TI Treasure Island : The VegasTripping Review 2008

Review, Photos and Video Walkthrough of the New Rooms at TI Treasure Island

Posted by Chuckmonster

TI Treasure Island Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Review

Enough time has passed since the 1993 opening of Treasure Island : The Adventure Resort for the children of families it was originally marketed towards to bring children of their own to TI. Perhaps you were one of those kiddies, holed up in a hotel room watching the hour long infomercial Treasure Island : The Adventure Begins on closed circuit TV as your folks gambled away the mortgage payment downstairs. Maybe you spent some time peeking out the window to try and catch a glimpse of the King of Pop through the curtains of the Michael Jackson Suite at the neighboring Mirage. Maybe you passed the evening by beating the crap out of your siblings with the plastic machete purchased at the gift shop.

One thing is true, the TI of today is not your parents' Treasure Island. In fact the TI of today didn't exactly know what it was until relatively recently. Treasure Island's quasi-identity crisis can be traced back to it's initial conception - perhaps one of the only reactionary projects in the canon of forward thinking casino developer Steve Wynn and his (then) company Mirage Resorts.

The opening of Treasure Island's big brother property The Mirage in 1989, with it's many 'family friendly' attractions, dislodged the first boulder in a massive building boom, most of it focused on Las Vegas' new 'bring the family' marketing credo. Within a period of four years, a tidal wave of family centric resorts bloomed from the desert floor, putting the squeeze on The Mirage's visionary success by offering similar features, but realistically priced for actual family budgets. Excalibur, Luxor and MGM Grand all preceded the opening of Treasure Island or commenced production at roughly the same time. Facing a full court press by two of its largest competitors - Circus Circus Enterprises (Mandalay Resorts) and MGM - Mirage Resorts literally fired cannonballs across the bow of their competitors with the announcement of Treasure Island : The Adventure Resort. Treasure Island would be built where the Mirage's parking garage was and would feature a Strip facing, Disney-esque pirate production show of similar grandeur to the Mirage's volcano a few hundred yards south.

Pirates weren't the only ones doing battle over Treasure Island. In 1990 - three years before Treasure Island at the Mirage opened - another casino named Treasure Island was opened by the Prairie Island Community of Mdewakanton Dakota tribe in Minnesota. Upon applying for trademark for the Treasure Island name in 1997 (four years after the Vegas outpost opened) the Prairie Island application was denied - ooops - Mirage Resorts had trademarked the name even though they knew there was already a Treasure Island casino in operation. Of course lawsuits ensued, in the middle of which Mirage Resorts was taken over by MGM, who inherited the problem from Wynn and company. Three or so years later, the Las Vegas Treasure Island changed its name to TI Treasure Island and began to slowly dismantle it's passe swashbuckling family friendly theme in favor of a more risque interpretation of "pirate's booty." Buccaneer pirate battle? Gone, to be replaced by the sexy Sirens of TI show. In the ensuing period, the Frankensteinian vision of Treasure Island as buccaneer paradise and TI as bootylicious archipelago have coexisted in a cauldron of thematic question marks whilst parent company MGM Mirage elected to fry other city-within-a-city sized fish. Visitors, us included, have stood by - or walked past - not knowing what to make of TI's unfinished business.

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Comments & Discussion

Great, informative review as usual. I am staying at a Petite Suite in late-September and I was interested to read about the results of the remodeling. TI has always been one of my favorite Strip resorts, particularly for it's location. The one drawback was the prevalence of 6/5 single deck 21 in the casino which is a game I will not play. Good to hear that it's being phased out.

TI looks much better than I expected. In fact, it looks great! I'm disappointed they didn't put in new safes large enough for a laptop. I'd opt for the Petite Suite at probably not much more money.

wow. surprising, and very good to know. i'll bump this up on the list for the next trip. i'm still kinda surprised by it but it's great to know. it does look very comfortable.

@detroit - the petite suites are pretty nice over all, and quite spacious. MGM Mirage ran a week long $50 upgrade deal for the Petite Suites not so long ago. you really do get a lot of bang for the buck with the new designs.

So if you were in a hotel crisis like I am right now (between Mirage and TI) which would you rather stay at?
The only reason I'm leaning toward Mirage is because I can get a tower room for the same price I can a regular room and Mirage's rooms look like they have bigger windows and whatnot. TI's prices are about $60 cheaper for the 5 days I'm going on (which isn't that big of a deal).
I've always stayed at the south end of the strip (Excalibur and MGM) so this will be new to be staying where all the action is

As usual, a very detailed, thorough review by Chuckmonster. Thanks for all that great info. TI is nothing like I thought it would be. It looks very inviting.

Whoa! Where did you get your information regarding the trademark / name change? That's incorrect. The corporate name for TI is still "Treasure Island Corp." a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM MIRAGE. The resort was previously marketed as "Treasure Island at The Mirage" for obvious reasons. However, the "TI" moniker was introduced in 2003 simply for branding purposes in the new logo and marquee on the strip to promote the more contemporary and adult nature of the property after all the changes were made. Using the "TI" had nothing to do with any issues regarding the Indian gaming resort in MN with a similar name. FYI

@vegasDV the story of the TI copyright case is here : http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=850

Also referencing background information on TI/Mirage Resorts in John L. Smith's Steve Wynn bio "Running Scared." Do you think we should start putting footnotes in features?

I don't believe that I stated that the name change was a result of the lawsuit. From all the research I did for the article, I found no references for whatever settlement came out of it. If you've got the goods, email us!

Daaaaamn! Call 'em out Chuckmonster! Tell 'em they better come correct!

Great information . We are staying at the TI in September for the first time since the removal of the "pirate" theme.

I am staying at TI when i come back to Vegas in Dec. This review helped me make the choice. I usually stay closer to the center of the Strip but thought it was time for a change of pace.

I think TI is one of the best values on the strip and prefer its location and size over many resorts that others consider superior properties like Mandalay Bay.

Just out of curiosity Chuck, what were the oddball requests you made at check-in?

@_justJoey i needed a late check out and some other stuff i can't mention. :P

The beg. of Feb. my girlfriend and I started what turned out being a 12 night hotel bench. Our goal was to find the most comfortable bed on the strip, then buy it for our newly redone bedroom. Started at TI in their elite bed, turns out they have one bed better than the elite. Not exactly sure what room that associates with though. Then ending up going to MGM, Venetian, Planet Hollywood, Trump, Trump (liked that hotel), Excal, Red Rock, Mirage, Wynn, Westin, Ceasar, etc. Of all the strip we liked the Elite bed at TI and the Heavenly Bed at Westin. I agree they have a quality hotel that I feel is better than the big boys of Trump, Venetian, Wynn etc. I also felt that wow feeling when I woke up. Kinda surprised with how well you ended up sleeping feeling. Need more of those nights.

I stumbled upon this just in time. I'll be heading out there in less than 3 weeks and I was a little worried staying at a property I know little about. But your review has put me at ease. I've got a Petite Suite booked and I'm hoping to get into a Tower Suite upon arrival. Excellent review as always.

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