Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 | 2 a.m.
A quick tale from many years ago on the Strip:
The TV series “The X-Files” ventured to Las Vegas to film an episode titled “Three of a Kind,” which starred the series’ trio of “Lone Gunman” Ringo Langly (Dean Haglund), John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood) and Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood).
The triumvirate was in town to infiltrate the annual International Defense Contractors Convention. They were to flesh out various black ops posing as contractors during a card game.
For this episode, producers needed an ornate, classy hotel-casino to serve as its backdrop. Something bright and stately that would evoke images of a James Bond movie.
They picked Monte Carlo.
“The reason we wanted to be here was for the simple elegance, the international look of a classy hotel,” the show’s location manager, Doug Dresser, said at the time. So it made sense to venture to a hotel that was beautiful, even if indistinguishably so.
That was in March 1999, a little less than three years after the opening of Monte Carlo. The hotel has since become a commonplace destination on the Strip, its brand growing stale as the surrounding neighborhood has blossomed.
An effort to revive that property has been three years in the making and led to the announcement Friday that the resort is to be renamed Park MGM and NoMad Hotel, a $450 million deal in partnership with Sydell Group, a consortium of investors that includes billionaire Ron Burkle and company founder Andrew Zobler, and MGM Resorts International.
The NoMad takes up the top three floors currently occupied by Hotel 32 and will be a separate amenity from Park MGM below.
Expect a little more than a year of buildup to Park MGM and NoMad. Construction is to begin late fall and conclude by the close of 2018.
Soon after Friday’s announcement, MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren spoke to specifics about the new project. Some of the highlights:
Expect the pricing of Park MGM and NoMad to be among the top resorts in the city: Asked if we might see room rates at the new resorts in competition with famous Las Vegas outposts such as the Cosmopolitan and Wynn/Encore, Murren was succinct in his response.
“Certainly we will be in line with the Cosmo with what we offer and execute with the (food and beverage) we have planned, places like Eleven Madison and many other restaurants coming that are world class,” he said.
“That is just one area, and we have the access to the Park, the new Park Theater that we are booking there and a superior room product. You will see the product priced for what customers pay at Wynn/Encore, Mirage, Bellagio and Aria, yes.”
The essential structure of today’s Monte Carlo remains intact:
The top three floors are the NoMad, and the entrance for the guests checking in to that hotel will be on the property’s secondary entrance facing T-Mobile Arena and the Park.
The Monte Carlo sports book is giving way to the Library:
Murren said the Library, a popular hang and restaurant at NoMad in New York, will overtake the current sports book space.
“This is a three-story space and restaurant,” Murren said. “It is one of the signature elements of the new hotel and will be the most-coveted place to sit in the property.”
Murren has long wanted to bring Eataly to Las Vegas:
“We had tried for 10 years to bring it here,” Murren said of his efforts to bring the Mario Batali Italian marketplace to the Strip. “It took this project to bring the relationship together.”
Over the last four years, Batali has alternately said that he was looking at a space at the Venetian/Palazzo or in Summerlin for the Las Vegas outpost of the collection of cafes, walk-up counters and restaurants.
The casino floor will not be moved, expanded or drawn down:
“The gaming area will be the same as it is at Monte Carlo now, but we will have new decor,” Murren said. “There won’t be a square foot that will not be redone, including the pool deck, exterior and window treatments.”
The hotel is to have a “romantic” effect:
“NoMad is extremely romantic and beautifully designed,” Murren said. “Imagine a Parisian apartment with highly lacquered, wood-planed floors with high-end art. It’s more of a residential design than you have seen on the Strip.”
Murren also said there would be a slight, but not significant, decrease in the total number of rooms as suites are added.
Expect superstar headliners at the Park Theater:
The latest word out of that venue, which is to seat 5,300 in its Strip-front location, is that Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga have been targeted for rotating residencies, similar to the booking strategy for headliners at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Axis at Planet Hollywood.
To reiterate, Murren said, “I can say the quality of those you have written about are the nature of those we are working with. I can’t confirm those names, but they are in the stratosphere of who we are going to have next year at the Park Theater. They will be the best of the best and someone who has never done this type of residency before.”