Many of the initial reactions from Vegas lovers towards the changes from Monte Carlo to Park MGM have been somewhere between mediocre and WTF? Let’s start with the basics: Park MGM will be the new name of the hotel currently known as Monte Carlo. NoMad Hotel will occupy 292 (approximately 10%) of the rooms at Park MGM. We’ll discuss the New York and Las Vegas NoMad locations later.
At first glance, it’s easy to think that MGM pulled a Caesars by naming the hotel the same as the outdoor venue it neighbors. When you step back at look at everything that MGM Resorts International has been working on from New York-New York to Monte Carlo/Park MGM you can see a flow that should make sense when Park MGM is complete in 2018. The idea isn’t quite as simple as naming everything the same to make it easy to remember (although I’m sure that certainly is a part of the thinking).
MGM Resorts International has given a facelift to the Vegas Strip frontage of both properties which has opened restaurants and bars up to the Vegas Strip. The Park was initially conceived as a shopping and dining district but plans have changed and now it’s more of a restaurant row on the side of New York-New York that leads to Toshiba Plaza and T-Mobile Arena. When construction is complete on The Park Theater, this will connect New York-New York with Park MGM and everything in between and around the two casinos.
The intent was always for The Park to have a New York park feel and they help accomplish that with the addition of Park MGM , Eataly and NoMad Hotel to the existing New York-New York casino, Brooklyn Bridge and Monte Carlo Plaza.
NoMad isn’t Nomad, the name comes from the fact that it’s located North of Madison Square Park in New York City. The classic European design aesthetic from Monte Carlo will continue with Park MGM. The classic environment should mesh well with the vintage decor from NoMad in New York.
Let’s look specifically at the future of the hotel and casino that will be Monte Carlo for just over another year.
Park MGM Hotel
Park MGM will not be a luxury hotel, per se. The renovated hotel rooms will be an upgrade and allow MGM Resorts International to charge more per room. Even with the renovations Park MGM won’t likely be among the most expensive hotel rooms in Las Vegas. If you use other MGM Resorts International hotels for a price comparison expect something closer to The Mirage than Bellagio. The property will be an upgrade but this won’t be a luxe experience outside of NoMad.
The renovation of the entire property will cost around $450 million. That’s a little more than the $415 million it cost to transform the Sahara to SLS Las Vegas according to Wikipedia. This is a substantial renovation budget but it’s not a luxury hotel budget. SLS Las Vegas considers itself to be more along the lines of affordable luxury than a purely luxury experience. You may not see a new footprint in the hotel rooms but you should see all new furnishing and bathrooms in each of the 2,700 hotel rooms of Park MGM.
Details on the casino floor renovation haven’t been revealed but this budget indicates that there could be a shift in the layout of the casino. The sports book and poker room have been rumored to move for a while but the construction of the Park Theater changed those plans. Initial plans for The Park had Sushi Roku taking over the sports book. Perhaps the combined space could be used to make Eataly more approachable from The Park (Update: The sports book will become a restaurant). I have another idea that I’ll explore later when discussing Eataly. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 100,00o square foot casino floor shrink.
Monte Carlo will remain open throughout the renovations so this won’t happen quickly. Hotel rooms will be renovated floor by floor and the casino will be renovated area by area. The renovations are scheduled to be completed in 2018.
One last note about Monte Carlo. Chip collectors have a little over a year to get a Monte Carlo chip before they’re replaced with Park MGM chips.
NoMad Las Vegas and NoMad New York
NoMad Las Vegas will be more than just a replacement for Hotel 32. NoMad Las Vegas will offer a complete hotel experience within Park MGM. Hotel in a hotel concepts are all the rage in Las Vegas with Nobu at Caesars Palace, Delano and Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay and W Hotel opening at SLS Las Vegas later this year.
NoMad Las Vegas will have 292 rooms and suites compared to just 50 rooms for Hotel 32. NoMad Las Vegas will have a dedicated drop-off area, its own lobby and swimming pool for NoMad Las Vegas guests. There will also be NoMad gaming, dining and drinking experiences. Sydell Group will operate the hotel and restaurants.
NoMad’s New York flagship location was listed as one of Conde Nast’s favorite hotels in the world for 2016. The original location has 168 beautiful high-end retro hotel rooms in the turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts building that has been restored beyond its original luster. NoMad Las Vegas looks to offer a unique east coast luxury experience that you don’t see often, if ever, in Las Vegas.
The aesthetic of NoMad Las Vegas seems as though it will work nicely with the original New York park environment conceived for the area. You can learn more about the original hotel NoMad hotel here.
Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world. This concept has nearly 30 locations around the world including outposts in Italy, Japan, Dubai, Turkey, Brazil, and the United States. The concept exploded in America when the New York location on Fifth Avenue opened in 2010. Eataly Chicago followed in 2013.
Both US locations get rave reviews but will this import work in Las Vegas? Expect some twists on what you’ll find in New York and Chicago since this is will be more for tourists than people who live in the city. Visitors to Las Vegas will always welcome more places to eat and drink but there might be some limitations on what you can buy. Certain items might not hold well on a flight back home.
Visitors will definitely enjoy more restaurants, food and beverage counters, a bakery/coffee shop and even a cooking school. A cooking school might sound a bit strange for Las Vegas but the Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Atlantic City is very popular.
The location for Eataly inside Park MGM hasn’t been revealed yet but as I mentioned earlier it might be a good fit to occupy the space currently used by the sports book and poker room. In this scenario Eataly Las Vegas could provide an entrance to Park MGM for visitors at The Park across the street. (Update: The sports book will become a restaurant that isn’t Eataly related).
Another location to consider for Eataly is the food court space. The dining options from Eataly would essentially upgrade the food court. This would also force people looking for a quick meal to visit Eatly. That’s a good way for MGM Resorts International to make tenant happy. Come to think of it, this might be a demand if I were operating Eataly. You can learn more about Eataly here.
New York Meets Las Vegas
Once Park MGM is complete a portion of the south-central Vegas Strip will have a strong New York City feel to it. Once you get past the initial shock of the name and plans it’s possible to look at Park MGM and New York-New York the way you do The Venetian and The Palazzo or Wynn and Encore. The main difference is those sister casinos are connected by an indoor mall, not an outdoor park.