© 2016 Barry Toranto
Back in Las Vegas’ “glory days,” the emphasis was on keeping visitors inside, where they could spend their dollars at the casino, in the restaurants or by going to a show. Moving sidewalks famously brought guests into hotels — but not out of them.
Happily, earlier this year, MGM Resorts broke with that philosophy and opened a unique outdoor entertainment area right on the Strip. Called simply The Park and located between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York hotels, the pedestrian-friendly area is a bit more like an outside shopping mall than a park. Still, it’s a great space for those who want to dine outside or take a stroll away from the unrelenting chaos of the Strip.
The Park offers access to the new 20,000-seat T-Mobile arena, the premier venue in the city for big-name entertainers and concerts, as well as the home of the first professional sports franchise in Las Vegas — a hockey team that has yet to be formally named. Also, a major 5,300-seat theater at the Monte Carlo, just adjacent to The Park, is currently under construction.
In addition to T-Mobile arena, there are several restaurants in The Park, including California Pizza Kitchen, unique sandwiches at Bruxie, sushi and other Japanese dishes at Sake Rok and a large craft-beer pub called Beerhaus.
On a recent visit to Beerhaus, a group of us enjoyed gourmet sausages (hormone-free, according to the menu) and a local IPA, while playing a variety of bar games. There was plenty of room to spread out, and the service was attentive.
Best of all, afterward, we could hang out under the stars (actual stars, not those painted on a lobby ceiling), enjoying a warm spring evening without once hearing the clanging of a slot machine.