MGM Resorts International has unveiled expanded plans and the first look at programming for its dynamic park, dining and entertainment district taking shape on the west side of The Strip. Creating an interactive neighborhood environment, The Park will connect New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts and the new 20,000–seat world–class Las Vegas arena currently in development by MGM and AEG. New York–New York and Monte Carlo both are undergoing significant transformations of their Strip–facing experiences into robust plaza environments featuring casual eateries, bars, restaurants and retail destinations that will ultimately lead to The Park.
When it opens in 2016 in conjunction with the arena, The Park will create an immersive outdoor destination spanning more than eight acres. Both New York–New York and Monte Carlo will transform
their park–facing facades with a series of unique indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment venues, cultivating a vibrant patio culture that encompasses The Park’s landscaped spaces.
To create a harmonious dialogue between resorts, Rue de Monte Carlo, the adjacent street providing access from Las Vegas Boulevard, will be realigned as a gently curving, tree–lined parkway: a grand approach to the new arena. New cobblestone walkways in front of New York–New York and Monte Carlo will lead guests into The Park from both directions and blend seamlessly with the mosaic tile patterns that canvas the space.
Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, said, “Beautiful public places are highlights of many of the world’s finest cities, and Las Vegas shouldn’t be the exception. The Park will be the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip and is an embodiment of MGM Resorts’ commitment to engaging guests through arts and innovation. To create this picturesque outdoor destination, we are literally taking down the walls and opening the doors at our resorts to develop a unique dining and entertainment district that complements its lush new surroundings.”
A Glimpse into The Park:
Experience: The Park re–envisions the traditional pedestrian experience in Las Vegas. It will draw passersby from the hustle and bustle of The Strip into an oasis offering unique opportunities to experience Las Vegas outdoors and at one’s leisure, only steps from one of the largest urban boulevards in the world. Inspired by the iconic plazas, promenades and squares that have served as important public gathering destinations within the world’s great cities throughout history, The Park will offer an array of common spaces for socializing, relaxing, exploring and sampling the surrounding tastes, sights and sounds.
By day, visitors will be able to bask in pockets of sun or enjoy shade beneath mature trees or one of the stunning, tulip–like shade structures towering more than 50 feet above. Patio–style seating will encourage an interactive social environment, while seating alcoves tucked into large planters will provide areas for respite.
Unique water features, including water walls stretching more than 100 feet in length along the entrance will add unexpected visuals, as will dramatic plantings incorporating a variety of beautiful desert blooms. Exploring The Park, guests will encounter spontaneous live entertainers, such as acoustic guitarists and street performers.
As the sun sets, illuminated elements of The Park’s landscaping will create a dramatic setting. The shade structures, a work of art in and of themselves, will emit marvelous LED sequences from high above, captivating guests below. Sounds of live music, clinking glasses and laughter from bordering open–air venues will saturate The Park with energy, giving guests an entirely new way to experience Las Vegas beneath the stars.
Dining Under the Sun and Stars: Not unlike the small cafes and bistros that spill onto iconic promenades, clusters of casual restaurants and bars with outdoor seating will open each resort to The Park creating a colorful patio ambiance. Ranging from fast–casual to mid–level, each offering will be a unique–to–market, up–and–coming brand. Below is a first peek, with additional partners to be announced in the coming months:
Shake Shack – Boasting patios overlooking The Park and New York–New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, the much–beloved Shake Shack will introduce its first West Coast location when it opens in December 2014. Established in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, Shake Shack® is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its all–natural burgers, flat–top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. With its fresh, simple, high–quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal.
Bruxie – The fast–casual, gourmet waffle restaurant born out of Orange County will serve up its signature takes on The Sandwich. Bruxie’s next–generation sandwiches use a light, airy authentic Brussels Waffle as the "Bold Fold". The Waffle is crisp, lightly yeasty and not sweet – reminiscent of freshly baked bread. Bruxie Waffles are paired with quality seasonal ingredients, offering both savory choices like Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Chili Honey and Cider Slaw as well as a variety of sweet options such as Strawberry Crème Brûlée.
Sake Rok – This theatrical hotspotopen for lunch, dinner and a late–night bar/lounge, will thrill guests with more than just its array of delicious sushi, Japanese cuisine and private sake label. By night, Sake Rok will transform into a high–profile social dining extravaganza, immersing guests in an experience part culinary, part performance and completely unexpected. Inspired by Japan’s vibrant pop culture and fashion movements, interactive servers will invite guests to partake in restaurant–wide sake bombs while doubling as entertainers, spontaneously breaking into dance and lip–sync serenades. The emcee – a six–foot man dressed in traditional Geisha attire – will keep the energy and the sake flowing late into the night as Sake Rok transitions into a chic bar and lounge.
Beer Garden – This fun and approachable beer garden will be highlighted by its outdoor spaces and vantage points of all The Park’s activity. Guests will be able to indulge in sustainably raised farm–to–table meats, an impressive craft beer list, live music and, of course, games to get any social gathering started – bocce ball, darts and outdoor ping pong. Central to the design will be the restaurant’s signature open roasting area.
A Robert Mondavi Jr. Wine Experience – Robert Mondavi Jr.’s restaurant, lounge and wine bar concept will transport guests to Napa Valley, infusing each element of the experience with the signature warmth and inviting essence of the famous sun–soaked rolling vineyards where Mondavi Family wine production originated. Anchored by an extensive wine program, the venue will boast 100+ wines by the glass and a variety of formats including flights, quartinos, carafes, large formats and more, accompanied by gourmet wine country cuisine. Inside, guests will savor the sights and sounds from the partially open–format kitchen, while an open–air patio will evoke the feeling of a festive outdoor dinner party.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – Country star Dierks Bentley will introduce his contemporary country bar and restaurant concept offering American gastropub fare, plenty of brews on tap, a specialty menu of “Boilermakers” – a shot of whiskey (from a menu featuring more than 40 options) dropped into a glass of beer – and live music by night. The cuisine will feature organic meats, locally farmed produce and a dessert menu to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar – Two–time James Beard Award–winning Chef Guillermo Pernot will heat up Las Vegas with his East Coast sensation Cuba Libre and its Havana–style restaurant, bar and high–energy Latin night spot. The restaurant’s atmosphere will offer a unique combination of Latin flavor, warmth and splendor. Specializing in rum, Cuba Libre will offer more than 100 premium and flavored varieties and specialty cocktails crafted from the freshest ingredients.
Design: The design for The Park is a collaborative effort led by MGM Resorts International with master planner Cooper, Robertson & Partners, leading landscape architecture and urban design firm !melk, and Marnell Architecture. Envisioned as the connective tissue between New York–New York and Monte Carlo, The Park’s unique design elements include:
Green initiatives: Aspiring to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, The Park will implement an integrated environmental sustainability program throughout construction and operational stages, addressing energy and water conservation, green building and waste management through cutting–edge technology and innovative design. The Park also will salvage roughly 75 mature trees from the current area to enhance the lush environment. Asphalt existing on–site also will be salvaged, ground and recycled to create new paved surfaces within the development.
Natural landscaping: Landscape design will utilize native and desert–adaptive species of plants, which are able to thrive in hot and dry environments with minimal water. Large planters with inset seating will feature dramatic plant life displays created by the juxtaposition of cloud–like plants (santolina, apache plum, mormon fir, etc.) alongside vibrant shoots (red yucca, torch lily, desert bear grass, etc.), lush grasses (Mexican feather grass, fountain grass, orange sedge, etc.) and spikes (blue agave, golf tooth aloe, horsetail, etc.)
Microclimates: Mature trees, vegetation, water features and artful shade structures will create microclimates, affording comfortable environments for guests to enjoy The Park year–round. Ground and surfaces will be constructed using marble – a naturally cooling material. Hand–laid in mosaic tile patterns, the marble features color palettes of the American Southwest.