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MGM Grand planning revamp of Las Vegas Strip front

Updated January 16, 2019 - 7:19 pm

The 25-year-old MGM Grand is planning to revamp its Strip facade.

Executives are studying ways to create more buzz on its segment of Las Vegas Boulevard to attract more pedestrians, said MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella, who has been running the property the past seven years.

“We are discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip,” Sibella said.

MGM Grand has 700 rooms in the west wing — the former Marina hotel — that stretches toward the boulevard “and our goal is to blow it out to the Strip and open it up like some other properties have done,” he said.

Pedestrians strolling by MGM Grand along the Strip enter the sprawling building only through an elevator or find an entrance tucked in a side street.

The revamp will include restaurants and retail, allowing more people to enter the sprawling 5,000-room property from the Strip side, he said.

New York-New York and Caesars Palace are among resorts that have restaurants opening onto the Strip.

Las Vegas-based Union Gaming analyst John DeCree said following suit “makes a lot of sense.”

“MGM Grand’s connectivity with the Strip is pretty difficult. I can’t imagine many people wander into the Grand by accident,” DeCree said.

MGM Grand already has occupancy levels above 90 percent, so there is not much revenue left to squeeze from rooms, DeCree said. But, the property could pull in foot traffic leaving T-Mobile Arena or the Park Theatre across the street.

MGM Grand would “redo” the dome area that is bordered by Hakkasan, the experimental gaming area Level Up and the sports book, Sibella said. A representative for Hakkasan Group said Wednesday the nightclub does not have any announcements regarding renovations.

Sibella said work on the project would likely not start this year and he did not give the potential value of the investment.

Focus at home

MGM Resorts has finished a massive $6 billion investment cycle outside Las Vegas in the past few years, giving it more time to focus on its Strip properties.

Last month the company completed a two-year, $550 million overhaul of Park MGM, which features Eataly — a large food and retail area right on the Strip.

DeCree said the MGM Grand could take a page from Park MGM.

“Eataly is tremendously inviting from the Strip,” he said.

MGM Grand will incorporate lessons learned at Park MGM into its plans, Sibella said.

MGM Grand investments

The facade plans are the latest changes to come to MGM Grand. The property opened a new $130 million conference center this month.

The main entrance on Tropicana will also be overhauled in the coming years, MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren told investors in May.

MGM Grand is the largest property in the company’s portfolio by rooms and second-largest by earnings.

MGM Grand was on course to post nearly $400 million in cash flow in 2018 – or slightly more than $1 million a day. That would be a record and the highest since 2007.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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