Mandalay Bay celebrates 2 decades on the Las Vegas Strip

Local News

Mandalay Bay is turning 20 years old Saturday. The property first opened March, 2, 1999.

Mandalay Bay has withstood the test of time adding new features to the properly through its history on the Las Vegas Strip.

But it has seen its share of good and bad days over the last two decades.

It was an explosive beginning to what would become the Mandalay Bay. The Hacienda hotel and casino didn’t go down easily.

On New Year’s Eve 1996, the property was imploded to make way for the brand new resort and casino.

Construction of the “tropical themed” property didn’t go smoothly. Problems with the soil led to the hotel sinking 17 inches, one wing settled at eight inches, and the other around two inches.

But after a few hiccups, Mandalay Bay finally opened with a price tag of $950 million.

“It’s kinda mind blowing when you actually walk through it and actually see it in real life,” said Brandon Allen.

In the years following its grand opening, Mandalay Bay built a convention and event center, a second tower first known as “The Hotel,” and operates a Four Seasons on the top floors of the main tower.

It also welcomed a number of shows and restaurants and is home to one of the nation’s largest saltwater aquariums.

“It seems like it’s a staple because it’s the first thing you see when you fly in,” said Julie Allen, North Carolina. “It’s the first, the last thing you see when you fly out.”

It survived the economic downturn in 2008 when thousands of employees lost their jobs.

Then in 2017, tragedy struck when a gunman opened fire from the 32-second floor, killing 58 people at a country music concert and injuring hundreds of others.

A spokesperson for Mandalay Bay says there are no public events planned for its 20th birthday.

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