As one of the world’s most desirable hot spots for leisure and business travel, Las Vegas is a veritable meetings mecca boasting an inventory of resort and venue offerings that are hard to beat. With more than 10 million square feet of meetings and convention space; almost 150,000 hotel rooms; and a plethora of dining, shopping and entertainment options, it’s no wonder Sin City continues to play host to 20,000-plus meetings and conventions a year, attracting 5 million attendees annually. This desert metropolis has a long history of reinventing itself time and time again, and it always has something new and exciting to show off, including an impressive selection of top-tier meeting spaces to help planners pull off successful events.
One of the biggest selling points of an event in Las Vegas is the destination’s uncanny ability to draw stronger attendance, says Chris Meyer, vice president of global business sales for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.
“Since association members are volunteering their time, they want a destination that promotes participation and engagement that ultimately leads to generating more revenue, and Las Vegas offers all of that and more,” says Meyer. “The power of Las Vegas is a great motivator for association groups because participation increases when events are held here.”
Contrary to the cliche slogan, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. Meetings attendees are likely to have such an unforgettable experience there, they’ll be talking about it well into the future. Here’s what’s on tap for 2014:
An effort by Caesars Entertainment to revitalize and redefine the central Strip resort corridor, The Linq is a $550 million open-air retail, dining and entertainment district that is now open across from Caesars Palace. Spanning more than 300,000 square feet, this pedestrian-friendly party district is designed to accommodate more than 30 shops, restaurants and nightlife venues and is anchored by the 550-ft. High Roller observation wheel. Slated to open in 2014, it features 28 transparent cabins that can each accommodate up to 40.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ new event and performance space, The Chelsea, is a perfect fit for planners looking for an avant-garde meetings environment. Completed in December, the sophisticated, 40,000-sq.-ft. space combines flexibility and functionality with artistic design elements and state-of-the-art technology. Located on the third floor of the resort’s West End tower, The Chelsea is easily accessible from the resort’s existing meeting areas, guest rooms, restaurants, lobby and the Strip. The space can accommodate up to 3,000 and be adapted to theater, classroom, banquet and exhibit-style configurations.
The Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Located in the heart of historic downtown—one block from the famous Fremont Street Experience—the former Lady Luck Hotel & Casino has been transformed into The Downtown Grand, a contemporary, industrial-chic property that owns bragging rights as the first new downtown hotel in more than 30 years. Completed last November, it boasts two towers with 634 guest rooms, a 25,000-sq.-ft. casino, seven restaurants and bars, and 33,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Delano Las Vegas
A bit of sexy South Beach will hit the south end of the Strip this fall when the 43-story THEhotel tower will transform into Delano Las Vegas, an ultrachic boutique hotel property created by MGM Resorts International in partnership with Morgans Hotel Group. Designed to echo the original Delano South Beach in Miami, this newest addition to the Mandalay Bay Resort Complex will include 1,100 redesigned suites; 21,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including 36 meeting rooms; a spa; and a sophisticated selection of dining outlets, lounges and bars.
Vdara Hotel & Spa at CityCenter has transformed its Silk Road meeting space into a more contemporary, flexible event space. Completed last October, the 6,500-sq.-ft. space is ideal for small business conferences, social gatherings, receptions and banquets. Featuring modern decor and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, it can accommodate up to 200 and includes a 3,700-sq.-ft. ballroom and a 900-sq.-ft. breakout room.
Seascape Ballroom at Shark Reef Aquarium
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has created an immersive meeting environment with its new Seascape Ballroom, a 1,675-sq.-ft. event space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that capture stunning views of the underwater exhibit’s 30 sharks and other aquatic creatures. Ideal for intimate receptions, dinners and board meetings, this captivating, ocean-inspired space can accommodate up to 125 and features an adjoining outdoor patio and lounge.