No pink required.
Along roughly four miles of the Las Vegas strip, there exists a vibrant medley of casino resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs — all of them seeming to offer similar entertainment and experiences for visitors. From oversized beverages, buffets, and comedy shows to patterned carpets and heavily air-conditioned casino floors, so much of the strip blurs together that it almost doesn’t matter where you stay. For many, Las Vegas is essentially offering just one thing: Las Vegas.
But the newest resort on the strip offers a new aesthetic for a different kind of Vegas visitor. It is Park MGM, in the space formerly known as the Monte Carlo, a partnership between MGM and the Sydell Group (the buzzy brand behind NoMad, Freehand, LINE Hotels, and more) that is remixing the definition of Las Vegas. Call it "millennial," hip, or of-the-moment, the brand targets those who seek well-designed, local, low-key experiences that offer a certain quality over quantity.
Officially opened earlier this year, the property exudes intimacy and provides a nice refuge from the chaos of the strip. The casino floor is more upscale than its neighbors, maintaining the original chandeliers and ceilings from the days of the Monte Carlo, inspired by the famed Monaco casino. Still, the vibe is distinctly modern, with found art, commissioned works, and contemporary art pieces, including iPad drawings by David Hockney and a multimedia dreamscape by Iranian artists Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi.
In addition to the warm, design-forward public spaces, the nightlife offerings are equally inviting — and more refined than the massive clubs and chintzy cocktail bars you might associate with Vegas. Juniper Cocktail Lounge, an all-gin bar, and On the Record, a speakeasy stocked with vinyl, beckon to the low-key night owl. For the latter, Los Angeles favorite bar group Houston Hospitality designed a nostalgia-inspired space that will include a record store and private karaoke rooms, in addition to world-class cocktails. Make note: On the Record is scheduled to open on New Years’ Eve, so it’s likely going to be the it place for the night.
But what really makes Park MGM stand apart is their hotel-within-a-hotel, NoMad Las Vegas, which opened in October in the hotel's top floors. The luxury concept is inspired by European design and New York sensibilities, offering 293 guest rooms and suites that are distinct from the rest of the Park MGM offerings. Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park fame made sure the NoMad's restaurant and bar are on par with its sister properties in New York City and Los Angeles.
Regardless of which room you've booked, be sure to stop by the Park Theater, the 5,200 seat venue on the Park MGM property that is home to major musical acts. Ultra-popular residencies from the likes of Cher, Lady Gaga, Aerosmith, and Britney Spears are booking quickly from now through 2019. Park MGM will also open an Eataly location this December, the first-ever location in the Southwestern U.S., which will have dining, live-cooking demonstrations, and quality Italian kitchen products, home wares, and specialty foods.
It seems the Park MGM and NoMad are giving us a glimpse of the Vegas to come, enlisting taste makers from New York and Los Angeles to bring an emphasis on art and design. Whether it’s dining, entertainment, craft cocktails, or the thoughtful, local quality, the intimate touches are a welcoming alternative to the shininess and sensory overload of the strip. It's time to discover (or rediscover) the softer side of Sin City.