The name and existing amenities attached to the 20-year-old Monte Carlo casino resort will soon be another closed chapter in Vegas history.
While the 3,000-room structure will remain intact, the interiors and concept will be transformed into two new luxury hotels—Park MGM and the NoMad Hotel—appealing to young, savvy, aspirational and affluent travelers, masterminded by hospitality developer Sydell Group. The $450 million makeover is a partnership between investor Ron Burkle, Sydell founder Andrew Zobler and MGM Resorts.
“We’re going to clean it up. We aren’t going to spend a lot of money architecturally,” says MGM Resorts International President Bill Hornbuckle of the existing Monte Carlo exterior. “We’re going to paint it, take off all the French frills and re-window the NoMad section. The majority of our money will be on the inside.”
Park MGM plays off the adjacent Park at T-Mobile Arena, with outdoor entertainment and dining options that incorporate the ethos of desert living. Inside, almost 300 rooms on the top three floors will become a hotel-in-hotel branch of Sydell’s New York City hotel NoMad. Another NoMad is planned for downtown L.A. in 2017.
“[There] will be a separate entry for NoMad guests,” Hornbuckle says. “You’ll be received into an exclusive reception area. It has its own bar, its own lobby, its own restaurant, its own gaming. We are carving out enough space to create that environment. From there, you immediately express yourself up the elevator and [into the rooms]. The theory is if you didn’t want to step out into the broader Park MGM, you won’t have to.”
Sydell, known for creating a sense of place and unique experiences within restored historic buildings that appeal to millennial travelers, also owns boutique hotel space disruptors the Line Hotel in L.A.’s Koreatown and the Freehand Hostel in Miami and Chicago.
“[Chairman Jim Murren] was recommended to stay [at NoMad] when it first opened and [he told other executives], ‘You gotta stay there, you gotta try this place out.’ And we all began to stay there when we went to New York,” Hornbuckle says. “It’s one of the few places that pulls off luxury and sophistication—but is still cool and has a vibe to it.”
NoMad’s food and beverage program, helmed by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara (who are also the team behind one of America’s best restaurants, Eleven Madison Park), brings a version of their famed NoMad restaurant and bar. As a bonus, another New York City brand, Italian marketplace Eataly, will make its debut in the West Coast with food court-style cafés, grab-and-go and even a Nutella bar.
“[Eataly] needs to be the opening entry statement coming off the Strip,” Hornbuckle says. “We’ve dedicated about 35,000 square feet to Eataly. You’ll be able to walk in [from] the Strip through an open marketplace.”
Sydell’s Line Hotel in L.A.’s Koreantown includes chef Roy Choi, famous for the Kogi Korean taco truck and proprietor of the hotel’s restaurant Pot. We’ve got high hopes that this could mean Choi may finally make his way to Vegas—although for now Hornbuckle is hush-hush on further announcements.
The resort will remain open during renovation, which has an expected completion date of 2018. Hornbuckle says that SBE’s Double Barrel roadhouse will stay and that Diablo’s will most likely be relocated, but the future of the other existing restaurants is up in the air.
Beyond Vegas, the partners are also seeking opportunities for more Park MGM properties in nongaming environments, with Sydell Group as developer and MGM Resorts as operator.