On Monday, a news conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by CEO Jim Murren, Gov. Brian Sandoval, and others, kicked off MGM Resorts International’s celebration of the $100 million Park entertainment district that was open to the public yesterday afternoon.
A series of restaurants are featured at the Park alongside a landscaped stretch of space between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York casinos. The path leads customers from Las Vegas Boulevard’s sidewalk back to the newly built 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, which debuts Wednesday.
The Park has no new gambling space, instead, it emphasizes the outdoor environment in keeping with a Strip trend, which strays from traditional casino development and moves toward nongaming attractions. Similar approaches have been taken by the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s, Caesars Entertainment’s Linq promenade, and the accompanying High Roller observation wheel.
Murren likened the Park in Las Vegas to other “great cities,” which have open public gathering places. He also emphasized that the Park’s landscaping was intended to “show the people of the world how beautiful our desert can be,” and pay respect to Southern Nevada’s environment and “indigenous beauty,” according to the Las Vegas Sun. Murren went on the say that another purpose of the Park is to introduce more public art to the Strip. A 40-foot tall sculpture of a dancing woman, Bliss Dance, is a key component of that. The towering sculpture, which debuted several years ago in Northern Nevada at Burning Man, is located toward the arena at the back of the Park.
Officials also took the opportunity to assure attendees that it would be irresponsible to develop more than 200 fully grown trees and have splashy water fixtures in the middle of a drought-stricken desert. The importance of the Park’s sustainability efforts were mentioned by both Murren and Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow. And John Entsminger, the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, detailed the point even more.
Art and trees aside, the Park’s restaurant lineup, Sake Rok, a Japanese restaurant; Bruxie, a waffle restaurant; California Pizza Kitchen and Beerhaus, are other big components of the new entertainment district. And while the public had access to the open space and the Park’s restaurants yesterday, the area still remains a work in progress as work continues on MGM Resort’s new 5,000-seat theater at Monte Carlo. The theater that is slated to open later this year is situated alongside the Park development.