If the headlines were correct and a slice of Las Vegas landed in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, it was one tremendous slice. The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor made its debut with one of the biggest parties of the year on December 8, attended by a group of dignitaries and celebrities including former House Speaker John Boehner; American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman; former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; artists from the property’s Heritage Collection including Alice Aycock, Margaret Boozer, Chul Hyun Ahn, Liao Yibai and Katherine Mann; CNN host Wolf Blitzer; then-Miss World Mireia Lalaguna; and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who fitted guests with footwear from her first standalone shoe boutique, SJP.
Michelin-starred chef José Andrés revealed his new seafood concept Fish and offered samples of lobster jambalaya and gin and tonic oysters. Other superstar culinary celebs in attendance to unveil their National Harbor restaurants were Marcus Samuelsson (who also debuts his first in-room dining program for the resort’s 308 rooms and suites) and Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and the Jabbawockeez took over the resort’s new theater on opening night; Boyz II Men performed the first official concert on December 15.