The Luxor and the Excalibur are considered to be Mandalay Bay sister properties and they are connected to the hotel by the Mandalay Bay Tram. Circus Circus Enterprises is responsible for the construction of all three towers and they were already built before the properties were sold to MGM Resorts International.
Circus Circus Enterprises was the original owner of the towers, as they purchased the Hacienda back in 1995. They would then decide to close the Hacienda in December 1996 and implode the structure just in time for New Year’s Eve. From there, the Mandalay Bay building project was then introduced.
Mandalay Bay was given a Hawaiian theme during its earliest incarnation and was originally known as Project Paradise. The owners sank $950 million in the project and finally decided to change the name to Mandalay Bay in early 1998. The name of the hotel was always curious to outside observers, who could not understand why the name was selected, when there are no actual bays in the Burmese city that the structure was named after.
Initial Construction Issues
The tower’s construction was fraught with problems, as engineers would soon discover that vertical movements were taking place and that there were major differences between the movements of the wings and the tower’s core. The core of Mandalay Bay was sinking at a rate of at least a half inch per week and the wings of the tower had begun to sink at an ever slower rate.
These different rates of sinking caused a great deal of differential distortion between each of the structure’s column bays and had these movements not been remedied, horrific structural damage would have taken place. Not only would structural damage have occurred, but the building would have also been placed at serious risk for an eventual collapse.
As a result, Mandalay Bay’s construction was then halted, as the construction team looked for a way to stem the tide. A solution was necessary and construction ceased until one was implemented. The solution? Pin piles (also known as micro piles) were installed. The pin piles were filled with grout and placed 200 feet below the structure.
They were then capped with the use of a hydraulic jack, which allowed the structure to become more stabilized. This provided Mandalay Bay with the stability it needed to carry its estimated weight, while maintaining the desired vertical height.
This solution worked like a charm and since it has been implemented, there have been no further reports about the building sinking or any kind of stability issues. Mandalay Bay opened in 1999 without incident, in a star studded ceremony that included Hollywood luminaries such as Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi.
The men rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles through the front doors in order to celebrate the hotel’s grand opening in March 1999. The hotel’s owners at this time, Circus Circus, would then decide to change their name to the Mandalay Resort Group in July of that same year.
Mandalay Bay is Completed