MGM Grand VP Talks Guestroom Renovations

Last week, the MGM Grand announced a $160 million renovation of its guestrooms and suites slated for completion in September 2012. Dubbed The Grand Renovation, the refresh will aim to make a guest's transition from the comforts of home to his hotel room as seamless as possible.

"For us, a guestroom should be your home away from home," said Tim Kelly, VP of hotel operations for MGM Grand. "Just like homes are evolving, so should our guestrooms. We have to make sure we have the comforts, functionality and technology one would find in his home today."

By upgrading the guestroom technology in each room, the MGM Grand hopes to accomodate guests who want to bring entertainment back to their room. "The renovation actually extends beyond the room to encompass the guest elevators hallway," said Kelly. "The renovation is to guestrooms is really comprehensive as it involvs all 4212 guestrooms and suites. We've started and anticipated being completed by the end of September 2012. The design is transitional and the look is more or less traditional, but we also blending in some contemporary colors that are very warm and relaxing while capturing the energy of what MGM is all about: Entertainment."

Substantial and far-reaching, the MGM Grand will upgrade its project to appeal to new consumer expectations. High-definition movies, for instance, will be available in every room.

"Obviously, we're upgrading to flat screen TVs with a media hub to plug in various devices and allow guests to do presentations right over the TV," said Kelly. "We added minibars to the guestrooms, a new thermostat, new lock system and at the conclusion of the renovation there will also be upgraded Internet and bandwidth availability. This is comprehensive in the fact we're addressing about eight different designs that range from different colors to upgraded fixtures."

Increased functionality will appeal to business and group travelers, as well.

"The key is that it's much more functional that what the room was historically and meets the needs of the customer of today," said Kelly. "The customer of today is very different than the customer of ten years ago and technology has certainly evolved so there are new fundamental expectations. Instead of traditional drapes, for instance, we have electronic shears and drapes that flow down with great backout shades that really open up our rooms and take advantage of our beautful view of Las Vegas."

So when can travel agents expect to be able to book the new rooms for their clients?

"Our first rooms will be released near the end of November," said Kelly. "We'll actually start releasing rooms in the new couple of weeks and start selling future dates in Q2 online. Then, probably as we tighten down the schedule, we'll start opening up more rooms in March. Expect to be able to purchase as soon as January."