Movin' On Up
Las Vegas has always been a place that celebrated and flocked to the new, and that at least has not changed. One way the city is making this happen is by borrowing the boutique style of hotels from cities like New York and Miami.
This can be seen at SLS which, despite its 1,600 rooms, has the strong, independent style of boutique properties in each of its three very different towers. It can also be seen at the 1,117-suite Delano, the newly renovated hotel-within-a-hotel at Mandalay Bay, which features its Miami Beach namesake's minimalist style and its extensive use of white, sheer curtains. The 47-floor, all-suite Palms Place condo hotel tower at the Palms Casino Resort is positioned and designed as a 599-room boutique hotel, with its own 50,000-square-foot pool.
Then there's The Cromwell, Caesars new standalone boutique hotel across from Caesars Palace, which, with just 188 guest rooms, is a lot closer in size to "traditional" boutique properties. This also applies to the Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, a distinctive, 181-room hotel-within-a-hotel designed by the famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his business partner, actor Robert De Niro.
One reason for these new properties is to attract the hipper, younger clientele that is traditionally drawn to the boutique experience. "Forward-thinking companies are always looking and marketing to the next generation," says Filipelli.
Of course, the luxury hotel-within-a-hotel is not limited to the boutique style. Non-gaming, AAA-Five-Diamond properties such as the 424-room Four Seasons, Las Vegas, and the 392-room Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas at CityCenter, are also seeing strong meetings and incentive business.
"From a group room-night and a banquet-revenue standpoint, we're up year-over-year about 20 percent, and we see some strong trends continuing into 2015 and 2016," says Gus Tejada, director of marketing (and a former director of sales) at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. "So we've had a great year and the trends show us that's going to continue for the foreseeable future."
The Four Seasons finished a renovation of its 30,000 square feet of meeting space this past fall. "A lot of groups that come to Las Vegas want the best of both worlds," says Tejada. "Serious groups want to do meetings in our environment. They take care of business here, and go through one set of doors and they're in Mandalay Bay, and then back to the hotel for the Four Seasons experience."
The Mandarin Oriental has also been investing in its meeting facilities. In October the hotel added a new, 1,900-square-foot, raw meeting and event space called The Gallery that can hold up to 200 for cocktails, bringing its total meeting space to more than 14,000 square feet.