Rumors

Luxor Las Vegas Demolition Rumors Spread, Insiders Say Days Numbered for MGM Casino

The Luxor Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip has been a staple of the city skyline since it opened in 1993. But the iconic pyramid could be facing a much shorter existence than its ancient counterparts in Egypt.

The Las Vegas skyline could be forever changed should the gossip prove true regarding the Luxor pyramid being demolished. (Image: Ethan Miller/Getty)

Scott Roeben, the Las Vegas insider who has more sources than an encyclopedia and runs the popular Twitter account Vital Vegas, says Luxor parent company MGM Resorts is strongly considering demolishing the budget and family-friendly Strip property.

Our sources say company officials have discussed demolition of both Luxor and Excalibur for at least five years, but have been unable to proceed due to union contracts. It’s possible the COVID-19 shutdown has paved the way for what’s to come for Luxor,” Roeben explained.

MGM Resorts’ real estate investment trust MGM Growth Properties owns the physical assets of Luxor. Today, it has 4,397 hotel rooms, and casino floor measuring 101,000 square feet.

Roeben went on to say that Las Vegas has pivoted away from themed resorts in recent years. MGM has already transformed Monte Carlo into Park MGM, and largely done away with the “Wizard of Oz” theme at MGM Grand.

Another Strip resort to fold on its original theme includes Treasure Island. Now known as TI, the casino no longer inundates guests with themes of the treasured adventure novel, and it canned its free nightly show “Sirens of TI” in 2013.

End of Era?

Built at a cost of $375 million, Luxor opened just south of Excalibur on October 15, 1993. Named after the town in Egypt, the Luxor pyramid on the Strip is modeled after the Red Pyramid, the largest of the three major pyramids found at the Dahshur necropolis in Cairo.

When Luxor opened, the 30-story resort was the tallest structure on the Strip.

Though MGM has invested in renovations to the Egyptian-themed casino, including a $300 million project in 2007 to remodel 80 percent of the resort’s public areas to focus more on adults, the building’s design makes it nearly impossible to fully move away from its original motif.

There are plenty of Luxor fans who fretted the Vital Vegas news.

“If Las Vegas is to survive, maybe they need to get back to attracting families,” said Shawn Smallman on Twitter. “I personally like both Luxor and Excalibur.” “I don’t care if it’s not fancy, it’s another place I love,” said another Twitter user. “We already had to deal with the pain of losing classics like Stardust, Frontier, and Riviera.”

Just Rumors

MGM Resorts has made no official comment on the Luxor rumors, so for now, fans of the property shouldn’t overly worry. And while Roeben’s track record is solid, Las Vegas is ever-changing and plans – and rumors – often change.

Last year, there were rumblings around town that Caesars Entertainment was actively moving towards demolishing the Brazilian-themed Rio. Rumors suggested the decision was to make way for a MLB ballpark.

It turned out not to be the case, as the off-Strip resort was sold for $526.3 million to Eric Birnbaum’s Dreamscape Companies. Birnbaum says there are no plans to demolish the resort, and he has entered into a two-year leaseback exchange with Caesars for the casino company to operate Rio for $45 million in annual rent.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with Casino.org in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email: devin.oconnor@casino.org

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  • Leave the Luxor, Excalibur, & Stratosphere ALONE!! I was just in Vegas for 13 days & spent 4 nights @ Luxor and gambled at all 3. Rooms in Luxor were nice and Excalibur is definitely a family friendly spot in a sea of indiscretion. The thrill rides on top of Stratosphere are fun and reasonably priced. Bartender there was really friendly and accommodating to the small group I was with. Keep these 90s classics as the new stuff is all fancy and redundant now.

  • I understand that casinos come and go (Stardust, Frontier, Maxim, Rivirera, Sands) But None of those or any other I can think of are as iconic a building/structure as the Luxor. The spot light seen for miles before you arrive, or can even see the sky of the desert come alive with the bright lights of the strip are in sight. Yes, it might never had any of the legends of Las Vegas play there like, Elvis, or the Rat Pack, as the Riviera and Sands did, but you can't deny the awe of its architecture plus knowing theirs no other casino/hotel like it in the world! Revamp/update/remodel, YES, demolish, HELL NO!!

  • THE MAJESTIC LUXOR MUST REMAIN on the Vegas Strip! It is the most recognizable, incredible and iconic Casino/Hotel that was ever created in Vegas! The open interior of the Pyramid is astounding and the Inclinator Elevator is a crowning achievement of architecture and design! MGM is the worst Corporation ever! No imagination at all and questionable in their decisions, aesthetic and choices of action regarding their line of hotels in Vegas! MGM came in as a destructive big corporation raider and systematically have ruined and disassembled most of the themed hotels they have purchased in Vegas! Instead of tearing iconic hotels down....renovate and modernize them while keeping in the tradition they were originally conceptualized! Hire designers that know what they are doing....instead of the cheap renos you have forced upon your hotel line! My husband and I first stayed at the Luxor in 1997 and when we walked in...it was AWE inspiring...and people loved it! We even have a Papyrus framed that we purchased from a Luxor kiosk inscribed in hieroglyphics by a visiting Professor of Egyptology at the Hotel who personalized the hand painted scrolled artwork for us with our names and date written upon it! It's the best souvenir we ever bought in Vegas! MGM ...with your lack of imagination, you're chasing customers away....because regular hotels are a dime a dozen both off and on the strip! When visitors come to Vegas...they want to be wowed! We want the whole experience...the gambling, the exhibits, musical artists, fantastic shows, entertainment, great food, the lights and the iconic Hotels and the sights of the spectacular Vegas strip! If MGM continues down the path of destruction to the strip ....the Lion roars no more! You've become just another corporation looking to tear down....what stood so tall!

  • VitalVegas will print any rumor whether substantiated or not. This particular rumor makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. The replacement cost to build something comparable in size to the Excalibur or Luxor are well in excess of $3 billion (each). The Luxor did $125M and Excalibur $117M in EBITDA in 2019. If MGM were to demolish them and spend $3-4B per to replace them, the new properties would have to do $400M+ EBITDA per year (each) to generate the same kind of returns to investors. It's just plain stupid to believe this rumor.

  • These places are great. Doesnt anyone miss the old Sahara? Pictures from that place were amazing and fun. Planet Hollywood doesn't come close to it.

  • we stayed in the luxor for our honeymoon in 2016 from the uk everyday i was in awe of the building it would be a great shame as las vegas seems to be getting boring and playing it safe, i agree that excaliber could do with a refit as old decor but a big part of the attraction of las vegas is the crazy building designs if they demolish all the landmarks it will be a normal city glossed over with LED screens (and even those have lost the vegas magic) if you look at old vegas 60's 70's 80's 90's is looked magical they should try to recapture that that using new technology i hope the luxor will be there in a few years when we go back

  • The corporations have slowly de-themed the resorts over the past 10-15 years. I opened Paris, and to see how it looks now, is just sad, especially the Budweiser Beer Garden and that awful "wall" in front of the Opera House. I know that tastes mature and corporations are catering to tastes, but leave some things alone.

  • I've Actually stayed in the pyramid. It's amazing. going up the side of a pyramid in an elevator is an experience unlike any other. Having a room in the pyramid with the flat angled glass window, especially if you have the hot tub right under that window, is the coolest room ever!!
    The whole point of going to Vegas is to sightsee and to be a little cheesy. Just a bunch of fancy hotels up and down a street is anywhere in the world where they let you gamble. No big deal. You go to Vegas for the experience of New York New York and the roller coaster The Luxor pyramid and the Sphinx, The crazy shows and the magicians... The crazy green lights of the MGM and the giant lion are attractions. There's a lot of places you can go to stay at a hotel in gamble. That's not what Vegas is for. I don't even gamble and have been to Vegas five times. They don't need to tear the looks were down They just need to market that shit better. If people knew how cool those pyramid rooms were even just getting to ride in that elevator is so fun... They would be booked all the time.

  • Scott Roeben's track record is not "solid." He's the same guy who said that a Las Vegas expansion team was being announced in October 2019 by MLB and that the stadium would be near the South Point...that was all BS. His track record is more like "take everything he says with a grain of salt."

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Devin O'Connor