Las Vegas Sun

February 19, 2019

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Mandalay Bay plans to announce changes, Delano work Oct. 15; ‘Iron Chef’

Aerial Photos: May 21, 2012

Steve Marcus

A view of Mandalay Bay taken from a helicopter Monday, May 21, 2012.

Masaharu Morimoto

Click to enlarge photo

Robin Leach with chef Akira Back at Yellowtail in the Bellagio.

Iron Chef

Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts officials have set a tentative date of Oct. 15 to unveil the staggering changes envisioned for the Mandalay Bay makeover.

“It will be a top-to-bottom makeover of The Hotel, and the total new look Delano hotel will open in time for Spring 2014,” I was reliably told. “The new Delano will get its own new swimming pool complex in one of the property’s existing parking lots.”

I’ve also learned that Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, who is partnering with the expanding Light Group in Las Vegas, will announce the name of his new interactive nightclub taking over the former Rum Jungle.

However, it’s not expected to open in time for the new Michael Jackson residency show there in March; its theater there is under construction and ahead of schedule. Guy hopes his new nightclub will open shortly afterward.

There’s also a major potential chef shakeup in the works. I’d heard heavy rumors that the great, feared and respected original “Iron Chef” conqueror Masaharu Morimoto would debut in Las Vegas and open a restaurant in the new-look Mandalay Bay. Supposedly, though, that honor has gone to Bellagio kitchen king Akira Back of Yellowtail.

The culinary industry inside buzz is that the original “Iron Chef” will instead go to the Mirage with his sights aimed at Japonais, and Akira will revamp China Grill. Masaharu makes Las Vegas his seventh global restaurant after openings in New York and Hawaii.

Still unanswered, though, are all my inquiries and chef shuffleboards as to which culinary megastar will take over Shanghai Lily at Mandalay Bay, but I am told we might get that answer, too, on Oct. 15.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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