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The Mirage: Las Vegas Casino and Hotel

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The Mirage is the casino that revolutionized tourism and gambling in Nevada. When it was constructed on the Strip in 1989 it was the most expensive building of its type to ever be built ($630 million). After reversing the decline in Vegas Tourism, all of the modern mega-resorts of the Strip began appearing, and in no time at all the entire face of Las Vegas changed. Today, the Mirage is aging but it is still a major player in the mega-resort industry. If you want to learn more about the Mirage and what it has to offer, read on.

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Luckily for all of us, the hotel rooms in the Mirage are getting a face lift. It's nothing too serious, but for a while there I was wondering if they would ever get around to modernizing things. The drab 90's-styled decor is slowly being phased out as they bring in new furniture including plasma TV's in every room. In fact, by the time you read this, every room may have been taken care of. These new rooms (not pictured below) are perfectly clean and comfortable, although the old stuff was kept in excellent condition. There are a ton of attractions at the Mirage besides the casino. In fact, that's what it means to be a mega-resort. The Mirage swimming pool is one of the most popular pools on the strip, and as such, you should get an early start if you are interested. It opens at 9:00 am and if you show up after 10:00 (especially on weekends) you may have some waiting to do. Once you get a spot, you can get the pool-side service, which isn't amazing, but you are getting food delivered to you while you lay in the sun... so how can you complain.

The single most well-known attraction at the Mirage is the world-famous volcano. Every night after the sun goes down, the waterfall in front of the hotel slows to a trickle and real fire bursts into the night sky! The volcano erupts every 15 minutes, without fail until midnight, and best of all, it is free! The flames are so intense that, on a calm night, you can actually feel the heat from across the street. The hotel room walls are not perfectly sound proof. Expect to hear at least some noises from next door and the hallway.

The dining options are pretty standard for a las vegas casino. You've got the steak house, the buffet (with an awesome omelet bar!), a Mexican restaurant, and a handful of fast food places. I know a lot of people recommend the Carib Cafe, but for your money, just go get a couple slices of bread and some cheese from Walmart. In fact, that might even be better! The 100,000 square foot casino that graces the ground floor of the Mirage is the quintessential Las Vegas gambling den. By that I mean that its got a lot of games, waitresses, perks, flare, and it's downright huge! If you are into the slots, you should know that they are notoriously tight here, and there is often a shortage of blackjack tables on the weekend. Luckily the Mirage is great about 'comping' meals so make sure you charge your food to the room, and at least you can almost get your money back. Did you notice the gold shimmer of the building? That's because all of the windows actually have a small amount of real gold in them! It's the craps player who really should look elsewhere though.

As with most Las Vegas casinos, when you pull up next to one of the eight craps tables at the Mirage, you are faced with 3-4-5x odds and limits from $5-$5000. If you are just throwing a couple prop. bets in, then that's not an issue, but a serious craps player can do better. Consider walking five minutes to get to Casino Royale where you can take advantage of 100x odds. If you aren't familiar with the odds bet, here is a good overview: Craps Odds Bet.

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