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Sneak Peek Inside MGM National Harbor Ahead Of Thursday's Grand Opening

MGM National Harbor
The MGM National Harbor in suburban Maryland opened in late 2016.

The biggest development in the DC area to deliver this year, the $1.4B MGM National Harbor resort and casino will open its doors Thursday. Bisnow made it past the 18-foot gold lion Monday morning to get a sneak peak at the new entertainment destination. 

MGM National Harbor

Visitors entering through the hotel lobby will be greeted by the 85-foot conservatory, above, which sits at the exact midpoint of the 23-acre development. The design, which now features glass winter-style trees from designer Ed Libby, will change for each season.

The open area will also include a chocolate fountain that will churn out two tons of liquid chocolate, one of the largest chocolate fountains in the world. From the atrium, guests can enter the 16,200 SF grand ballroom and the 3,000-seat theater, which has already scheduled Boyz II Men, Lionel Ritchie, Bruno Mars, Kings of Leon and others for its opening month. The conservatory also has a café, Bellagio Patisserie, which pays homage to MGM's Las Vegas casino. 

Fish by Jose Andres at MGM National Harbor

Passing through a retail corridor dubbed The District (not yet finished for photography), visitors can browse through 18k SF of high-end shops such as SJP, Sarah Jessica Parker's first stand-alone boutique.

The retail corridor brings you to the restaurants where award-winning chef Jose Andres is opening his first seafood restaurant, Fish, shown above. The Voltaggio brothers and Marcus Samuelsson also have restaurants in the resort. The other sit-down options are a Tap Sports Bar, which MGM has in its Las Vegas and Detroit casinos, and Ginger, an Asian fusion restaurant. 

National Market MGM National Harbor

For those in need of a quicker bite, the National Market food court, above, offers several options. Designed by Marshall Moya Design, the market includes Pappa's Crabkcakes, Honey's Fried Chicken, Zizi's Pizza, Shake Shack, District Deli, George Washington Beer and Wine, Bento Sushi Bar, Banh Mi Vietnamese Kitchen, Amos Los Tacos and ice cream shop S'cream. 

MGM National Harbor Casino
The casino floor at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland

The 125k SF casino floor has two entrances, one near the retail and dining options (above) and the other from the conservatory. It is the closest gambling spot to DC, with its Maryland competitors located farther out in Arundel Mills and Baltimore.

MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland

The casino, open 24 hours a day, has 124 tables, including 39 poker tables, and 3,300 slot machines. It also includes Felt Bar & Lounge and Blossom Cocktail Lounge, below, both with round-the-clock liquor service.

MGM National Harbor

The 308-room hotel, which was not made available for photographs, includes 234 guest rooms and 74 suites. Reservations can be made starting this weekend, with the standard 400 SF room going for roughly $300 a night

Related Topics: Jose Andres , MGM National Harbor