In case you haven’t heard by now Monte Carlo will be transformed over the next couple of years to become Park MGM in 2018. MGM Resorts International will begin a major renovation of the property that will cover all of the hotel rooms, casino floor and restaurants later this year. The classic European design from Monte Carlo will continue at Park MGM but it will be similar to classic New York architecture than what you might find in Monte Carlo.
It appears that the New York theme from the neighboring casino, New York-New York, will carry through The Park and into the new hotel. Part of Park MGM will be devoted to NoMad, a luxury boutique hotel in New York City. Earlier this year Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts International, said that the company wouldn’t be theming any Las Vegas hotels for a while. In fact, with renovations potentially coming to Excalibur and Luxor there may be less themed hotels on the Vegas Strip than ever in a few years.
If you love the themed casino-hotels of Las Vegas you might want to make a pitstop at some of the few remaining hotels that have overt themes besides New York-New York.
Excalibur has a solid place on the Vegas Strip as one of the most kid-friendly hotels. The medieval theme and the castles are becoming a symbol of 90′s Las Vegas. Links to the past aren’t always desired in today’s corporate Las Vegas which is looking forward to the customer of tomorrow. We might soon see some of the exteriors of this hotel covered in corporate blandness. Interior de-theming isn’t difficult and a new exterior shopping element may take away some of the castle-like feelings outside. Dive into the Tournament of Kings if you need any excuse to visit Excalibur
This is an interesting property when it comes to de-theming. The Luxor pyramid may never go away in our lifetime. It’s one of the most iconic buildings on the Vegas Strip. Unless MGM Resorts decided to get rid of the entire building the pyramid isn’t going anywhere. However, on the inside, Luxor has undergone some de-theming over the years. You still know that you’re at the Luxor but the over the top original theme no longer exists. Ride the inclinator and grab a picture of the pyramid outside to make sure you have a memory of the Luxor should something drastic happen in the future.
The theme at Paris still exists but you can see it going away a little bit every year. Le Paris Balloon has been cleaned up, the Eiffel Tower still serves as one of the best views of the Vegas Strip and you can still see the Eiffel Tower legs inside of the casino. However, recent additions like Gordon Ramsay Steak and Martorano’s don’t really fit the Parisian theme. Even Burger Brasserie has lost the French “Le” that preceded the name. You may want to grab an extra Eiffel Tower slushy drink vessel on your next visit to have a memory of Paris Las Vegas at home.
Circus Circus
The Circus theme extends throughout the entire family-friendly property. There are new rides added to the Adventuredome but you can see the age of this casino that opened in the 1960′s. The Steakhouse has a vintage feel and makes one of the best and affordable high-end steak dinners on the Vegas Strip. Circus Circus occupies so much land that there are always rumors that it may be sold or renovated. Visit this strange piece of Las Vegas history while it’s still intact.
Treasure Island
The theme at Treasure Island is slowly slipping away. The Sirens of TI show has been canceled for a while now and Pirate Cove is no longer one of the best free attractions on the Vegas Strip. A new shopping element has taken over part of Pirate Cove and there’s barely enough room for the ship. The next renovation may mean the end of the nautical/pirate theme. The mixture of old theme and modern design is awkward and won’t last forever. Use the new Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit as an excuse to see the pirate ship while you can.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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