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In which American city in 2018 will you find Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Cher, Pink, U2 and Smashing Pumpkins, an Eataly, Chicago’s coolest steakhouse (Hint: not Chicago), pro hockey, boxing, a 7,500-pound stainless steel woman, a craft beer hall, 2,700 renovated guestrooms and suites, an outdoor park, a theater, an arena, two swimming pools, a nightclub and a sea of slot machines all within a single city block?

The answer, of course, is Las Vegas. A city that forever aims to dazzle, Vegas has been in the middle of a reinvention lull thanks to a number of delayed projects on the north end of the Strip. Thankfully, MGM Resorts has stepped up to the plate with a half billion dollar renovation of the Monte Carlo, which officially became the earthy and elegant Park MGM on May 9. This is no ordinary makeover. The new hotel includes Park Theater, Chicago’s Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar, and an Eataly Italian marketplace, slated for later this year. Best of all, the hotel spills out onto Park Las Vegas, a sprawling outdoor playground and public space that’s home to T-Mobile Arena.

It’s the best thing to happen to Vegas in years and here is a sneak peek at the city block whose buzz will soon be deafening…

RELATED: How to spend 24 hours inside a Vegas resort without ever leaving it

The old Monte Carlo officially became the Park MGM on May 9, as seen in this rendering. Look for two significant additions—celebrated food emporium Eataly and a new restaurant from L.A. Son author Roy Choi—which won’t be finished until late 2018. Ready to go inside?

 

Greener than the urban park for which it’s named, the Park MGM vaunts a lush, earthy vibe starting in the lobby where guests check in under a canopy of thick, intertwining tree roots.

 

We’re obsessed with the guestrooms—simple, modern and elegant.

 

Each room contains a curated selection of eclectic artwork.

 

And look at these bathrooms!

 

Meet the outdoor patio at garden-inspired restaurant Primrose, which serves casual American cuisine with a French Twist. No joke: We had breakfast here every single morning during our stay.

 

Like the hotel itself, the food at Primrose is simple and unfussy.

 

Save us a seat by one of two swimming pools, please. We love the mint green color scheme, and that the vibe is more relaxed here than at some of Park MGM’s rowdier neighbors.

 

The Park MGM spills right out onto the Park, a public gathering space that opened in 2016 and at long last brings a breath of nature to the Strip. Check out Party at the Park every Wednesday and Thursday featuring live music plus $5 beer, wine and shots starting at 5pm!

 

Meet “Bliss Dance,” a 7,500-pound stainless steel sculpture that was created for the Burning Man Festival and now lives permanently at the Park where she is the backdrop to a million Instagram photos.

 

The Park is lined with eateries, but one highlight is craft brew-focused Beerhaus whose seating spills right onto the Park. We came for the sausages, but stayed for the bar games. PS: On a hot summer day save room for Bye Felicia, a scoop of vanilla-sprinkled ice cream smashed between two sugar cookies.

 

On the west end of the Park sits the new T Mobile Arena, which opened in 2016 and is home to pro hockey team the Las Vegas Golden Knights. You can catch numerous concerts here, too: The 2018 roster includes Justin Timberlake, Smashing Pumpkins, Pink, U2, Metallica, George Strait and many others.

 

No Vegas steakhouse has the same cool factor as scene newcomer Bavette’s. The speakeasy-style eatery is located right off the Park MGM’s casino floor, but transports guests to another world. A creation of Chicago’s famed Hogsalt Group, it’s nearly impossible to get a table at the Windy City outpost (believe us, we’ve tried).

 

Yum. See those Brussels sprouts? They’re out-of-this-world delicious.

 

Make friends with strangers at the bar or table next to you and when they offer you a bite of their chocolate cream pie, gladly oblige and eat the entire thing (like we did) while they’re not looking.

 

The new 5,200-seat Park Theater, a state-of-the-art venue attached to the Park MGM and opening right onto the Park itself.

 

Just think: This is the view of the theater if you’re Cher, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga or any number of superstars performing here in 2018.

 

Tagged: Las Vegas

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Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is an associate editor at Orbitz, a social media marketing consultant and a freelance cultural reporter for numerous publications. His works has been featured in the Huffington Post, Time Out, Passport, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and many others.

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