What is ‘MGM’?
MGM stands for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an American media conglomerate that is now one of the leading entertainment brands on the planet. Initially famed for its motion picture productions from its Beverley Hills film studio, MGM has since developed a highly successful entertainment and hospitality arm, MGM Resorts International, operating a string of destination resorts – most notably in Las Vegas, New Jersey and Detroit.
The company operated under several guises, including Grand Name Co., MGM Grand Inc. and MGM Mirage. The founder was tycoon Kirk Kerkorian, who had a controlling stake in the MGM film studio. Kerkorian was inspired by the success of the Las Vegas Hilton hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard, which led him to pursue the development of the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, now known as Bally’s Las Vegas.
By the late 1970s, the MGM Grand Hotel casinos in both Las Vegas and Reno were generating the vast majority of MGM’s income. The decision was then made for MGM to splinter off into two separate companies – forming the film studio as a separate entity to MGM Grand Hotels Inc.
Construction of the new MGM Grand Las Vegas, which exists today, began in 1991 at a cost of $1 billion. Then followed a string of investments in Las Vegas, notably the New York-New York Hotel and Casino (opened in 1997), before acquiring the Mirage Resorts in 2000 for $4.4 billion, giving MGM full ownership of the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Golden Nugget and Boardwalk hotels and casinos throughout Las Vegas.
MGM then entered merger talks with the Mandalay Resort Group in 2004, securing an $7.9 billion deal that would give MGM Resorts International ownership of over 50% of the hotel rooms and casinos located along the Las Vegas Boulevard strip.
MGM Resorts International doesn’t just have a controlling interest in Las Vegas, however. It owns the hotels in Massachusetts, Maryland and Mississippi, as well as developing its overseas portfolio with the MGM Macau resort. As of 2013, MGM Resorts International boasted assets totalling more than $26 billion.