What has been rumored and leaked for weeks on VegasTripping was officially announced today: That MGM will remodel the strip-facing facades of New York New York and Monte Carlo and create a new corridor of bars and restaurants leading to an Arena behind MOnte Carlo called The Park. I’ll spare you a rehashing the details, VegastTripping has already done a stand-up job on that. What intrigues me is the incredible lack of creativity in Las Vegas these days.
It seems that Las Vegas has entered the era of one-upping each other. If downtown can have a zipline, why not Rio or Excalibur? If Caesars is building a ferris wheel, why not build a second or third? If Wynn is selling out XS and Surrender, why not build Hakkassan? And if Caesars is going to build a new street of restaurants and bars, why should MGM do the same?
Originality is completely lost. The Park is basically a mirror image of the Linq. At the end of the Linq is the High Roller Observation Wheel and The Park will have an Arena at the end of it’s corridor. Is there a point where the strip just can’t sustain these things? How many restaurant and bar districts does it really need? How many night clubs or ferris wheels need to exist on a 4 mile stretch of road? I’m not sure we know the answer to this yet, but there has to be a saturation point.
And this isn’t just a budget gambler bitching about the strip moving in a direction that is counter to his interests. That’s a problem for me personally, especially with Bill’s, O’Sheas, and Imperial Palace all having gone the way of 3/2 blackjack. I want to get excited about new projects, but it’s impossible to get excited about mirror images of the same project.
The concept of having a small boutique hotel was interesting when Vdara was announced. It got less interesting as Nobu was announced, then Delano, and now Gansevoort. Linq and the high roller were interesting, but the Park is less interesting. With only two major players on the strip, there just isn’t much pushing these corporations to innovate.
And this is where the excitement of Genting comes in. If Resorts World Las Vegas happens as announced, it is exactly what the strip needs: an infusion of originality and the desire to take a risk. It’s interesting and different. I’m much more excited about where that could lead las Vegas than another row of bars and restaurants, no matter how cool, hip, or trendy they may seem.