Patrick Miller is president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas's 3,000-room Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, where owner MGM Resorts is investing $450 million to fully transform it into the Park MGM by spring and add an outpost of the NoMad luxury brand by the end of 2018. With the exception of a two-year stint at MGM Resorts' Mandalay Bay, Miller has worked at the Monte Carlo since 2005. He spoke with hotels editor Danny King.Q: What spurred MGM Resorts to update and rebrand the Monte Carlo?
A: The story started a ways back. When you think about the neighborhood, CityCenter opened [in 2009], and we had all this development, and Aria was at the center of it. You've got modern to luxury to ultraluxury, but you didn't have a boutique-type property with a residential feel. So we had the opportunity to invest in the Monte Carlo and make a property that was distinctly different.
We looked at what the consumer wanted and tried to figure out how to create experiences and an environment where it's not just about holding guests within the four walls but to really experience what's around them.
Q: How far along are you?
A: We're about 90% through all the Park MGM rooms. The remaining rooms are what's slated for the NoMad space. Those are the ones that will come online in the fall of 2018.
Q: How much do you expect the renovations and rebranding to boost room rates?
A: I can't comment on average daily rate changes, but certainly the property shifts to a higher-end guest. The Monte Carlo was set firmly in the midtier level. We look at midluxury, Mandalay Bay and Mirage-type level for Park MGM, and the NoMad will be firmly in the luxury level like the Bellagio and the Wynn.
Q: What will the NoMad bring to the Strip?
A: Our company understands large scale, but consumers aren't as impressed with those large brands as they could be. This NoMad guest wants a more discerning experience, so you'll have a dedicated arrival area, lounge and food and beverage space. It's not just a room product that's separate, but really a hotel experience from check-in to departure, where the guest can just live in the NoMad if they want to.
The Park MGM and NoMad will also shape up to be a great culinary property. We've added [French restaurant] Primrose, and we're getting great reviews of our steakhouse [Bavette's]. The NoMad will have all the food and beverage done by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara [who run food and beverage at New York's NoMad as well as New York's Eleven Madison Park restaurant]. The next big step is Eataly, the Italian marketplace. That's slated for the end of the year. And there's a couple more that haven't been announced yet.
Q: There's a big New York emphasis there, yes?
A: Yes. We looked from a coastal and international side at who'd be our best partners and collaborators. We know we have great strength within our company, but we also know the power of a great partner. Sydell's known for creating these experiences. Getting a partner that's nimble and on the forefront of trendsetting allows you to find projects that are unique to Las Vegas.
Q: How do you think Las Vegas has recovered since the October shooting?
A: I'm tremendously impressed by the resilience, not just from the city leaders but from the people who work in the city. I'm even more impressed with how the usual guests have responded, and to the outpouring from people who want to travel, who want to be a part of Vegas and to show that these terrible acts won't change how we act and do business. On the whole, the properties continue to see growth back to where it was before.