No matter where you live there’s news and then there’s meaningful news. This column isn’t a news rundown of what happened in Las Vegas over the past week. It’s meant to look at the more important news events and explore what they might mean today and in the future. The big news this week really comes from two sources – MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts.
MGM Resorts opened The Park and T-Mobile arena while Wynn announced plans for Wynn Paradise Park. Legitimately, not much more matters happened in Las Vegas that’s more timely, interesting or forward looking for this great city.
Looking to maximize as much from the 24-hour news cycle as they could MGM Resorts opened The Park and its restaurants on Tuesday afternoon and followed that with the lighting of the Bliss Dance later in the evening. The next day T-Mobile Arena opened and held its first event, a concert headlined by Las Vegas’, The Killers. Las Vegas news cycle for the week dominated by MGM Resorts? Not so fast my friend.
On Wednesday, Wynn Resorts announced plans for an expansion that would cost somewhere around $1.5 billion. Both were big news but the Wynn announcement certainly took the some of the shine away from the openings. Let’s take a look at both projects and what they might mean to their owners, and more importantly, those of us that visit Las Vegas.
MGM Opens The Park and T-Mobile Arena
While their openings were separate the two entities will live together for the next 20-25 years. Forget the corporate rhetoric and buzzwords about being a real park on the Vegas Strip. The Park essentially expands New York-New York to the outside and offers a handful of bars and restaurants that lead to T-Mobile Arena. Drinking and dining al fresco isn’t new to Las Vegas. Neither is the concept of an outdoor mall.
That said, the new bars and restaurants are good additions to the Vegas Strip and the option to eat and drink outside is a bonus. The mid-priced casual restaurants will make for nice places to grab a drink and bite before heading into T-Mobile Arena for a concert, fight or game. The new restaurants also make a nice option for people that just need a little fresh air after getting beat up playing 6-5 blackjack inside the casino.
It’s very easy to look at this development like an outdoor version of MGM Grand’s restaurant row that leads towards the Grand Garden Arena. This version just happens to have restaurants that mostly open to the outdoors and are much much much (yes, three) closer to the Vegas Strip.
T-Mobile Arena is larger than the Grand Garden Arena and MGM’s partnership with AEG should provide enough talent to help fill the 7,000 or so extra seats. Early programming for the venue includes multi-date performances (residencies?) with George Strait and Garth Brooks that might not have happened without this new venue. This arena will also be home to events that might have taken place at MGM Grand like UFC, Boxing and concerts like Guns N’ Roses or Billy Joel. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The ultimate prize for T-Mobile Arena will be an expansion NHL team coming to Las Vegas. The NHL team would occupy the venue for 40 plus nights a year. Money from those customers should cycle into the new restaurants making this a profitable venture for MGM Resorts and the tenants at The Park.
Sure The Park and T-Mobile Arena are nice additions to New York-New York and the Vegas Strip but let’s not get caught up in all the PR buzzwords used to describe the development. Lastly, note that there’s no mention of Monte Carlo here. It’s just the neighbor to everything happening behind and next to New York-New York. Perception might change once The Park Theater opens at Monte Carlo but for now it’s just the casino-resort next to all the shiny new things.
Wynn Paradise Park
Blackjacker1979 did a good job covering Wynn Paradise Park earlier this week. There really isn’t much more information to expand upon that wouldn’t just be repeating his insights. Wynn Resorts will probably approve these plans but they haven’t yet so this is all just really a first look at a very interesting idea.
The centerpiece of Wynn Paradise Park is said to be a 38-acre lagoon created by a company named Crystal Lagoons. They provide a variety lagoons for resorts and residences all over the world. Here’s a sales reel that discusses benefits for customers and businesses, water usage and more. This is interesting beyond Wynn Paradise Park.
There’s no mistake that Steve Wynn loves water features for his properties. Look at Bellagio, The Mirage, Treasure Island and even Golden Nugget. He even wanted to build a canal on Fremont Street. Most restaurants at Wynn and Encore have some kind of lakeside dining and the new 1,000 capacity tower will add even more lakeside dining.
This lagoon centerpiece would serve as a beautiful backdrop for new hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, clubs and conventioneers. Sure there will be a playful aspect of Paradise Park but this is a direct line to generating more revenue for Wynn Resorts in the ways that they already know how to make money. This new project would take place on land that they already own and previously generated very little revenue for the company.
There’s no timeline for Wynn Paradise Park being built and the plans will likely change so it might be a little too early to get too crazy over this idea. Back to the idea of a canal on Fremont Street for a second. Say what?!
UPDATE: Over the weekend I was reminded that Bellagio was once envisioned as Beau Rivage, a casino surrounded by water. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see a rendering.
Total Rewards And Atlantis
So, you want to go on a casino vacation in the Bahamas but you’re loyal to Caesars Entertainment and Total Rewards? Have no fear Caesars Entertainment just partnered with Atlantis. There’s a lot of words but very little specific information on the partnership available. You can read the press release here.