Author: SALLY HO, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — MGM Resorts International said Friday that it will work with a New York-based hotelier to redesign the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, promising a more boutique taste for Sin City while setting its sights on building casino-less hotels like it in other parts of the country in a newly formed joint venture.
"Some of these lifestyle hotels are a little too sexy...We're going for more romance than sexy — more soft, more comfortable, more residential."
The Strip's largest casino operator says it will partner with Sydell Group on the $450 million renovation of theMonte Carlo, with construction completed by the end of 2018. MGM will retain full ownership and operations.
MGM said it will redesign the Monte Carlo to create two hotels. The Park MGM hotel will have 2,700 rooms and incorporate some of the Monte Carlo's European design influences.
The other hotel will be known as The NoMad Las Vegas, which will occupy the top three floors of the existing hotel tower. The 292-room hotel will build on the Sydell Group's flagship property in New York by the same name.
The redesign is aimed at attracting younger, affluent visitors who prefer modern aesthetics over kitschy themes and who come to Vegas not for gambling but for the high-end adult playground it has become.
"Some of these lifestyle hotels are a little too sexy," said Jim Murren, MGM's chairman and CEO. "We're going for more romance than sexy — more soft, more comfortable, more residential."
Murren said prices at the NoMad will be slightly higher because it will have a large portion of suites. The upgrades will bring room rates closer to those at the Cosmopolitan, Wynn and Encore.
Breathing new life into the 20-year-old property is part of MGM's larger development project known as The Park, an outdoor entertainment district north of Tropicana Avenue.
The hotel and hotel within a hotel at the Monte Carlo site will anchor the complex that includes a leafy outdoor pedestrian area with restaurants and the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena that opened in April. A smaller theater aimed at attracting headliners in residence is expected to open by the end of the year.
MGM said last year that it would overhaul the Monte Carlo as part of the new "neighborhood."
The site is the most centrally located among MGM's Strip properties but also its least recognizable brand.
"It was built and therefore designed when themed hotel casinos were very popular and it was one of the last ones of that generation to be built, and I don't think the theme itself has resonated with customers," Murren said.
Murren described the new facilities as lifestyle hotels that will feel like a Parisian apartment at the NoMad and a desert garden at Park MGM.
Murren also said MGM is looking to build non-casino hotels in major cities, describing a Park MGM hotel near Central Park in New York City, for example, that would be developed in the joint venture with Sydell Group. MGMhas hotels without gambling in China.
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