The changing face of the Strip: A look inside the new Park MGM

The ever-changing face of Vegas.. new to the “stripscape” - Park MGM re-branded & re-imagined from the former Monte Carlo Vegas (Heather Mills | KSNV)

Las Vegas is in the middle of a rebranding.

It’s a revitalization boom of sorts, with several hotels on the Strip undergoing renovations.

Wednesday, Park MGM showed off its complete makeover of the old Monte Carlo, which opened 22-years-ago, a long time by Vegas standards.

What’s happening, although new, is another example of the ever-changing façade of the strip.

It’s out with the old and in with the new.

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“This is Las Vegas in another case of reinvention," said UNLV Associate History Professor Michael Green.

Instead of an implosion, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s a transformation.

“It’s definitely not the flash and the glitz that we see in a lot of these Las Vegas resorts,” said the president and CEO of Park MGM, Patrick Miller.

Park MGM is just a shell of the old Monte Carlo. It received a full facelift from top to bottom, including a new lobby with a giant tree sculpture, three smaller pools that are more intimate, revamped rooms and new dining experiences.

The top four floors, coming this fall, will be a boutique hotel inside of the hotel called The NoMad, of New York City and Los Angeles fame.

“Historically, we looked to Southern California for the majority of our marketing, so why not bring a little bit of southern California here?" said Green, who explained that renovation is part of the fabric of the strip.

“Las Vegas has a history of being other places,” he said. “We tend to forget the Sahara, with its Arabian Nights theme, for a while was a NASCAR-related hotel for a while. Now it’s the SLS. The Frontier started out as an Old West hotel. They renovated it into a space-oriented hotel.”

For some, like Jana Lee of Oklahoma, it’s sad to see the bright blinking lights of Las Vegas turn to a luxurious sheen.

"If they got rid of the older ones, it just loses its magic," she said.

For others, like Mark Kaufman of Indiana, the change happening along Las Vegas Boulevard is right in line with the destination they bet on.

“A little cleaner, a little nicer, a little more upscale,” he said.

Park MGM is part of a $550 million renovation. It will be fully complete by the end of 2018.

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