by M&C Staff | March 01, 2016
Gaming resorts nationwide continue to build event venues, spruce up gathering spaces and modernize their sleeping rooms. In fact, a glance at many of the latest developments at gaming destinations reveals a particular focus on attracting groups. Here's a roundup of the latest news from key destinations.

Gaming giant MGM Resorts International's newest venue on the Strip will be The Park -- an actual park area -- set to open April 4 between the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino and the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. The space will offer an oasis of vegetation and sculpture, not to mention F&B, amid the bustling Las Vegas Strip.

The Park will provide a path to the new T-Mobile Arena, the 20,000-seat joint venture between MGM and AEG that also debuts next month. The arena kicks off the party on April 6 with a concert headlined by local rockers The Killers, supported by rising pop star Shamir and the legendary Wayne Newton. Major acts announced for the future include Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks and Janet Jackson, not to mention the Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

MGM is constructing the Theater at Monte Carlo, a 5,000-seat venue with flexible seating configurations. It's being built at the former Blue Man Group venue (that group now is setting up shop at The Luxor) and should open for business by the end of 2016.

The Excalibur Hotel & Casino should finish remodeling 1,995 of its 4,022 rooms next month, a major upgrade to the lodging in the newly renamed Royal Tower. The new, more modern rooms will be completely smoke-free, with new carpet, bedding, furnishings and 40-inch flat-screen TVs.

In gaming-specific developments, the 2,716-room Wynn Las Vegas will debut a new poker room at the end of May. The 8,600-square-foot space will include 28 tables with dedicated amenities for poker aficionados. Features include a Sports Book window, 35 65-inch TVs with live sporting events, in-room restrooms and a high-limit area. The current poker room will remain open until the new one debuts.

In downtown Vegas, the 2,419-room Golden Nugget Las Vegas has given a makeover to its spa and salon. The $800,000 renovation has resulted in a 15,000-square-foot haven with an eight-treatment-room spa, couples massage rooms and spa lounges with whirlpool Jacuzzis, dry saunas, herbal steam saunas, refurnished locker rooms and more. The spa also boasts an upgraded fitness center with a view of The Tank pool.