Mirage Volcano Slashes Showtimes to Save Some Bucks

The Mirage is cutting back on its free volcano shows, bigtime. The cost-cutting measure means you’ll have fewer chances to see one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

The volcano show at Mirage opened in 1989, when offering lavish free spectacles was used to lure gamblers into Las Vegas casinos. The Mirage volcano underwent a renovation in 1996, and was closed for most of 2008 while it underwent another renovation, at a cost of $25 million.

Mirage volcano

The schedule changes means 67% fewer fireballs! We’d get more upset about this, but we’re a lava, not a fighta.

The Mirage volcano was designed by a company called WET, the same firm that designed the Bellagio fountains. The all-caps company name is less annoying when you discover it stands for “Water Entertainment Technologies.”

Here’s the skinny on the new Mirage volcano schedule. The volcano will erupt at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, there will be an additional 10:00 p.m. show.

The volcano showtimes have been cut back from happening every half hour, 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. If you hurry, you can still pretend that’s the case because the Mirage Web site’s metadata hasn’t been updated.

Thanks to our friends at Las Vegas Advisor for the tip about the change in showtimes.

The cost-cutting at Mirage is reminiscent of when Treasure Island, also in the MGM Resorts family of hotels, sent its “Sirens of TI” to Davy Jones’ Locker (read more), replacing it with a CVS. The sexiest of the pharmacies, we might add.

Mirage lagoon

Even without the pyrotechnic razzmatazz, it’s still a lovely lagoon. Get used to seeing it this way.

So, why would Las Vegas resorts cut back on free attractions? Because they can. Or think they can. (We’re counting down the minutes until The Mirage claims cutting back on showtimes is done because it’s part of a green initiative to save energy.)

Mirage says it will monitor visitor reactions to the schedule change. Translation: “We’ll see if fewer shows has any impact on revenue, but switching back is about as likely as bringing back coin-operated slot machines or Siegfried & Roy.”

Las Vegas has changed a lot over the years, and resorts are relying less and less on free attractions to distinguish themselves. While casino revenue used to subsidize such attractions and spaces, now, every square inch of a resort has to make money, or it’s downsized or removed altogether. The park-like area outside Bally’s, for example, was replaced with Grand Bazaar Shops. Which will also feature, wait for it, a CVS.

There are still lots of free things to do in Las Vegas, of course. And you can still catch the Mirage volcano doing its thing, just less often.

We should probably resign ourselves to the fact eruptions happen less frequently as time goes by. If you get our drift.

If the news about reduced Mirage volcano shows bums you out, we suggest you console yourself with shots of Fireball. See what we did there?

7 thoughts on “Mirage Volcano Slashes Showtimes to Save Some Bucks


    The first time I went to Vegas, in 2011, I had the fortune on my first night to see, in succession, the Mirage volcano, the Sirens show (or whatever it was called back then) and the Bellagio fountains, all in the space of about an hour.

    It was amazing for someone who hadn’t been to Vegas before, and solidified my feeling that the Strip was a one of a kind place that had a little magic to it.

    It bothers me that, as you say, every square foot of Strip space seems like it’s on the road to being monetized, that the “spectacle” of Vegas is being turned into convenience stores and chain restaurants and endless, endless retail. Sure, the volcano is still there, but what could this move to cut shows mean ASIDE from the eventual demolition and retail-ization of that space?

    The resorts are still beautiful, there’s still a ton to see and do, and there’s still SOMETHING that keeps dragging me back (my 3rd trip this year starts Friday), but I really worry that a lot of the magic of the Strip is being squeezed out by accountants and shareholders.

    Hopefully the building of a couple new resorts, one of which (Resorts World) looks pretty spectacular in the renders, will reverse the trend somewhat. I’ve seen plenty of CVS’s, and I’m fairly sure that’s not what brings me to the Strip.

  2. Blonde4ever

    Depressing. I imagine that means that the crowds for the remaining shows will be even worse than they were before. LasVegas4ever.com

  3. JK Grence

    Such typical shortsightedness of accountants, looking for short-term ways to improve the bottom line without thinking about the overall picture. The accountants won’t even notice a small dip in revenue from only running the volcano twice nightly, or they’ll blame a reduction in revenue on something other than them reducing the reasons for people to visit Las Vegas. The latter is more likely, as said accountants made the odds terrible on casino games and then shortly after noticed that casino revenue is slipping in favor of nightclub traffic. Given that the games aren’t as much fun anymore because it doesn’t feel like I have as much of a chance of winning, it’s obvious why to anyone but an accountant with his nose stuck to a balance sheet and his head stuck up his ass.

  4. boulder steve

    I was at the Mirage on opening night.It was so packed that you had to show your room key just to get into the casino. The good times kept rolling until Steve Wynn sold to MGM. Then came the slow but steady decline. Now they are cutting back on the Volcano to save money on gas..sad.

  5. Todd Sterling

    You mean to tell me there is a person on the face of the earth that hasn’t seen that volcano. LOL!!!!


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