While I was excited to hear about Hyatt and MGM Resorts teaming up for a great new partnership, I thought it was even more cool that I got invited to the kickoff party the two companies decided to throw in Las Vegas last week.
The party was at the Mansion at MGM Grand, a hotel inside the casino hotel, if you will, for high rollers. I was joining some friends for dinner before the event and, while all of us kinda knew where the Mansion was, we weren’t 100% sure.
We were lucky enough to find a sign that pointed us towards the party, but it still didn’t look like we were on the right track. The walk to the Mansion is a fairly lengthy one without any visible signs that you’re headed somewhere. I guess since this is where the whales stay they don’t want it all that well marked. We headed down a long hallway in search of good food and wine.
Once we finally arrived it was a duly impressive area with skylights and a huge fountain to accompany a beautiful indoor garden.
Since I don’t gamble hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, this is probably the only time I’ll hang out in the Mansion in my lifetime and I was looking forward to enjoying it. We were greeted by a long table of charcuterie and a tray of champagne.
I had eaten a decent dinner so I wasn’t terribly hungry, but I sure couldn’t let the champagne go to waste! I was working on a glass of bubbly when one of my friends tried something off a tray that was being passed by the staff. It looked interesting but I wasn’t sure how to identify it. The server identified it as a foie gras lollipop.
I was intrigued but figured it was better for someone else to be the guinea pig. Imagine my surprise when she told me the orange things on the outside of the foie gras were pop rocks! Even though I’m not a big foie gras fan, I couldn’t imagine another time in my life to try these two things together. I jumped in and grabbed one. I can’t say I would have chosen the combination, but it was definitely better than I would have imagined. I’m not saying I’ll seek it out in the future, but it was definitely interesting.
There were bountiful trays of crab claws and shrimp on ice. My wife was already mad I was in Vegas without her, so I’m sure these pictures won’t win me any brownie points.
No party would be complete without some desserts (Hyatt logo no less) and an ice sculpture.
All in all a good party. I ended up with a microphone doing interviews for Milepoint TV. There should be interviews forthcoming with Jeff Zidell from Hyatt, Scott Zoeller from MGM as well as a host of attendees. Everyone was having a great time and it was a very casual gathering. No structured speeches, just a fun evening of good wine and good food with some old friends and a few new ones.
I’m looking forward to this partnership. Hyatt continues to think outside the box with ways to make their program better. Inviting 100 Diamond members to Vegas to enjoy a party as part of the kick-off is just another “surprise and delight” I’m all in favor of.