The Luxor's construction
Some folks online pointed out that the Luxor was built very quickly (in 18 months) and cheaply (it cost almost as much to renovate it as it did to build it.) So who knows, maybe some corners were cut. And maybe that chaotic beginning might have left some sort of mark on the supposedly "cursed" hotel.
The hotel wasn’t totally done being built when it opened, actually. Some of the first guests stayed in rooms that weren’t quite completed. And there were issues with the elevators, or, as they called them, “inclinators”
Shortly after opening, the owners learned that the hotel was sinking into the sand and had to make adjustments to stop it. Apparently there was a soft spot under a bit of the hotel, which is pretty unusual—I guess the desert floor is usually pretty hard. But that wasn't the only problem that would come up.
According to an archived September 2010 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there’d been a number of structural problems with Vegas resorts, and a lot of Vegas renovations had been done without permits.
It sounds like that prompted a number of investigations of different resorts, and a routine inspection may have unearthed something strange at the Luxor:
The Clark County building division in mid-July ordered the Luxor to vacate a section of the pyramid building’s basement level, which holds various offices not open to the public. The order came after Lochsa Engineering did a study for MGM Resorts International, which owns the hotel-casino. MGM hired the firm when county inspectors, in March, found two unfinished support columns in the pyramid’s basement.
Lochsa determined the two unfinished columns were not part of the building’s original plans. But MGM completed the columns anyway and is now evaluating how to further strengthen the structure. Lochsa also looked at the “load bearing capacity” of the pyramid’s casino level — which is over the basement.
The basement closure is below, but “near the main entrance of the subject property,” according to the county’s July 16 notice of violation. The document says completion of the two “partially cast concrete columns … will not fully resolve the structural repair requirements” for the casino level’s “deficient slab.” . . .
To date, the Luxor’s ongoing inspection has generated 1,129 correction notices and notices of violation, according to a search of the county’s website. Items range from the great — such as the casino slab problem — to small points of maintenance”
Construction worker deaths
On a now-defunct page on casino.org that I had to dig up in the Wayback Machine, as I did for many of my sources here, I found some interesting rumors.
Supposedly, seven construction workers died when the Luxor was originally built, though elsewhere I read that three workers died. That, to me, seems not particularly unusual, though, again, what do I know.
Here’s my frame of reference for construction deaths, though:
- 5 people died when building the Empire State Building
- More than 30,000 people died building the Panama Canal
- 11 people died during construction for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
- World Trade Center construction resulted in 60 worker deaths
- 5 workers died while building The Sears Tower
- 6 people died building Las Vegas’ CityCenter project
- 28 people died while building San Francisco’s Bay Bridge
So to me, I’m hearing that construction work is extremely dangerous. Maybe there are legends of all of those places being haunted, but if that’s the case, then most major building projects would be haunted by the ghosts of construction workers
Perhaps significantly due to the main pyramid’s steeply sloping shapes, the Luxor’s construction is considered to have been extremely difficult and dangerous. The resort’s construction may very well remain the most treacherous construction process in the history of the Strip. The fallen workers have not gone completely forgotten, however. At times, especially in quiet parts of the hotel, the ghosts of the construction workers can be seen. When the Luxor’s Nile Riverboat ride was still operational, some guests claimed to have seen their ghosts roaming the tunnels.
Also, in the YouTube comments section of the behind-the-scenes making of the Luxor video, the child of one of the foremen who did concrete work on the Luxor mentioned that "few floors collapsed while they were pouring concrete. I remember my father telling me about it when I was a kid." They don't mention deaths, though.
Check out the rest of this series about the history and hauntings of the Luxor hotel:
- Part 1: creative vision and Xanadu
- Part 2: the glory days and the legendary (according to me when I was a child) Nile River ride
- Part 3: De-theming sucks
- Part 4: The skeletons aren't even in the closet
- Part 5: Death and hauntings
This article doesn’t link to sources as comprehensively as usual, because I wrote it based on my original episode notes, which I penned when I was worse at adding specific in-line citations. But all of the sources I used are linked at the bottom of the episode shownotes page. And I’m not proud of it, but I can tell you that a ton of this info is from Wikipedia.