Mirage?s Secret Garden And Dolphin Habitat Permanently Closing

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on November 25, 2022
The Mirage on the Vegas Strip already begun making changes

When Hard Rock International signed the agreement with MGM to acquire Mirage in December 2021, the company also announced significant changes to the Nevada casino were going to happen.

Possession of Mirage is still moving from MGM Resorts to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Hard Rock brand’s owner, which acquired the property for $1.08 billion last month.

While the agreement is expected to close soon, the first big change of many is already happening to the property.

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat permanently closing

MGM and Hard Rock made a joint statement which was first sent to Mirage employees on Nov. 22.

In a joint message, interim Mirage president Franz Kallao and Hard Rock Las Vegas president Joe Lupo announced that Mirage is closing one of its long-standing attractions.

The company made a decision to permanently close Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The statement says:

“Hard Rock’s leadership team has spent several months considering options and discussing the facility openly with your leadership teams at both The Mirage and MGM Resorts.

As Hard Rock has thought about its vision for The Mirage post-close, the team has determined that the best course of action is to wind down and, eventually, permanently close the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat prior to the commencement of construction of the Guitar Hotel and other planned transformational redevelopments of The Mirage.”

The Secret Garden has been closed since Sept. 25, 2022, after the death of the 11-year-old dolphin, K2. It was the third dolphin death that occurred at Siegfried and Roy since the beginning of the year.

The attraction opened in 1990 and has been the home of the famous white tigers. As well as seven bottlenose dolphins, lions, leopards, an umbrella cockatoo and a two-toed sloth.

Other changes to recently bought Nevada casinos on the Strip

When a major property on the Las Vegas Strip changes owners, the new owner usually wants to stamp their mark on it.

When Bally’s finalized its $148 million purchase of Tropicana, it made signage changes to indicate the new owner’s loyalty program. Apart from that, not much has changed. That is until the new owner decides what to do with the legendary Nevada casino next.

A similar change has happened at Cosmopolitan, which MGM Resorts International recently acquired. The new owner has switched its casino rewards program but has not changed anything else, yet.

Photo by AP Photo/John Locher
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for Playin USA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario?s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master?s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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