Monte Carlo conversion shows how to get 2 hotels for price of 1

The conversion of MGM Resorts International’s Monte Carlo into Park MGM makes perfect sense: Why invest more than $550 million to upgrade a hotel that first opened its doors in 1996 when you can get two hotels for the price of one, including one with a brand that has had New Yorkers swooning since it opened?

That was the mindset MGM CEO Jim Murren had when he approached Andrew Zobler, the founder and CEO of the Sydell Group, operators of NoMad and four other eclectic hotel brands.

Murren and Zobler got acquainted over several months and Murren learned more about NoMad, which effectively uses contemporary design and art to create rooms and suites that look more like homey apartments than traditional Las Vegas hotel rooms.

NoMad, a sort of shorthand for NOrth of MADison Square Park in Manhattan, will occupy nearly 300 rooms in a boutique hotel setting, have its own check-in area, swimming pools and casino. The other 2,700 rooms and suites will take on the Park MGM brand and will include a Sydell Group-inspired look that fits the neighborhood MGM has developed around The Park, Toshiba Plaza, the T-Mobile Arena and New York-New York.

Some restaurants have already opened, including Primrose, a garden-style restaurant with some outdoor seating, and Bavette’s steakhouse. An Eataly Italian market is under development and will be one of the last improvements before redevelopment work is complete.

The rebranding of Monte Carlo to Park MGM began in June 2016, and signage and other improvements will continue through next year with the final work scheduled toward the end of 2018.

Zobler took journalists on a tour of the NoMad improvements to date Wednesday afternoon.

MGM dedicated $450 million toward the makeover and also spent $90 million to develop the 5,200-seat Park Theater.

Murren said he is happy to collaborate with Zobler because it meant bringing “intellectual capital” to Las Vegas for a project, a concept former MGM leader Kirk Kerkorian championed in his association with the company.

“Many of his folks have already moved from New York to Las Vegas, and it’s very inspirational,” Murren said.

The NoMad Las Vegas is somewhat of a departure for Zobler and Sydell, which usually does smaller, idiosyncratic hotels that are restorations of old buildings under the Line, Freehand, Saguaro and Ned brands.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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