Andrew Zobler, Founder & CEO of Sydell Group, explained from the soaring three-story, new NoMad Restaurant lined with some 25,000 vintage books. This setting in Las Vegas is the latest hospitality project to open from the Sydell Group, which he founded in 2005. (The company is named for his maternal grandmother who was an antiques dealer; Zobler would regularly travel to Europe with her on buying trips as a kid growing up in New York, and help staff her store). In this case, however, Zobler had to in essence help create a neighborhood. Sydell Group’s arrival in Sin City might seem like a counterintuitive departure, given its presence in urban centers boasting an eclectic and culturally sophisticated bent. Its portfolio of NoMad in Manhattan and Los Angeles, The Line in L.A., Austin and Washington D.C., Freehand in Miami, Chicago, L.A., and New York, and The Ned in London doesn’t exactly scream, “We should be in Las Vegas.” And yet learning about how and why Zobler — a former attorney who worked for André Balazs Properties, then served as a real estate developer on bringing the Ace Hotel to Manhattan before creating and operating hotels under his Sydell Group umbrella — wound up in the Vegas market, this professional narrative makes sense.

NoMad, Las Vegas

Sydell Group brings his vision of soulful hospitality to an exciting and surprising new location: Las Vegas. Tell us about the process behind NoMad Las Vegas and working with leading design firms, including Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams, Commune, Sean Knibb, and Studio Jacques Garcia.
The 293 guest rooms at NoMad Las Vegas, plus its casino, meeting rooms, swimming pool, retail operation, NoMad Restaurant, and NoMad Bar are a resort-within-a-resort concept, a completely kitsch-free zone on the iconic Vegas Strip enhanced by the distinctive touch of Jacques Garcia’s luxurious interior design, and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s lauded Make It Nice food and beverage team. Sydell Group collaborated with MGM Resorts International on the $600 million rebrand and revamp of the building envelope and offerings within Park MGM (formerly the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino) to set a fresh, hipper tone. The Park MGM property contains another 2,400 guest rooms, plus venues such as the beloved Eataly Italian marketplace, Los Angeles chef Roy Choi’s buzzy Best Friend restaurant, On the Record nightclub, and the Park Theater, where sold-out crowds flock to see Lady Gaga perform.

Did you ever imagine you would be doing this?
Depends how many years you’re cutting back. I think what you’re asking is if I’m a big Vegas person. No, but not because of any good reason. I wasn’t especially focused on Vegas; it wasn’t in our plan. But I do really like the town.

How did NoMad Las Vegas and Sydell Group’s involvement with Park MGM come about?
Jim [James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International] started staying at the NoMad in New York and really wanted us to do NoMad here. So, we listened. I wasn’t especially interested in doing 300 rooms and figuring out how to fit into the rest of the project that we had no imprimatur over. We just kept talking and we really liked him. Culturally, it was a good fit between our company and their company. Frankly, I started to get excited about painting with a bigger, broad brush on a large scale. We obviously wouldn’t have done it without them because that would have been crazy. But one of the things that really intrigues me is, in some ways Vegas is way ahead of the curve, and in some ways they’re behind the curve.

The Ned, London, Large Room

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