The Park - MGM

Project Description

The area is a lush promenade -- featuring the Bliss Dance sculpture, meta-quartzite stone sourced from a local quarry, trees, native plantings, monumental shade structures fitted with theatrical LED lighting, 100 feet of dynamic cascading water walls, and patio dining. Sustainable elements throughout The Park include drought-tolerant desert landscaping, water conservation systems, locally sourced and recycled materials and energy-efficient processes.

At the grand opening of The Park, MGM’s CEO Jim Murren received the 2016 Water Hero Award from the Southern Nevada Water Authority recognizing businesses or individuals dedicated to water conservation and devoted to saving millions of gallons of water annually.


  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • MGM
  • Marnell Architecture, !melk landscape architecture & urban design, Cooper Robertson & Partners
  • 3 Acres

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The New Park Features Landscape and Design Inspired by the Surrounding Mojave Desert

Las Vegas calls to mind images of glittering lights, luxurious resorts and jaw- dropping attractions. But nestled between Monte Carlo Resort and Casino and New York-New York Hotel & Casino is The Park, an oasis designed to feel like a microcosm of the surrounding desert landscape that also serves as the pathway to the new T-Mobile Arena.

Opened in April 2016, The Park provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of The Strip, allowing guests to relax and unwind in the beauty of modern design while socializing with friends, enjoying delicious food and beverage from charming culinary destinations or strolling through the space to take in the sights of The Strip's newest architectural marvel.

MGM Resorts partnered with !melk landscape architecture & urban design with the common goal of creating a space where stunning desert landscape and cutting edge design work in harmony. Standout elements such as breathtaking monumental shade structures, theatrical lighting, dynamic water features and meta-quartzite stone sourced from a local quarry offer a modern interpretation of the incredible beauty one finds in the desert.

The !melk team did extensive research, making numerous visits to Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert, studying the geographic and geologic context of area. Their approach was to eschew the Vegas tradition of creating illusions of something else and instead create a place that is directly and authentically inspired by the city's context, history and landscape.

Once their concept was in place, the !melk team began to search for the perfect desert trees and ground coverings to bring their vision to life. They selected trees such as acacias and honey mesquites to provide ample shade from the desert sun. Rather than waiting years for plant life to mature, The Park was designed to be fully grown on opening day, so the team explored nurseries throughout the southwest and meticulously chose the unique trees and plants, which were transported and carefully placed in their new Las Vegas home.

Also hand-selected were the wide variety of colorful blooms that punctuate the planters. Flowerings plants such as pink hesperaloes, yellow damianitas, and purple salvias create year-round visual interest and color throughout The Park.

Las Vegas was once a green oasis in the desert with natural springs bubbling from the ground. Water features throughout The Park pay homage to that history. Visitors have the chance to walk between a double water wall, which stand at 8-feet at its highest point, before strolling past low water tables programmed to allow water to bubble and splash, creating soothing sounds and atmosphere.

Casual restaurants and bars with outdoor seating flank The Park, providing visitors the opportunity to indulge in delicious fare as they make their way through the space. Whether relaxing under the shade structures, taking photos in front of the spectacular water wall or meeting up with friends, The Park is an enticing getaway that provides a fun, exciting and relaxing cultural experience for all.

Did you Know

  • More than 200 mature trees and 3,000 ground covers give The Park its distinctive look
  • Two water walls, inspired by the Nevada desert's natural springs, serve as a pathway through which guests may stroll
  • In addition to compelling architecture and design, unique restaurant and bar locations offer guests a wide variety of dining options


Identifying the perfect building block for the Las Vegas Strip's newest development was no short order.

To create more than 600 geometric stone pieces for The Park - MGM Resorts' immersive outdoor dining and entertainment district on The Strip's west side - the company and !melk, a landscape architecture and urban design practice, scoured options far and wide. The team sought material that was not only environmentally appropriate, but would beautifully complement the surrounding desert landscape and add eye- catching detail for visitors of The Park.

As it turns out, they found exactly what they were looking for just a stone's throw away. About 30 miles south in the desert foothills, Las Vegas Rock mines the multi-hued meta-quartzite stones selected for the job. This vibrant rock - ranging in tone from fiery rusts and golds to burgundies and plums - has been crafted features.

Envisioned as an experiential eco-oasis mirroring the Mojave Desert's striking natural beauty, The Park is unlike anything ever constructed on the manmade marvel that is the Las Vegas Strip. In many ways The Park represents a return to the land for a city whose development history has traditionally stood in stark contrast to its native ecology.

As one of its most prolific building elements, Las Vegas Rock's meta- quartzite measures up to The Park's intricate sustainability standards in more ways than one.

Las Vegas Rock is located less than 30 miles from The Park.

Not only does utilizing this locally extracted stone minimize the construction phase's carbon footprint, reducing the fossil fuel miles required for transportation to the project site, meta-quartzite's vivid strata variations introduce colors characteristic of the Southwestern landscape to Las Vegas Boulevard. Reminiscent of some of Nevada's most iconic natural landmarks, including Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, meta- quartzite is a product of similar ancient geology that formed these locations during the Jurassic Period.

The vibrant colors of meta-quartzite call to mind nearby Red Rock Canyon.

And despite Las Vegas' reputation for harsh heat, The Park offers a cooler and more comfortable atmosphere thanks to plenty of shade and the use of materials like meta-quartzite. Because of its porous physiology, meta-quartzite absorbs and dissipates heat, making it cooling to the touch - an ideal stone for constructing outdoor spaces in hot climates.

Among the pieces Las Vegas Rock produced for The Park are giant, crystal-like planters to contain the native vegetation and flora that bring the desert to bloom at the heart of The Strip. The geode-shaped planters also offer inset seating for park goers to relax and enjoy their surroundings.

To harvest this stone from the mountain side, Las Vegas Rock carves the red meta-quartzite from the mountain quarry in large blocks. The rough pieces are then hauled to the base of the hill and on to the processing facility for the next steps.

The entire process is a mindful one. The first and only natural stone manufacturer to have achieved the US Green Building Council's Innovation in Design Cradle to Cradle Certification, Las Vegas Rock operates a zero-waste facility, repurposing all bi-products for new use, recycling water and sustainably mining their quarry to conserve the precious stone for generations to come.

Las Vegas Rock utilizes a sustainable process to harvest the rock.

To achieve multi-dimensional surfaces, not unlike cut diamonds, the most advanced stone masonry technology was required. Using seven-axis machine saws acquired specifically for the project, Las Vegas Rock's stone artists used 3D computer programming to slice the massive pieces of rock from multiple directions. Sandblasting hones and seals the exterior to create a windswept, weathered effect like one might observe in the geology of the nearby canyons. The results are curvaceous pieces that fit together, creating stunning exteriors for the planters.

Did you Know

  • Las Vegas Rock holds a geological patent for the unique meta- quartzite stone mined from the 900-acre Rainbow Quarry.
  • The deposit was formed by prehistoric sand dunes nearly 200 million years ago, but only since the 20th century mining boom has it been a stone quarry. In operation since the 1920s, Rainbow Quarry thrives today thanks to Las Vegas Rock's sustainable extraction efforts.
  • More than 1,000 tons of meta-quartzite stones were incorporated into features of The Park.
  • Signature planters feature windswept, red meta-quartzite walls with inset seating formed by rounded white quartz benches.

Las Vegas Hospitality Contractor


Iconic Statue of Dancing Woman Featured within Immersive Outdoor Dining and Entertainment District

LAS VEGAS – Bliss Dance – the breathtaking, 40-foot-tall sculpture of a dancing woman created by artist Marco Cochrane – has found a new home. The art installation now permanently inhabits The Park, MGM Resorts International’s (NYSE: MGM) dynamic outdoor dining and entertainment district that transformed the west side of the Las Vegas Strip when it opened April 4, 2016.

The structure and scale of Bliss Dance was inspired by Cochrane’s first experience at Burning Man, and the piece debuted in 2010 at the annual arts and culture event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. She later resided on San Francisco’s Treasure Island as a public display before being refurbished, and returned to the desert as a centerpiece of The Park’s natural landscaping, plantings and inspired design.

Bliss Dance is Cochrane’s and model Deja Solis’ powerful statement about female strength, self- confidence and expression. Marco Cochrane said, “What I see missing in the world is an appreciation and respect for feminine energy and power that results when women are free and safe. It seems obvious to me that feminine energy is being suppressed and that this must change. If we are to find real, lasting solutions to the problems facing humanity, men and women must be able to work together as equals. Bliss Dance is intended to focus attention on this issue.”

Weighing more than 7,500 pounds, the dancer’s form achieves lightness and momentum through ingenious structural engineering using triangulated geodesic struts. Mesh stainless steel “skin” forms the curvatures of a body in motion – an imminent and ethereal mobility that seems to soar through space. Glimmering beneath the sun by day, and illuminated by 3,000 colored LED lights by night, Bliss Dance is a visual spectacle that portrays the inner confidence and uninhibited expression of its subject.

This incredible feat of engineering and design was Cochrane’s first piece in his tri-part series, The Bliss Project. Intended to be a catalyst for social change, Bliss Dance and her counterparts Truth is Beauty and R-Evolution transcend the physical world, connecting with viewers on an emotional level with the humanity of the person, to de-objectify the female form. By creating pieces of this scale, Cochrane hopes to inspire viewers to take an active role in ending violence to women and making room for women’s voices.

Bliss Dance is the focal piece of the new pedestrian park experience. An eclectic blend of restaurants, bars and entertainment tucked into rich desert landscaping, The Park is a central gathering place on The Strip’s west side connecting New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts along with the new 20,000-seat world-class T-Mobile Arena. An interactive and social environment, The Park aims to build a sense of community through innovative programming and events.

Don Thrasher, President of The Park, said, “From its scale to its visual magnificence, Bliss Dance is unlike anything in Las Vegas and will be an unparalleled addition to The Park,”. The sculpture’s legacy of inspiring curiosity and captivating the imaginations of spectators will thrive in our city.”

About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at

About Marco Cochrane
Marco Cochrane was born to American artists in Venice, Italy in 1962. Raised in Northern California in the midst of the political and cultural movement of those times, he was imbued with a deep respect for balance, unity and the imperative to make the world a better place.


Being cool never felt so good.

Color-changing art installations that elicit wonder and curiosity for all passersby provide aesthetic appeal to The Strip's first park. Standing at heights ranging from 55 feet to 75 feet tall, 16 stunning shade structures line The Park casting artsy shadows and creating countless iconic photo opportunities for guests walking through the outdoor retreat.

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