- The Mirage has renamed an entrance road into the property to honor iconic entertainers Siegfried and Roy.
- Siegfried and Roy performed at The Mirage for fourteen years.
- Roy Horn died in May at the age of 75 from complications related to COVID-19.
The Mirage reopened on Thursday after a closure of more than five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To commemorate the reopening MGM Resorts unveiled a long overdue tribute to iconic entertainers Siegfried and Roy. Siegfried and Roy–dubbed ‘The Masters of Illusion’–headlined at The Mirage from 1990-2003 and in the process redefined the scope and scale of Las Vegas shows.
The duo will be forever associated with The Mirage in more ways than one. When guests turn off of Las Vegas Boulevard to enter the property they will travel on what is now known as Siegfried and Roy Drive. Siegfried Fischbacher was in attendance at The Mirage and seemed legitimately thrilled by the honor:
“I’m touched by this honor and I know Roy, if he were here, would love to see our names permanently placed above The Strip. The Mirage was our performance home for so many years and this city has always meant so much to both of us.”
Roy Horn died on May 8, 2020 at the age of 75 due to complications from COVID-19.
MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle made this statement at the unveiling:
“Siegfried & Roy helped us launch The Mirage and it is fitting their legacy helps us reopen today. Their incredible show played a tremendous role putting The Mirage on the map. Today, we put them on the Las Vegas map, forever.”
LAS VEGAS STREETS HONOR THE LEGITIMATE LEGENDS THAT BUILD THE CITY
One of the cool things about Las Vegas is that their street names honor individuals that really made a difference. Many cities and states name streets after political hacks, military types and government parasites. Las Vegas has streets named for people who actually accomplished something. There are streets named after casino developers like Bob Stupak and Wilbur Clarke, visionaries like Howard Hughes and Jay Sarno and legendary entertainers like Mel Torme, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
Siegfried & Roy definitely belong in that pantheon of show biz greats. It’s impossible to overstate their impact on Las Vegas. My personal love for Las Vegas dates back almost precisely to the opening of The Mirage and the start of Siegfried and Roy’s dominant run. For over a decade, it was impossible to conceive of the city without the duo’s white tigers holding court in the Mirage foyer and ads for S&R plastered all over town. The duo is part of the unique iconography that makes Las Vegas unlike any city on the planet.
Siegfried & Roy started their Las Vegas run in 1967, beginning their career as a smaller component of the large production shows that were in vogue at the time including Folies Bergere at the Tropicana, Lido de Paris at the Stardust and Hallelujah Hollywood at the original MGM Grand. Their first headlining show was called Beyond Belief and ran at the Frontier until 1988.
SIEGFRIED AND ROY PUT THE MIRAGE ON THE MAP
Their next gig would be the one that launched them into the stratosphere of Las Vegas legends. In 1988, they were hired by Steve Wynn to be the headliners at the under construction Mirage Hotel & Casino. Siegfried & Roy debuted in their custom made 5,000 seat theater in 1990 and began a run of 5,750 performances during which they became one of the most popular and financially successful acts in Las Vegas history. The show cost $30 million to produce and employed 276 staffers to keep it running. Show producer Kenneth Feld quipped:
“It was probably the most expensive show in the history of the world at the time it was built.”
Since Wynn knew that he had to ‘go big or go home’ with The Mirage that was fine with him:
“Siegfried and Roy came to me with the idea of a new show that was going to be scaled above and beyond anything anyone had seen in Las Vegas.”
The success of Siegfried and Roy’s show trod the path for other elaborate productions such as the myriad Cirque du Soleil productions. In 2013, Siegfried spoke of this legacy:
“These are big production shows now, but yeah, we came from nowhere. And when The Mirage became such a success, Steve Wynn knew how important entertainment was, and he knew how important Siegfried & Roy were. The show was sold out every night from the first night to the last.”
Like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Liberace and Wayne Newton for a time S&R were **the** show in Las Vegas. Longtime manager Bernie Yuman spoke with Las Vegas media fixture John Katsilometes shortly after the death of Roy Horn:
“Their arrival was the beginning of a new era. They were doing 12 shows a week, sometimes up to 16 shows a week, because of the demand of families coming into Las Vegas. It got to the point that if you went to Las Vegas, you had to see Siegfried & Roy in the same way you had to see the Statue of Liberty when you went to New York.”
Interestingly, the iconic magic duo has other streets in the Las Vegas Valley named in their honor. During the past decade or so, Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn sold two parcels of land near Little Bavaria, their 100-acre Las Vegas compound at Rancho Drive and North Rainbow Boulevard, to homebuilders D.R. Horton and KB Home–pocketing a nearly $12 million payday in the process. The D.R. Horton subdivision was named Bavaria Estates complete with street names that pay homage to Siegfried and Roy iconography such as ‘White Tiger Court’, ‘Tigers Lair Court’ and ‘Mirage Gardens Street’. The KB Home subdivision doesn’t go quite as deep with their referential touches though the project is named ‘Mirage Landings’.