The MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit, Michigan, is one of three casino resort hotels in the city, and one of four in the Detroit–Windsor area. The luxury resort hotel opened on July 29, 1999, with a grand event which included models and celebrities including Ashanti, Kid Rock, and fireworks. It is the first luxury casino resort hotel in a major metropolis outside of Las Vegas. Detroit is one of the largest American cities and metropolitan regions to offer casino resort hotels.
In 2005, the MGM Grand Detroit Casino was the subject of a possible sale when parent company MGM MIRAGE announced that it was acquiring rival casino company Mandalay Resort Group, owners of the MotorCity Casino. Due to Michigan state gaming laws prohibiting casino owners from acquiring or owning more than one casino in the state, MGM Mirage was forced to sell either the MGM Grand Detroit or the MotorCity casino. MGM MIRAGE had several serious buyers for the MGM Grand Detroit, but ultimately sold the MotorCity Casino to Marian Ilitch.
On December 13, 2005 the Michigan Gaming Control Board approved MGM Grand's plans for a permanent casino with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of casino space, 401 hotel rooms and an eight story self-parking garage to be located on John C. Lodge Freeway and Bagley Street, three to four blocks from the temporary casino. The facility has 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of meeting space for conferences and live performance seating for 1,200. The Casino is also rebuilding 3rd street into a two way boulevard to facilitate traffic movement around the site.
The permanent casino opened its doors to the public on October 3, 2007. The grand opening celebration attracted Hollywood stars. A Celebrity Poker Match was taped there for a televised release at a later date. The MGM Grand Detroit stands across from the DTE Energy Headquarters which includes a reflecting pool and landscaped areas.
Designers on the project include the joint venture of Hamilton Anderson Associates and the SmithGroup, both of Detroit, Cleo Design of Las Vegas, Carol Harris of Detroit, Lawrence Lee of California, Toni Chi of New York, and Super Potato out of Japan. The lead architects were Paul Tonti of the SmithGroup and Thomas Sherry of Hamilton Anderson Associates. In 2007, DTE Energy announced a major transformation of the area around its downtown headquarters into an urban oasis with parks, walkways, and a reflecting pool adjacent to the MGM Grand Detroit.
The metropolitan region's potential to attract super-sized crowds should not be underestimated. Just across the river, Caesars Windsor attracts about six million visitors annually. More than fifteen million people cross the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel annually. An estimated 46 million people live within a 300-mile (480 km) radius of Metro Detroit. Since 2000, the city has seen continuous annual increases in tax revenues from its casinos; the city estimates it will collect $178,250,000 in casino taxes alone for 2007, with the casino resorts open in 2008. On May 17, 2017, Chris Cornell, the frontman of the grunge band Soundgarden was found dead with a "band around his neck" in his room after performing at the Fox Theatre. It was officially ruled as a suicide by hanging.
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