Las Vegas is in the midst of some major revamps. In just these recent years, the total construction investment has poured into “Sin City” has totaled up to more than US$5 billion.
Some new additions to the neighborhood includes the US$375 million T-Mobile arena (home venue to the Vegas Golden Knights) that unveiled in 2016, and underway plans for an NFL team (born the Oakland Raiders) to play in a glitzy, new US$2 billion stadium. And these are just the athletics aspect.
The convention centre, so often swamped by international conferences and events, from the Consumer Electronic Show to the Roller Skating Industry Convention, is going through an overhaul and expansion project that costs US$1.4 billion. Hotel mainstays, from the Palms to Caesars, are also undergoing renovations raking in at nine-figures.
The latest investment gamble is the US$550 million revamp of the Monte Carlo hotel, which officially rebrands as the Park MGM.
Announced two years ago at its 20th anniversary, this joint venture between MGM CEO Jim Murren and hotel luminary Andrew Zobler (whose hotels include Manhattan’s NoMad and L.A.’s the Line) is poised to be Vegas’ new entertainment and dining hub.
With 2,604 glamorous rooms designed by Jacques Garcia, 3 intimate pools inspired by the French Riviera, the sixth American outpost of Eataly, and more than a dozen restaurants by a who’s who of influential chefs, The Park MGM welcomes big names such as Daniel Humm and Will Guidara – of Eleven Madison Park – and L.A. entrepreneur Roy Choi.
The unimpressive thoroughfare that leads from the old Monte Carlo to T-Mobile Arena – will be Murren’s new crown jewel that he calls as “The Park”. The outdoor equivalent of City Center is an architectural marvel filled with luxury tenants, was also the shopping centre that MGM almost defaulted in 2009.
“People who had done lifestyle in Vegas were using a model that was 15 years old,” says Andrew Zobler, CEO of Sydell Group, who was introduced to MGM via his partner, investor Ron Burkle. “It was all about what happened after midnight.” With Park MGM, he aims to break that mould – and several others.
Expect a look that will contrast with the usual opulent style of Vegas: the Park integrates an 18th century English gardens inspired design into its common area, and restaurant layouts will be broken into small rooms instead of an overwhelmingly large space. There will be 3 pools available – all surrounded by date palms, olive trees, and mint-green cabanas –to offer more privacy to the guests instead of the usual lavishly large pool with a DJ table.
The rooms will be sporting a more residential vibe, with settees in window nooks, separate sleeping and sitting areas, tastefully designed with art pieces. The Park will feature much more outdoor spaces and the same high-touch service that the Sydell Group hotels are known for – collective efforts to create a boutique-like, all-day destination that differentiates itself from the rest on the Strip.
Some of the classic Vegas characteristics will still be retained in the Park – two casinos, a high-roller suite, a conference centre on the property, and a 5,200-seat theatre for shows presenting Cher and Lady Gaga.
The refreshed complex will also house a 20,000-seat arena, an urban park, a 40-foot-tall statue of a dancing woman, an 18,000-square-foot nightclub, and a full suite of fast food and casual restaurants with global names, including Shake Shack.
The revamp is also purposed to attract more locals onto the strip. One of the key attraction points will be its stunning culinary lineup, including the city’s first Eataly. The post will serve up a modern twist on the food courts and buffets, a hot favourite of Vegas visitors. To further expand beyond the common emphasis on retail into gastronomy, guests will also see marketplaces integrated into restaurants.
The Park MGM – whose top floors will house a separate NoMad hotel – will anchor the complex. The old Monte Carlo will be transformed into the strip’s gleaming new flagship, stealing the limelight from MGM’s high-end hotel Bellagio and the buzzing Cosmopolitan.
Although the Park MGM signage has gone up, not all the features are up for debut yet. The NoMad hotel, the nightclub, Eataly and some other spaces are set to finish by the end of 2018.
Until the official opening party then, rates at the new Park MGM will still be listed as that of the outdated Monte Carlo. “It’s crazy cheap right now,” jokes Zobler. “Hands down, it’s the best deal in Vegas.”
Read more on happenings at The Park, the new experience outdoors in Las Vegas.