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Gaming Guru

Eric Maupin
 

The Park readies for next week's unveiling on Las Vegas Strip

28 March 2016

Las Vegas has earned a reputation for modern architecture, flashy lights and skyscraper casinos. However, within this concrete jungle, natural elements seem to be missing. While the Bellagio has its famous Botanical Garden, that's inside a casino. Building a park on the Las Vegas Strip could be perceived as a waste of highly valuable real estate, but that hasn't stopped MGM Resorts from constructing a new space that will provide some much-needed greenery to the Strip.

The Park, which will open to the public on April 4, acts as a walkway from the Strip to T-Mobile Arena. Pedestrians passing between the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort & Casino and the New York-New York Hotel & Casino can get a breath of fresh air from hundreds of trees surrounding numerous bars and restaurants. The plants and trees give off pleasant aromas, and the location will be the perfect spot for groups to gather before events at the new 20,000-seat arena, which opens April 6 with a concert that will include The Killers and Wayne Newton. Set right next to New York-New York's miniature versions of the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, The Park almost acts as a miniature version of New York City's famous Central Park.




"Visitors to The Park can expect a vibrant, central gathering place complete with restaurants, bars, art and entertainment," said Don Thrasher, president of Park Holdings, which is overseeing the project. "Tucked into rich desert landscaping, the outdoor destination provides guests with a beautiful location to relax, socialize, dine and be entertained."

Passersby closer to T-Mobile Arena will also notice a 40-foot silver statue of a dancing woman — Bliss Dance — that was inspired by Marco Cochrane's first experience at the Burning Man Festival. Other features include modern art, shade structures and small fountains. The Park will have desert landscapes with faux boulders and real plants that are indigenous to the Mojave Desert, such as aloe vera and cacti.

T-Mobile Arena and The Park will go hand and hand; it will be a great place to grab a bite to eat or a beer before an event (hopefully, a professional sports match). The Beerhaus, California Pizza Kitchen and Sake Rok (a Japanese-themed bar with spontaneous dancing and sake) are under construction and will soon open their doors in the heart of The Park.

There are rumors that MGM casinos will begin to charge for parking, which won’t exclude The Park, so don’t be surprised if this is the case in a few months.

Not only does The Park increase the allure of T-Mobile Arena, it also gives the Las Vegas Strip a whole new dimension. There's no other place on the Strip with so many trees next to a major hotel and casino. Instead of just building another casino in the space, MGM is using the real estate to provide natural beauty and works of art that could attract tourists who otherwise may have gone elsewhere or just walked right by on their way to another casino destination.

Bliss Dance, a statue by Marco Cochrane, is surrounded by fountains and trees in front of the new T-Mobile Arena.

Bliss Dance, a statue by Marco Cochrane, is surrounded by fountains and trees in front of the new T-Mobile Arena. (photo by Eric Maupin)

"The Park re-envisions the traditional pedestrian experience by adding a new layer of diverse social spaces in Las Vegas," said Thrasher. "It will draw visitors from the hustle and bustle of the Strip into an authentic oasis offering opportunities to experience Las Vegas outdoors and at one’s leisure, only steps away from one of the world’s most famous boulevards."

Witnessing the Bliss Dance statue in person will be on many visitors' itinerary. On the southern side of the Monte Carlo, there appears to be another massive construction project taking place. Rumor has it that a new theater will be opening up in this location, but the type of show has yet to be announced.

The Park will be an important part of the visitor experience in Las Vegas, especially if you’re looking for gourmet dining experiences and unique bars with a little extra natural ambiance to go along with it. In a city that has traditionally been concerned with maximizing the revenue produced per square inch of real estate, MGM's approach of creating beauty on the Strip is a novel approach. The city needs more art and culture, and the Bliss Dance statue adds this element. The opportunities are endless in this newly revitalized area.
Eric Maupin
Eric has lived in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas for 12 years. He recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with degree in liberal arts. As a freelance writer, he has written many articles about Las Vegas nightlife, restaurants, hotels, museums and gambling strategies.

He spends his spare time traveling to new countries, meeting tourists on the Strip and taking advantage of what Las Vegas has to offer. It’s not uncommon for him to spend time at blackjack tables or at a sports book when he’s not writing. As a Southern California native, he has weakness for the beach and great West Coast sport rivalries.
Eric Maupin
Eric has lived in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas for 12 years. He recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with degree in liberal arts. As a freelance writer, he has written many articles about Las Vegas nightlife, restaurants, hotels, museums and gambling strategies.

He spends his spare time traveling to new countries, meeting tourists on the Strip and taking advantage of what Las Vegas has to offer. It’s not uncommon for him to spend time at blackjack tables or at a sports book when he’s not writing. As a Southern California native, he has weakness for the beach and great West Coast sport rivalries.