Is Washington, D.C., ready for a Las Vegas-style casino resort just outside its famed beltway? MGM Resorts hopes so. The $1.4-billion MGM National Harbor stands to bring some Vegas glam to the East Coast when it opens Thursday.
Doors open 11 p.m. Thursday, but the hotel won’t be welcoming guests until Saturday.
MGM National Harbor is on the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, Md., south of the capital and not far from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which links Virginia and Maryland.
The resort brings a hotel with more than 308 rooms and suites, a 3,000-seat theater (in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment), an art collection (singer and Nobel Prize-winner Bob Dylan designed the metal sculpture that acts as a portal to the resort), a two-story conservatory (bigger than the one at Bellagio), a spa, pool and, of course, lots of food options.
Room prices start at $299 and suites at $399. Add $25 a day for the resort fee (tax included) that covers things like in-room Internet service, use of the fitness center and, of all things, notary service.
MGM skips standard buffet fare in favor of a farmers market where you can get things like a banh mi sandwich, upscale pizza or Shake Shack burger.
And then there are the oysters, a regional tradition. MGM will serve a “private-label oyster” exclusively farmed for the resort and called Lucky Shuck Oyster. (It plans to create its own craft beer and brewery too.)
Dining options range from a restaurant featuring chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio (Voltaggio Brother’s Steak House) and others by Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelsson.
The Bellagio Patisserie, a nod to its Las Vegas counterpart, will feature a 26-foot-tall chocolate fountain and serve European-style pastries.
Among the stores, “Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker will open a stand-alone boutique at the resort.
But back to the casino. It will feature 125 table games (including blackjack, roulette and craps) a poker room with 39 tables and more than 3,300 slot machines. (No need to walk away from your favorite machine; you can charge your cellphone or tablet on USB ports in the machine while you play.)
British rockers Duran Duran will play two concerts — New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1 —— at the concert venue. Tickets cost $125 to $300. Bruno Mars appears Dec. 27.
Info: MGM National Harbor, (844) 646-6847