Highly Anticipated Debut MGM National Harbor Resort by HKS to Open in Late 2016 Near Washington, D.C.

MGM National Harbor Resort. Renderings Courtesy of HKS Hospitality Group

Inspired by the topography of its hillside location and the national monuments in nearby Washington, D.C., HKS Hospitality Group has designed the MGM National Harbor Resort that is set to open later this year in National Harbor, Maryland. Located along the Potomac River, this 1.7-million-square-foot complex will be the first large-scale MGM resort on the east coast.

The MGM National Harbor Resort incorporates a 24-story, 300-room hotel that rises from a tiered resort platform, which includes a 125,000-square-foot casino, a 4,000-seat theater, 27,000 square feet of conference space, a spa and salon, high-end retail, and 12 restaurants from well-known chefs.

Eddie Abeyta, a principal in the Dallas office of HKS, led the design of the resort. SmithGroupJJR serves as the architect of record for the $1.3 billion project, with KNA Design developing the casino interior, and Studio GAIA responsible for the design of the guest rooms.

The base structure of the resort complex is terraced into the landscape to absorb a 90-foot change in elevation, while also serving to conceal a seven-story parking garage. The design takes advantage of the views of Maryland, as well as across the Potomac to Virginia and north to Washington, D.C., with a large outdoor terrace on the roof deck of the base building.


Allowing natural light to permeate the resort below, an elongated horizontal skylight spans the length of that roof. Interior illumination will be visible around the roof’s edges at night to produce a dramatic glow.

The hotel rises from a tiered resort platform that is terraced into the landscape. A large outdoor terrace on the roof deck provides views of the surrounding landscape. The resort includes a casino, theater, restaurant, conference center, spa and salon, and high-end retail.