Long-awaited MGM National Harbor Opens to Large Crowd

WASHINGTON — Even with a late-night opening Thursday, the MGM National Harbor Casino and Resort attracted throngs of people, from government officials and celebrities to residents all over the D.C. area.

The opening was scheduled for 11 p.m., but the doors opened a half-hour early given the overflow crowd of people waiting to get in. By 11:15, the parking garages and casino were at capacity.

At 3:30 a.m. Friday, people were still only being let in as others left.

Visitors were psyched for various reasons.

“I’m really excited; I don’t have to drive to Baltimore anymore,” said Che Johnson, of Upper Marlboro.

For Temple Hills resident Roosevelt Littlejohn Jr., the traffic wasn’t as daunting. “Traffic was fine; they had enough people out there showing you how to get in,” he said.

Gaithersburg resident Jamaa Hill called the casino beautiful and, while holding her bag, said, “It’s gonna be full of money by the time I leave.” Her plan of action? “I’m going to gamble safe.” She was heading to the blackjack table.

People who had entered as part of the VIP party walked around and took in the sights, including Sarah Jessica Parker’s boutique, where the actress and businesswoman was in attendance. Music included an orchestra in the main lobby.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo, Kathy Stewart, Teta Alim and Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

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