Ready to Rock: Las Vegas Sees Strong Event Bookings, Unveils New Venues
Las Vegas is back with a vengeance. That was the message at the conventions and hospitality industry panel held March 8 at the brand new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, marking Global Meetings Industry Day.
After a devastating year, there’s pent-up demand for a return to live face-to-face meetings events, and Las Vegas is already seeing record gains in bookings through the end of the year and into 2022, according to industry executives who attended the event.
“We’re making great strides and I think things will continue to move quickly,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Everyone in this industry should feel really excited about the future, and it might be coming faster than you might be expecting.”
Over the past year, industry leaders along the Las Vegas Strip worked closely together to navigate the crisis and share best health and safety practices that defined the guidelines for individual properties as well as the destination as a whole.
Stephanie Glanzer, chief sales officer and senior vice president of sales of MGM Resorts International, said: “We’ve all gone through this together and we’ll come out of this stronger.”
At MGM properties, the Convene with Confidence program enables virus testing in hotel rooms and connects the results and vaccination records to biometric identity app company Clear. The Venetian and Las Vegas Sands Corp. rolled out Venetian Clean, a health and safety program that emphasizes thorough cleaning of facilities, while the city-wide Meet Smart, Vegas Smart initiative highlights the health protocols that have been implemented by properties to ensure attendees’ safety.
The panel expressed excitement about the new venues that have been completed over the past year and will now welcome attendees for the first time. “We’re ready to welcome back meetings and events in a very big way,” said Chandra Allison, senior vice president of sales and marketing at The Venetian Resort, which just opened its Stella Studio, an 8,000-sq,-ft. multifunctional space.
Also on tap is the new Wynn Expansion, which features an 83,000-sq.-ft. pillarless ballroom and a 20,000-sq.-ft. outdoor pavilion. Meanwhile, the 550,000-sq.-ft. Caesars Forum offers the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world at 110,000 square feet each and will welcome MPI’s World Education Congress in June.
The new 315,000-sq.-ft. Expo at World Market Center was officially unveiled on April 9, 2021, just in time for Las Vegas Market, a furniture, gift and home goods trade show set for April 11-15.
The LVCC’s new 1.4-million-sq.-ft. West Hall is getting ready to welcome World of Concrete, the first big show in Las Vegas set for June 8-10. It is expected that attendees will be able to ride on Elon Musk’s The Boring Company underground people-mover system featuring Model X and Model 3 Teslas, and lots of rainbow neon.