MGM Grand puts on finishing touches before grand opening

Detroit — The beds are made. The tables are set. And the poker chips are stacked.

But as the USD 800 million MGM Grand Detroit casino, hotel and entertainment complex readies for its gala opening Tuesday, workers spent the weekend scurrying about the massive property, attending to last-minute details.

On Sunday, workers checked ceiling lights, installed televisions, adjusted the hood over a grill at the restaurant Palette, and folded shirts at Essentials, a women’s boutique.

„Last-minute touches are being applied all over the property over the next two days and I know our team is anxious for the opening so we can open our doors and welcome the community,“ said John Hutar, MGM‘s vice president of hotel operations.

The city’s first permanent casino and hotel complex will officially open at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, following a day of festivities.

The only glitch in MGM Grand’s plans to open its 100,000-square-foot casino could come with a shutdown in state government services. While a circuit court judge ruled Friday that the city’s three casinos could remain open during a shutdown, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office has filed an appeal. The state Court of Appeals will review the appeal today.

No matter what happens at the state level, the hotel and restaurant will open; the only question mark could be whether gaming is allowed. MGM Grand will go ahead with plans to open its 17-story, 400-room luxury hotel and restaurants Wednesday. The 1 million-square-foot complex includes a full-service spa, two upscale retail stores and 30,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

MGM Grand is the only one of the city’s three casinos to build its permanent facility from the ground up. MGM closed its temporary casino at 2:30 a.m. Sunday to make the transition to the new site.

Workers prepare for new jobs

Over the weekend, workers stocked kitchen pantries and bar shelves, finished construction of a lobby fountain, and filled the hotel’s indoor pool. They removed plastic covers from hundreds of chairs, placed fresh roses in the hotel’s „living room“ and adjusted floral arrangements in the lobby.

„There is so much going on right now,“ said Scott Grigg, director of public relations at MGM Grand. „There are a million things that need to be done. But it will all be done by opening.“

For MGM, a big part of the opening-day preparations has included training employees.

Valet attendants have been getting hands-on training, thanks to management employees who have been using the valet service the past several days.

Management and other staff have been staying in the hotel so housekeepers can perfect making beds and cleaning.

The kitchen staff hasn’t been left out. For the past week, workers have been eating at the restaurants to test the fare and to give the wait staff practice in everything from presenting plates to pouring water.