Vegas casino changes direction

New York, New York Casino

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) – Las Vegas is trying to beat its reputation as a shut-in.

MGM Resorts International announced Thursday that it’s building a park and public promenade outside of its New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos.

The $100 million project runs counter to casinos’ long-held strategy of trying to keep people inside, losing track of time as they buy more chips and flit from one pricey attraction to the next.

MGM CEO Jim Murren said modern patrons want to move freely around casinos and have spontaneous experiences.

The public park will feature trees, benches, food trucks and shops. Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks and last through 2014.

Murren said he was inspired by New York City’s small, cosmopolitan Madison Square Park.

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