Iconic Las Vegas Mirage-Treasure Island Tram Service Ends After 34 Years


The curtain has finally fallen on the free tram service between The Mirage and Treasure Island, completing its last lap ferrying its final passenger. The duo-car tram that had successfully shipped countless passengers across its path had its inauguration back in the year 1993. Fastened up front at The Mirage, it was an integral part of the magnificent resort’s amenities, soon to shutter its services forever come July 17th.

Its counterpart, Treasure Island, has anticipated this end by boarding up its own tram station, pulling down all the signage intended for its guests. The Mirage’s posted sign painting the closure simply as “temporary,” neither the incoming proprietors of The Mirage, Hard Rock International nor the current owner of Treasure Island, Phil Ruffin has confirmed this indication. However, industry insiders predict a permanent closure, with the tram unlikely to resume services upon The Mirage’s resurrection as The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Guitar Hotel Las Vegas in May 2027.

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In retrospect, industry insiders find it astonishing that the tram service did not cease back in March 2009, following Phil Ruffin’s take over of Treasure Island from MGM Resorts, which simultaneously breezed in Mirage within its realm. The operational norm among resorts is to provide tram services between properties held under common ownership — a practice vouched for by Steve Wynn when he inaugurated this tram in 1993. Wynn was then the proud owner of The Mirage and the founder of Treasure Island, posted along a former parking lot.

The rationale behind this practice stems from safeguarding the patrons from being swayed away to competitors by providing the ease of free transportation. This entailed the bold endeavor by MGM Resorts, following their acquisition of these two resorts from Wynn, to intertwine this tram with its ARIA Express Tram — a service that swings between the Bellagio, Vdara, Park MGM, The Shops at Crystals, and ARIA. It set its sights on 2009 to initiate this revamp.

Nevertheless, the ambitions of MGM Resorts faced a roadblock in the form of rival resort chain Caesars Entertainment, which held its foot down, refusing to grant passage for the tram through Caesars Palace.
Measuring a compact yet efficient 1,000 feet, the Mirage-Treasure Island Tram was noted as the shortest of the three such short-stretch, stand-alone trams adorning the Strip. (This classification sets aside the Las Vegas Monorail.) Showcasing larger dimensions, The ARIA Express Tram stretches to 2,034 feet, while the tram service connecting the Luxor, Excalibur, and Mandalay Bay measures an impressive 2,749 feet.