cats rarely looked happy in there. Many times I'd see them wandering around with their mouths always open constantly pawing at the door to get out (i.e. hungry.) Despite the advertising, you rarely saw more than one in there for all practical purposes.

They just reopened the aquarium and it's cleaner and nicer than ever. And no, Wynn himself insists that it was a mistake to make the sacrifices he made in the resort to give Bellagio all the free sights it as. I'm not sure I agree with that, but it is what it is.

Finally, the Mean Green Machine down the street runs a free lion exhibit that's still packing them in, so I don't think this was made at that kind of high up corporate level. I'm betting this was made at the resort president level, and I'm guessing someone had some surveys done, or looked at the nearby shop returns, or saw something they felt justified this.

Let the dog have his bone.

November 6, 2007 1:47 AM Posted by mike_ch

Just to clarify my own catchphrases, what I meant in my last paragraph is that MGM-Mirage still runs a successful lion attraction at MGM Grand. And everytime I'm by there lately, the lions are active and doing things and there's more than one at at time and staff are in there and playing and nuzzling with them and they're just generally getting more attention and energy than the ones at Mirage who are basically sent to the pen and left there until I presume a little timer somewhere goes "ding."

I don't know why I started calling MGM Grand "the mean green machine." Some would argue fairly that such a title belongs to Sheldon Adelson, but the building is very green and I lose money there almost 100% of the time, so it works.

November 6, 2007 5:11 AM Posted by detroit1051

"Let the dog have his bone."
I thought we were talking about cats. LOL.
I agree with Mike_ch. Things were different when S&R were performing at The Mirage. It's time to close that exhibit. I was concerned about the lion habitat when it opened at MGM Grand, but after reading about the cats' "work schedule" and their environment away from the property, the lions are as well cared for as any animals in captivity can be, and as Mike pointed out, the staff keeps them alert and interested.

November 6, 2007 10:58 AM Posted by Mike P.

Another thing about white tigers - they're just a color variation. Breeders crank them out by the hundreds, and they usually end up cross-eyed and stupid because they're heavily inbred.

Siegfried and Roy may do good things for animal conservation, but raising white tigers for their act certainly wasn't among them.

I've photographed just about every large cat species, both in the wild and captivity, and tigers are my least favorite. That's the one species of cat that will seriously try to eat you even if it's not hungry. They also instinctively jump anything with its back turned, and that trait is nearly impossible to train out of them.

November 6, 2007 2:59 PM Posted by Yuelulu

That area always bothered me. It was just too narrow to allow for easy entrance / exit while a bunch of 'tourists' are facing a wall of glass.
With that said, I'm sorry to see it go. It was such an exciting time in vegas when those changes were being made.
I wonder if Mirage will market the burger joint as a 'sleek, modern, exclusive upscale establishment. Reservation recommended. Bottle service available.'

November 6, 2007 6:16 PM Posted by BigRedDogATL

I went to the MGM Mirage corporate site and read the complete press release. No where in it does it say anything about the White Tiger display going away or where within the resort the BLT Burger will be placed.

Please post the section of the press release that says the Tiger Display is going away.

November 6, 2007 6:24 PM Posted by Hunter

That info isn't in the press release (which, for those that are curious is here:

When I got the release I was curious (and I suspected that location) so I got in touch with my friends at MGM Mirage PR and they confirmed it... I go above and beyond for you guys - I don't just publish press releases!

It's not that the tiger habitat is closing, it's already closed from what they told me.

November 6, 2007 6:26 PM Posted by Hunter

Also note that the relevant section of confirms:

November 9, 2007 12:58 AM Posted by motoman

"I go above and beyond for you guys - I don't just publish press releases!"

Dang, Hunter. Putting some "real" journalists to shame.... ;-)

November 9, 2007 12:59 AM Posted by motoman

"I wonder if Mirage will market the burger joint as a 'sleek, modern, exclusive upscale establishment. Reservation recommended. Bottle service available.'"

Too funny, Yuelulu!

November 9, 2007 1:12 AM Posted by motoman

"Just to clarify my own catchphrases,... "

mike_ch, Mean Green Machine is perfect! I've often pondered how far Mr. Kerkorian has come in the many years since the International, and how explosive his company has become with the rapid-fire acquisitions of Mirage Resorts and the Mandalay (nee CircusCircus) chain. And alas, how different things might've been for Mr. Wynn if only....

Just to get this back on topic, I look fwd to a "spiked" milkshake on a hot Vegas summer day. Mmm....

November 9, 2007 2:00 PM Posted by socalduck

I'm actually suprised they waited this long to start easing out the tigers. At some point in time, I have to believe MGM will reclaim the tiger habitat and even the aquarium and replace it with either another tower or some other revenue-generating endeavor. That entire area seems under-utilized.

November 9, 2007 2:06 PM Posted by Hunter

You mean the spot in back? Yeah, I could see that for sure.

November 10, 2007 9:58 AM Posted by soclalduck

Yes, the dolphin habitat in back. I should have been more specific!

November 11, 2007 6:46 AM Posted by detroit1051

Hunter was way ahead of the RJ on this story:

November 13, 2007 4:34 PM Posted by Heather

On behalf of my 6year old son, He would like to say that this is just horrible. It's bad enough that there are not things for kids to do here in Vegas, but to take away one of the best attractions. I'm sure when my son's school finds out that many, many children will be heartbroken.