Strip re­sorts are warm­ing to the ho­tel-within-ho­tel bou­tique con­cept.

Strip re­sorts warm to ho­tel-within-ho­tel bou­tique con­cept

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Todd Prince

Work­ers planted trees and cleared away con­struc­tion ma­te­rial out­side NoMad Las Ve­gas last week as they hus­tled to put the fin­ish­ing touches on the val­ley’s new­est bou­tique ho­tel.

NoMad Las Ve­gas will of­fer 293 rooms on the top four floors of the re­branded Park MGM when it opens Fri­day. The of­fer­ing in­side Park MGM is part of the 3,000-room prop­erty’s two-year, $650 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion from the for­mer Monte Carlo.

NoMad isn’t the first Las Ve­gas ho­tel tucked in­side an­other. Nor will it be the last.

The highly com­pet­i­tive Strip at­mos­phere and chang­ing tastes are push­ing ex­ec­u­tives to re­think some of their prop­er­ties, in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als said.

“You can’t make Ve­gas re­sorts any glitzier than they are, so what makes them dif­fer­ent? You have to do some­thing to stand out. A bou­tique gives you an ad­di­tional brand and the op­por­tu­nity to se­lec­tively pick cus­tomers,” said Michael McCall, a hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sor at Michi­gan State Univer­sity.

The Drew, the 4,000-room project on the north Strip, will have some rooms man­aged un­der JW Mar­i­ott, as well as un­der JW Mar­i­ott’s bou­tique brand, Edi­tion, when it opens in 2020.

Re­sorts World Las Ve­gas, just across the street from The Drew, might in­cor­po­rate a bou­tique ho­tel in­side its 3,400-room prop­erty when it opens the same year, said spokesman Michael Levoff.

Bou­tique ho­tels gen­er­ally range in size from a few dozen rooms to 300 and of­fer a more per­son­al­ized ser­vice for a higher price. They of­ten

cen­ter on a unique restau­rant, bar or lounge con­cept and in­cor­po­rate cus­tom-de­signed fur­nish­ings and unique art­work.

Fast growth

Some up­scale Strip re­sorts are in­te­grat­ing bou­tiques into their mas­sive prop­er­ties as the sec­tor out­paces the broader hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try’s growth, po­ten­tially en­abling re­sorts to boost oc­cu­pancy at higher prices.

The bou­tique ho­tel in­dus­try has grown at a rate of 4.8 per­cent over the past five years and is now a $7 bil­lion in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to a 2017 re­search re­port by IBIS, a mar­ket re­search firm. IBIS ex­pects the in­dus­try to grow at a 3.2 per­cent clip over the next five years as trav­el­ers seek a more cus­tom­ized ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Over the last cou­ple of decades, trav­el­ers have grown in­creas­ingly wary of stay­ing in cookie-cut­ter ho­tels geared to­ward a mass au­di­ence. Trav­el­ers have be­gun mi­grat­ing to­ward new and more in­ti­mate types of ho­tels,” IBIS said.

The Strip has more than 86,000 rooms with po­ten­tially an­other 10,000 com­ing within three years.

Man­dalay Bay was the first Las Ve­gas prop­erty to cre­ate a ho­tel-in­side-a-ho­tel con­cept when it opened in 1999 with the Four Sea­sons oc­cu­py­ing floors 35 to 39 in the 43-story build­ing.

Four Sea­sons Las Ve­gas has its own el­e­va­tor ser­vice and ameni­ties such as a spa, three restau­rants and nearly 30,000 square feet of meet­ing space. It also has an ex­clu­sive pool for its guests.

The in­te­gra­tion with Man­dalay Bay works well, said Kim Cole, a spokes­woman for the lux­ury hos­pi­tal­ity brand. Busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives at­tend­ing a con­fer­ence at Man­dalay Bay will some­times use the more in­ti­mate board­rooms in the Four Sea­sons for meet­ings as well as book its rooms. All Four Sea­sons Las Ve­gas guests have ac­cess to Man­dalay Bay ameni­ties.

Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment Corp. opened the 182-room, celebrity chef-branded Nobu Ho­tel five years ago in­side its iconic ho­tel Cae­sars Palace.

Cae­sars spokes­woman Jen­nifer Fork­ish said the con­cept “has been ex­tremely suc­cess­ful,” but she de­clined to say whether the re­sort op­er­a­tor will seek to in­cor­po­rate a bou­tique ho­tel into any of its other Las Ve­gas prop­er­ties.

Nei­ther Las Ve­gas Sands, which op­er­ates the Palazzo and The Vene­tian, nor The Cos­mopoli­tan of Las Ve­gas re­sponded to re­quest for com­ment on their plans.

NoMad idea

MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional CEO Jim Mur­ren fre­quently stays at NoMad New York dur­ing trips to the Big Ap­ple, and he ap­proached the prop­erty’s de­vel­oper, Sy­dell Group, about open­ing his bou­tique in the fu­ture Park MGM, ac­cord­ing to Sy­dell CEO An­drew Zobler.

Zobler said he ini­tially wasn’t thrilled with the idea of be­ing a small part of a larger ho­tel. How­ever, his hes­i­ta­tion faded when MGM agreed to give Sy­dell the op­por­tu­nity to have in­flu­ence on the whole Park MGM project.

“That is what got us com­fort­able. NoMad re­ally needed to be a full-on ex­pe­ri­ence and not de­pend on the larger re­sort,” he said. “That makes for a bet­ter ho­tel, when there is a nar­ra­tive and not just a bunch of dif­fer­ent nar­ra­tives that are just put to­gether.”

NoMad Las Ve­gas has its own street-level en­trance and el­e­va­tor bank where guests will be met by re­cep­tion and a concierge. The NoMad Bar and NoMad Restau­rant are lo­cated on the first floor and Mo­roc­can-in­spired pool with food ser­vice on the sec­ond.

The high-limit casino room will be lo­cated near the NoMad restau­rant and bar and will seam­lessly con­nect the bou­tique with the rest of Park MGM.

NoMad’s con­cept is to in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments of the lo­cal cul­ture into each of its prop­er­ties, and Zobler said he couldn’t imag­ine NoMad Las Ve­gas with­out its own casino area.

The NoMad bar, restau­rants and high-limit casino room will be open to other guests, but the pool will be ex­clu­sively for its own clients.

More bou­tiques

Zobler said it is dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a 3,000- to 4,000-room prop­erty that ap­peals to every­body to­day. Peo­ple’s tastes have be­come more “finely tuned,” he said.

He ex­pects other large-scale ho­tels to in­cor­po­rate bou­tique ho­tels within their prop­er­ties and not just in Las Ve­gas. Some ho­tels in New York are ripe for the con­cept, he said.

Mehmet Er­dem, a UNLV hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sor, said it is be­com­ing eas­ier for prop­erty op­er­a­tors to in­cor­po­rate a bou­tique be­cause they know so much more about their guests’ in­ter­ests and tastes.

“The tech­nol­ogy to­day, such as so­cial me­dia, al­lows us to col­lect more data on peo­ple and make more ac­cu­rate pre­dic­tions if a new project will be prof­itable or not,” he said.

Zobler said the ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with MGM Re­sorts on Park MGM and NoMad Las Ve­gas has ce­mented a strong re­la­tion­ship with the re­sort op­er­a­tor.

“We would be in­ter­ested in work­ing with them in other places,” he said.

Car­o­line Brehman Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal

A room on the 37th floor at the Four Sea­sons ho­tel in­side the Man­dalay Bay. Four Sea­sons Las Ve­gas opened in 1999.

Benoit Linero Cour­tesy of NoMad Las Ve­gas

Benoit Linero Cour­tesy of NoMad Las Ve­gas

Richard Brian Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal @ve­g­as­pho­to­graph

A cus­tom pool table in the three-bed­room, 10,300-square-foot Nobu Villa on the rooftop of the Nobu Ho­tel, a bou­tique ho­tel at Cae­sars Palace.

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