Industry Weekly

[The Forecast]

MGM is betting on a big year on the Strip in 2018

U2 is just one of the huge acts set to spend some time at T-Mobile Arena this year.

MGM Resorts International is bringing a lot of excitement to 2018 with the transformation of the Monte Carlo resort into Park MGM and the NoMad Hotel. And yet that massive project is just the tip of the spear when it comes to the hospitality behemoth’s plans for the coming year, when it will deliver unique and thrilling entertainment options to the Strip.

The aforementioned resort’s Park Theater recently added Lady Gaga—opening in December—to its list of resident stars, with more big names to come. “We anticipate there will be more residents announced at Park Theater in the near future,” said Senior VP of Entertainment Rick Arpin. “The acts we are looking at are amazing and iconic, which they would have to be to match an already stellar lineup.”

There are plans to further utilize the neighboring Park and Toshiba Plaza this year, especially when programming aligns with major events at T-Mobile Arena, which has been electrified with the success of the Vegas Golden Knights.

“The biggest hope I have as a native of Las Vegas is that the guests coming regularly to [Knights] games who may not have visited the Strip often or at all, now decide to come more regularly for other events, or simply to enjoy the Strip experience,” Arpin said. T-Mobile will host concerts with Katy Perry, U2 and Pink in the first half of 2018.

Moving south on the Strip, MGM will bring more professional sports to Las Vegas in May when the WNBA’s Aces begin play at Mandalay Bay Events Center. “We hope to pattern a few things after the Golden Knights, including the quality of play and the engagement of the players in the community. Those are hallmarks of the WNBA nationwide, so we are excited to see that here in Las Vegas as another piece of our pro sports puzzle,” Arpin said, also noting that Mandalay Bay is ideally suited for the team. “Many WNBA teams play in major arenas that are frankly too large. Second, the property offers a variety of attractions and amenities for a family. And third, the resort is very accessible to fans, and there is plenty to do both pre- and post-game.”

MGM has activity planned for the north Strip, too, with the festival grounds at Sahara Avenue expected to host at least two large events this year.

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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 18 years. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering the ...

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