Treasure Island – History

Treasure Island was opened by Mirage Resorts in 1993 under the direction of Steve Wynn at a cost of US$450 million. It was designed by architect Joel Bergman. The initial plans called for a tower addition to The Mirage, but later evolved into a full-fledged separate hotel casino resort. Treasure Island originally intended to attract families with whimsical pirate features and icons such as the skull-and-crossbones strip marquee, a large video arcade, and staged pirate battles nightly in “Buccaneer Bay” in front of the casino entrance on the Strip.

In 2003, the hotel largely abandoned its pirate theme for a more contemporary resort with a focus on adult amenities and services. The original arcade and kid-friendly pool areas were replaced with an adult-friendly hot tub, contemporary nightclub and party bar. The famous skull-and-crossbones sign at the Strip entrance was replaced by one reading simply “TI” that is also a large LCD video screen. The exterior color of the hotel was also changed from a light orange to a darker maroon color.

On December 15, 2008, MGM Mirage announced the resort would be sold for US$775 million to Phil Ruffin, former owner of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. Ruffin took full ownership of the hotel and casino resort on Friday, March 20, 2009.

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