MGM Grand Exploring Ways to Update Las Vegas Strip Frontage

Posted on: January 17, 2019, 09:25h. 

Last updated on: January 17, 2019, 09:25h.

Executives at MGM Grand, the largest Las Vegas resort in terms of hotel rooms, say they’re researching ways to make their Strip façade a bit more appealing to pedestrians. 

MGM Grand Strip entry Las Vegas pedestrian
MGM Grand will soon feature a more appealing pedestrian corridor into the resort. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TPDAY Sports)

The Hakkasan restaurant and nightclub creates a wall barrier that essentially blocks pedestrians’ view of the MGM Grand. Entry into the resort is through a small door labeled “Casino Entrance” that takes guests to an elevator.

Speaking with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM Grand COO Scott Sibella says that will soon change. 

We are discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip,” Sibella revealed. “Our goal is to blow it out to the Strip and open it up like some other properties have done.”

MGM Grand turned 25-years-old last month. Its emerald green exterior remains from the resort’s early days that featured an extensive Wizard of Oz theme. 

Grand Scheme of Things

Las Vegas casinos once had one goal in mind: keeping gamblers inside their doors. That thinking changed long ago, and resorts up and down the Strip have reinvented their properties to make coming and going easier. 

In 2014, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said, “These indoor-outdoor spaces are really the future of Las Vegas.” 

“The casino design of 20 years was all inward facing,” Murren added. “You wanted to suck people in and keep them in and that is the opposite of what we’re doing now.”

Case in point: MGM has invested heavily in developing The Park, an “immersive outdoor dining and entertainment district.” The neighborhood features the T-Mobile Arena, New York-New York resort, and reimagined Monte Carlo, which is now known as Park MGM. 

Strip Design

Sibella says the MGM Grand Strip overhaul will likely include new restaurants and retail space to lure pedestrians inside the property. Union Gaming analyst John DeCree tells the RJ that makes sense.

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

MGM Resorts reports that the Grand’s occupancy through three quarters in 2018 was at 93.5 percent. The average daily room rate was $183. 

MGM Grand should benefit from the 2020 opening of the $1.8 billion Las Vegas Stadium, which will become the home of the NFL Raiders. The 65,000-seat domed facility is being constructed just west of I-15 between Hacienda Avenue and Russell Road. 

The stadium is roughly one mile from MGM Grand. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee projects that the football venue will lead to 708,400 incremental room nights annually.