MGM Opens Up Park District Along Vegas Strip

Written By Janice Doughtrey

MGM International Resorts has added a bit more greenspace to go along with the neon on the Las Vegas Strip.

The hotel company officially opened a park entertainment district between its casino properties New York-New York and Monte Carlo. The three-acre park serves as a public open space, but also acts as a link between the Strip sidewalk and MGM’s new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.

The park features plants and landscapes that are native to the Mojave Desert. Also, a group of restaurants are featured alongside the open park space. Among the new dining options are the Japanese restaurant Sake Roke, the waffle house Bruxie, Beerhaus, and California Pizza Kitchen.

Highlighting the scenery of the park is a 40-foot metal sculpture of a woman dancing, titled “Bliss Dance.” Created by artist Marco Cochrane, the sculpture has a comfortable location by a fountain. Cochrane himself views the spot as ideal for his massive artwork. The sculpture also has thousands of LED lights to it, allowing it to be illuminated during the night.

The district officially was unveiled on Monday, April 4, with MGM CEO Jim Murren and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The park is the latest of the recent Strip attractions which aren’t gambling-related such as the High Roller observation wheel and the Grand Bazaar Shops located in front the Bally’s casino.

It also creates an open area that some hope to see it become a public gathering area. Murren noted that other prominent cities usually have such an open public area to allow people to mingle. The park was specifically designed to show off the desert fauna found within the region outside of the city in honoring southern Nevada’s natural beauty.

The sculpture “Bliss Dance” also provides more art to be shown along The Strip, a road known for its gaudy and bright nighttime lights in addition to its gambling and adult-style entertainment. Yet, MGM and other residents of the famous road continue to attempt to make it a little more family-friendly.

Don’t look for the park to expand much beyond what it is due to continuing water concerns in the desert. While there will be some trees, there likely will be a ceiling limit as to how many can eventually be planted in the new park district.

MGM is using the park as an opportunity to help bridge some of their new ventures with the Strip sidewalk. The new T-Mobile Arena, which opened on Wednesday, April 6, is the latest indoor event center in which Las Vegas hopes to draw a professional sports franchise down the road. The biggest possibility is a National Hockey League franchise, especially whenever the NHL chooses to expand beyond its current 30 teams.

While the park is open, construction is still going on nearby as MGM is finishing a new 5,000-seat theater at the Monte Carlo which could add further traffic to the area.