When I went to Las Vegas in 2012 to speak at travel agency Virtuoso’s convention, I made a point of carving time out to tour the glittering gold tower next to MGM Resort’s Mandalay Bay (photo above) that was slated to become a boutique-chic Delano Hotel. It was a big deal back then because Vegas didn’t have so-called boutique or lifestyle hotels, except for the Cosmopolitan.
The renovation’s been in the works for years, but now it’s almost ready for prime time. When I head to Vegas next month for our BoardingArea.com blogger convention (woohoo!), you can be sure I’ll check it out. The Delano’s website says rooms can be booked as a “Delano” experience beginning Sept. 1.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Aug. 6 reported that the tower’s exterior signage that once said “The Hotel” now officially reads “Delano.”
Now, obviously, the Delano is not a boutique hotel given its huge number of rooms. But I expect it to have a boutique mentality. The goal in partnering with Delano’s owner – Morgans Hotel Group, after all, was to make the tower into a trendy, chic property that will do a better job appealing to people who probably like the Cosmopolitan hotel’s sense of style and cheeky attitude – and may not be there to do much gambling.
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MGM spent about $80 million renovating the tower, the Review-Journal story told us. The building was just 11 years old. Here’s a link to my 2012 story in USA TODAY.
The hotel will be operated under a license agreement with MGM.
For Morgans Hotel Group, by the way, inking a deal with MGM Resorts demonstrated a major coup in its goal to create a luxury hotel brand out of the famed Delano – the Art Deco hotel on South Beach re-envisioned in the 1980s by boutique hotel pioneer and master promoter Ian Schrager.
Readers: What do you think about the Delano opening in Las Vegas – or, for that matter, other so-called lifestyle hotels such as the SLS on the opposite end of the Las Vegas Strip?