Upon completion sometime later this year, the ribbon will be cut by MGM Resorts International on its long-awaited $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor Resort & Casino just four miles from Alexandria, in Prince George’s County.
Meanwhile, a milestone was reached in January when MGM executives placed a small tree at the highest point of the 24-story concrete structure at National Harbor, Maryland during a topping-off ceremony. A small crowd of public officials, VIP’s and construction foremen braved the blistery 30-degree day as they joined the exec’s from MGM for the event held at the massive construction site. The following day nearly 8,000 job seekers attended the giant job fair held by MGM, to fil the approximate 3,600 positions for front desk clerks, bellmen, blackjack dealers, cocktail waitresses and other positions in time for training that starts in May, according to The Zebra.
The claim by several gaming experts is that the new casino could attract up to 25,000 visitors per day and rake in a $250 million annual profit, making it the most profitable casino in the United States. MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said the company’s vision for the casino encompasses a “contemporary and progressive design,” inspired by the natural landscapes and icons of Maryland, Virginia and the District. No part of the one million foot gaming complex is small-scale.
MGM’s plans for the mega-complex include 125,000 square feet of gaming floor with 36 table games, and 3,600 slot machines. Also included are 308 guestrooms and villas, 25,000 square feet of meeting space, a luxury spa, 5,000 square foot parking garage, 18,000 square feet of branded, high-end retail, and for concerts, shows and fights, a 3,000-seat entertainment theater. Top-notch dining at the casino’s 12 restaurants are expected to include culinary masters Marcus Samuelson, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, and José Andrés, who have plans to open outposts at the new resort.
In what Union Gaming Group analyst Chris Jones told investors was a good sign for the progress of the construction, MGM Resorts revealed in a recent filing that MGM National Harbor LLC had secured $525 million in funding for the development of the property. Recently, MGM officials boosted estimates of the cost of construction from their original $800 million estimate to $1.3 billion.
The sixth license to operate a casino in Prince George’s County was awarded to MGM Resorts International by Maryland voters in December 2013, and in May, 2014 construction began. In May 2015, the foundation was completed and last month, the garage and casino podium were finished as well. In keeping with their commitment of diversity and inclusion and to be proactive with neighbors in Alexandria and Prince George County, approximately 31 percent of contracts have been awarded to minority business enterprises, while close to 20 percent of the total labor hours in 2015 were performed by residents of Prince George County. In addition, MGM has made a $1 million commitment in contributions to worthy local non-profits, according to Lorenzo Creighton, the president and CEO of MGM National Harbor.