Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian

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Original MGM Grand Vegas

Original MGM Grand Vegas

Kerkorian's Vegas Start

Known as one of the most important figures in shaping Las Vegas, Kirk Kerkorian made his first visit to Las Vegas in 1944 as a Cessna pilot. In 1962, Kerkorian bought 80 acres in Las Vegas, across The Strip from the Flamingo, for $960,000. This purchase led to the building of Caesars Palace, which rented the land from Kerkorian; the rent and eventual sale of the land to Caesars in 1968 made Kerkorian $9 million!

In 1967, he bought 82 acres of land on Paradise Road in Las Vegas for $5 million. With architect Martin Stern, he built the International Hotel, which at the time was the largest hotel in the world.

The first two performers to appear at the hotel's enormous Showroom Internationale were Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley. Presley brought in some 4,200 customers (and potential gamblers), every day, for 30 days straight, breaking in the process all attendance records in the city's history.

Kerkorian's International Leisure also bought the Flamingo Hotel (which later sold the Flamingo to the Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1970). The International Hotel is known today as the Las Vegas Hilton. Until about 2000, the Flamingo was known as the Flamingo Hilton.

MGM Grand History

In 1973, Kirk Kerkorian purchased MGM, the famous movie studio. Again with the architect Martin Stern, Kerkorian and MGM opened the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, which was the largest hotel in the world at the time it was finished.

On November 21, 1980, the original MGM Grand Las Vegas burned in a fire that was one of the worst disasters in Las Vegas history. The Las Vegas Fire Department reported 84 deaths in the fire; there were 87 deaths total, including three which occurred later as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. Amazingly, the MGM Grand Las Vegas reopened after only 8 months.

Almost three months after the MGM fire, the Las Vegas Hilton caught fire, killing eight people.

In 1986, Kerkorian sold the MGM Grand hotels in Las Vegas and Reno for $594 million to Bally. Spun off from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM Mirage owns and operates several properties, including the Bellagio, the current MGM Grand resort complex (where the Marina Hotel once stood), The Mirage, Treasure Island, the New York-New York, and what was once the Boardwalk in Las Vegas. They also bought the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Circus Circus and Excalibur on the Las Vegas Strip.

Kerkorian Present Day

A second-generation Armenian - his father came to America a century ago - Kerkorian has been a generous benefactor of his ancestral home, building roads and restoring an opera house. Armenians have tried to name an avenue or airport after him, but according to the country's US ambassador, Kerkorian does not want it.

Mr. Kirk Kerkorian is the Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director and stockholder of Tracinda Corp. He is the largest shareholder of General Motors.

Kerkorian had a professional relationship with MGM Studios and its predecessors for over 25 years. He has been a Director of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. since October 1996 and Member of Executive Committee. Mr. Kerkorian has been a Director of MGM Mirage since 1987.

His holding company, the Tracinda Corporation, said in a regulatory filing that he intended to enter into negotiations with MGM Mirage to buy the Bellagio, a premier Las Vegas casino-hotel, and also the partly built CityCenter, another Las Vegas property that many consider the most expensive privately financed project in American history. The final price tag for the two properties, analysts said, could exceed $12 billion.

Early Vegas Travel Info
  Hotel Info Nightly Rate*
1.

Region: South Strip, Strip

Mandalay Bay
4

The impressive Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino offers a world of possibilities in one of the most all-inclusive, luxurious resorts in Las Vegas. The giant complex truly offers something for everybody, from the 11-acre pool...

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Rates starting at
$375*



2.

Region: Off-Strip

Palms
4

The Palms Resort is one of the best party hotels in Las Vegas. Droves of trend-setters set out to stay at the hotel and experience upscale dining, nightlife and entertainment that is ammassed at the Palms. If you want to...

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Rates starting at
$94*



3.

Region: Strip

ARIA
5

One of the freshest faces on the Strip belongs to the Aria, a curvillinear wonder in the heart of CityCenter. With state-of-the-art guest rooms and an earth friendly philosophy, the Aria Resort and Casino stands alone in...

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Rates starting at
$0*



4.

Region: Strip

MGM Grand
4

Surprises await around every corner for visitors to the massive MGM Grand. Excellent attractions and the hottest pool party in the city, Wet Republic, make for an exciting and unique visit to one of the largest hotels on...

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Rates starting at
$118 you pay $112*



5.

Region: Strip

Mirage
4

From the moment you experience your first volcano eruption standing in front of the sprawling resort and casino, you'll know this Las Vegas vacation is sure to be unforgettable. The Mirage Resort and Casino offers...

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Rates starting at
$122*



6.

Region: South Strip, Strip

NY NY
4

Transport yourself from the Nevada desert to the heart of Manhattan at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. The unmistakable facade features replicas of the Big Apple's brightest stars including the Statue of Liberty...

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Rates starting at
$113*



7.

Region: North Strip, Strip

Circus Circus
3

For family-friendly fun for your Las Vegas vacation, the Circus Circus offers more entertainment options than any other hotel on the Strip. From the world's largest permanent circus to Adventuredom, a huge indoor theme...

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Rates starting at
$35 you pay $21*



8.

Region: Henderson, Off-Strip, Southeast

Green Valley Ranch
4

Green Valley Ranch Resort is ideal for a spa weekend getaway. After indulging in a Seaweed Detox Wrap at the on-site spa, guests can retreat to their deluxe rooms with beds featuring highend Frette linens.


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Rates starting at
$230*



9.

Region: Off-Strip, Strip

The Signature Las Vegas
4

Providing luxury accommodations, The Signature at MGM Grand perfect for families. The rooms feature a fully-equipped kitchen and a spacious bathroom with a jetted tub. While The Signature is a non-gambling, non-smoking...

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Rates starting at
$135 you pay $128*



10.

Region: Strip

Bellagio
5

Besides the world famous fountain show happening in front of the hotel, the Bellagio Hotel and Casino offers a world of possibilites inside its doors as well. From the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to the stunning Cirque...

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Rates starting at
$0*



11.

Region: Strip

Monte Carlo
4

The French-Riviera inspired Monte Carlo Resort and Casino attracts guests looking to escape into a world of class and luxury, with fine dining, a high stakes casino and a strong line-up of Las Vegas headliners. The...

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Rates starting at
$114*



12.

Region: Off-Strip

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
4

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is fast becoming one of the hottest destinations for vacationers looking to party. A meal at their excellent restaurant Nobu is a great starting point for an unforgettable even in their...

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Rates starting at
$57 you pay $46*



Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian
The builder and operator of three consecutive 'world's largest hotels', Kirk Kerkorian holds the title as the longest reigning King of Las Vegas.

In 1969, Kerkorian appointed James T. Aubrey, Jr. MGM's president. Aubrey downsized the struggling MGM and sold off massive amounts of historical memorabilia, including Dorothy's ruby slippers (from The Wizard of Oz). Kerkorian sold MGM's distribution system in 1973, and gradually distanced himself from the daily operation of the studio. In 1979, Kerkorian issued a statement claiming that MGM was now primarily a hotel company; however, he also managed to expand the overall film library and production system with the purchase of United Artists in 1981. In 1986 he sold the studios to Ted Turner. Turner kept ownership of the combined MGM/UA for 74 days. Both studios had huge debts and Turner simply could not afford to keep them under those circumstances; to recoup his investment, he sold all of United Artists and the MGM trademark back to Kerkorian. The studio lot was sold to Lorimar-Telepictures, which was later acquired by Warner Bros.; in 1990, the lot was sold to Sony Corporation's Columbia TriStar Pictures in exchange for the half of Warner's lot they'd rented since the 1970s. Also in 1990, the MGM studio was purchased by Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti, but Parretti defaulted on the loans he'd used to buy the studio and sold the studio back to Kerkorian in 1996. In 2005 Kerkorian sold MGM once more to a consortium led by Sony. He retains a 55% stake in MGM Mirage. On 22 November 2006 Kerkorian's Tracinda investment corporation offered to buy 15 million shares of MGM Mirage to increase his stake in the gambling giant to 61.7% from 56.3%, if approved.