SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS November 2007 Boisterous playground and one of the most sophisticated convention cities in the world, Las Vegas continues to refine both dynamics of its product. Even as the kaleidoscope of restaurants, nightclubs, stores, and shows shakes out sparkling possibilities every month, the business underpinnings are strengthening for meetings. An expansion at the Las Vegas Convention Center is about to get under way, hotel meeting facilities and special event settings come on line with each season, and approximately 38,600 additional hotel and motel rooms are planned or already under construction-scheduled to join the current 133,000 by 2010.
Essential Tool Box
Public Convention Facilities: Las Vegas Convention Center, 1,984,755 sf of dedicated meeting space, with 144 meeting rooms, largest accommodating 1,500 theater-style. Cashman Center, 100,000 sf of dedicated meeting space, with 12 meeting rooms accommodating 1,922 theater-style.
Total Hotel Rooms: 133,000
Hotels Close to the Convention Center: The 548-room Renaissance and the 2,955-room Las Vegas Hilton
For complete listings, visit Quick Facility Search at www.mimegasite.com
From Airport: 3.71 miles to convention center
Average Daily Costs*:
Hotel $156.71 F&B $71.98 Car Rental $74.13
For More Info: Las Vegas CVA
*Business Travel News 2007 Corporate Travel Index
The Big News
*The $1.8 billion Palazzo Hotel & Casino opens in Dec next to sister hotel The Venetian, with 3,042 suites and 450,000 sf of meeting space. Along with The Venetian and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, the Palazzo is part of the Las Vegas Sands Megacenter, which comprises more than 2.25 million sf of meeting, convention and trade-show space. In addition, Wolfgang Puck will debut his new steakhouse theme CUT.
* Dubai World, a company that is an arm of the Dubai government, is investing $2.7 billion for a 50 percent interest in MGM MIRAGE's City Center development. The project, targeted for completion in late 2009, includes a Cesar Pelli-designed 4,000-room resort-casino, about 470,000 sf of retail and entertainment space, and two 400-room, non-gaming, boutique-style hotels, one of which will be managed by Mandarin Oriental. The long-term strategic relationship between the two companies also involves Dubai World spending up to $2.4 billion on MGM MIRAGE common stock and a joint venture that will develop the 40 acres on the corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue. The third partner in that project will be Kerzner International, whose flagship hotel is Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Details on the multibillion-dollar integrated resort are now being worked out, with plans to begin construction by the end of 2008 and open the resort in 2011.
* The Las Vegas Convention Center's $890 million project is expected to begin next year and wrap up in 2011, with construction scheduled to create the least possible disruption to groups meeting in the facility during that time. The first phase will construct a dramatic new Grand Concourse lobby running the entire length of the building and add 87,000 sf of meeting space to the South Hall area. At the completion of those pieces in 2010, a renovation of all existing space will get under way. The focus of the renovation will be twofold: upgrading the building's infrastructure to carry it into the future, and creating a uniform look. Complementary projects finishing at various points over the three-year project will streamline the vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow, build fire and police department facilities on premises, and construct a suspended enclosed walkway from the monorail station directly into the convention center.
* The $4 billion Echelon Place development is on schedule to open in 2010 with one million sf of meeting/exhibit space, 25 restaurants/bars, 300,000 sf of retail space, a 2,600-room hotel, a 700-suite tower, a 600-room Delano property, a 400-room Shangri-La, and the 1,000-room Mondrian. Speaking to Successful Meetings about the evolution of gaming development, Bill Boyd, chairman of Echelon's developer, the Boyd Gaming Corp., reminisced, "When we first opened our first hotel in 1975, the California Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, all we thought about was making the first payroll two weeks later. But we feel that we've been very blessed and lucky to have been able to expand the way we have, but only here but in Atlantic City." Meanwhile, back in the now, Boyd says, "Echelon is going to keep us busy."
The Echelon Meetings Center will start taking reservations in December in expectation of its third quarter 2010 opening. As part of the 87-acre, Echelon megaresort project, the Meeting Center will offer design-centric, state-of-the-art facilities featuring unparalleled amenities for events ranging from intimate meetings to large-scale gatherings, as well as proximity to luxury hotels, retail and entertainment offerings. More information about the Echelon Meeting Center will be featured at the upcoming 2007 IAEE Expo
in Las Vegas on December 10-12.
* New York-based Elad Group, controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, has purchased the 984-room New Frontier and its 34.5-acre site, which sits directly across from Steve Wynn's new Encore, for $1.2 billion. The hotel is scheduled to be razed by the end of this year and construction is to begin on a multibillion-dollar, 8-million-sf high-end mixed-use development that is forecasted to be complete in 2011. The centerpiece of the project will be what the developers call a "six-diamond" hotel-casino that will be a version of New York's landmark Plaza hotel. Plans for the Plaza in Las Vegas also feature condos, a convention center, the Plaza Retail Collection, and destination restaurants.
Until "Plaza Vegas" is completed, it's up to the 2,024-room New York-New York Resort Casino to channel the Big Apple in the desert. The property has recently revamped its more than 21,000 sf of second floor meeting space in order to specifically target small groups from 10 to 300. The space now features the 2,200-sf Park Terrace Room over looks the casino floor. The property has also completed a redesign of both its spa and convention floor.
* Caesars Palace has a $1 billion project under way that includes a new hotel tower and a major increase in meeting and convention facilities that will bring the resort's total function space up to 300,000 sf and up to 50 breakout rooms. The meeting space, slated for completion by April 2009, will be housed in a convention center that replaces the existing Events Center and connects to current meeting space in the Palace Tower. The new facility will include two 60,000-sf ballrooms stacked on top of each other, along with two executive boardrooms, various breakout rooms, and a terrace overlooking two new pools. The expansion will also include the 665-room Octavius Tower, which is now under construction next to the two-year-old Augustus Tower and will increase the room count at Caesars Palace to 4,013 when it opens in early 2009. Other pieces of the project include renovation of the resort's original entrance, new restaurants, and an $83 million remodel of the 452-room Forum Tower, which is slated to be completed next Jan.
* Harrah's Entertainment and the international sports and entertainment developer AEG have announced plans to create a $599 million privately financed world-class arena estimated to open in 2010. Within hours of the announcement, planners were calling to book the new 20,000-seat venue, which will be located one block east of the Strip on approximately 10 acres directly behind Bally's and Paris resort hotels. The arena's developers have already begun talks to attract both major league hockey and NBA teams. Included in the new facility will be private "hospitality centers," luxury suites, club seats, and an array of amenities, gourmet food offerings, and entertainment options.
*The Aladdin Resort officially became Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino last Apr, with the final phase of renovations set to complete the revamp of all 2,000 guest rooms this fall.
* Construction is under way, but no firm opening date set for the $3 billion Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino, which will include 2,998 hotel rooms/condo-hotel units, 150,000 sf of meeting space to be managed by Global Hyatt Corp., 260,000 sf of retail and dining space, a 40,000-sf spa and fitness center, and a five-acre pool complex.
g The $1.4 billion Encore is scheduled to open adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas next summer, with approximately 2,000 guest rooms and 45,000 sf of meeting space.
* With completion of Phase II of a renovation completed this month, the Flamingo Las Vegas has transformed 962 of its 3,504 guest rooms into stylish high-tech-equipped "GO" rooms; 450 units to be done by next Nov.
* The 490-room Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa wrapped up a $110-million expansion last fall.
* The Hard Rock Hotel is expected to complete a $20 million renovation by the end of the year that will upgrade all 584 guest rooms and 64 suites. A projected expansion expected to begin this year is forecasted to add 500 rooms, 60,000 sf of meeting space, and more spa and retail space by late 2009.
* The 493-room Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas became a Loews property last year.
* The MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas is scheduled to open its new 3,829-sf Riva di Lago Events Center next Mar, bringing total function space at the property up to 10,000 sf.
* Last Sept, the 4,407-room Luxor opened the Vegas version of the hot Los Angeles club, LAX.
* The 1,117-room Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino completed a $150-million guest room redesign last Sept that added new luxury comforts and high-tech amenities to all 2,791 rooms and suites.
* Last spring, the 3,002-room Monte Carlo Resort & Casino completed an exterior face lift, along with remodeling projects in the pool area and casino as well as on the concierge floor.
* The $600 million, 599-unit Palms Place Condominium Hotel & Spa Tower at The Palms Casino Resort is on schedule to open early next year, featuring the SkyTube, a moving walkway that will join the residences with the resort's casino, restaurants, and nightlife.
* The 255-unit Platinum Hotel & Spa opened last fall with 7,000 sf of meeting space that includes a rooftop terrace overlooking the Strip.
g Last Jan, Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa completed its final phase, which brought the guest room count up to 816.
* In Sept, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino opened the Strip's outpost of New York City's highly acclaimed RUB BBQ
* The Riviera Hotel & Casino has just finished a project that refurbished all 2,000 guest rooms.
* The Signature at MGM Grand opened its third 576-suite tower in July, completing the complex.
* Station Casinos broke ground earlier this year on its newest property, Aliante Station, a hotel and casino in Aliante, a 1,905-acre master-planned community in North Las Vegas.
* The $500-million Trump Int'l Hotel & Towers is on schedule to open next year with 1,282 rooms; the second, $625 million 1,282-unit tower is projected to break ground by the end of 2008.
* Construction is under way on the $2.5-billion W Las Vegas Hotel Casino and Residences, which will have a mix of hotel rooms and condos, 20 dining and nightlife venues, 100,000 sf of retail space, and 300,000 sf of meeting space.
Groups Should Consider:
these recommendations from the Successful Meetings Home Team experts. Top choices in the 826-room Westin Casuarina, the 347-room MonteLago Village Resort, the 349-room Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, and the Stations group.
Recommended activities and amenities include helicopter of Vegas by night; luxury car rental; and the new Zero-G venue.
Also, local DMC Joshua Jones of Baskow and Associates (GEP) has these suggestions: "For less than 100 attendees, the "28 Room" at the private Stirling Club at Turnberry Las Vegas; for more than 100, the 26,000-sf LAX at the Luxor; and for more than 500, Dream Vision Studios, Vegas' first movie studio, can accommodate up to 4,000.
Contributors to this section include Home Team members Dave Bernal; Joan Buck, CMP, CMM; Valerie Cienega, CMP; Dan Cormany; Peter Huggins; Kimberly Ruby; Michelle Gothan;. Contact them at [email protected]
Our subscribers gave 2007 Pinnacle Awards to the following:
Las Vegas CVA
Bally's Las Vegas
Flamingo Las Vegas
Green Valley Ranch
Resort Spa and Casino
Harrah's Las Vegas
Las Vegas Hilton
Resort & Casino
MGM Grand Las Vegas
Paris Las Vegas
Treasure Island - TI
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
For more listings, visit Facility Quick Search at www.mimegasite.com
10 Great Places for Group Meals in Las Vegas
The restaurants below have group facilities and were selected from the Zagat Survey of Las Vegas. The list was determined by Zagat's food and services of 23 and above and a price of up to $65 per person (without alcohol).
Pamplemousse, East of Strip, French
Osteria del Circo, (Bellagio), Tuscan
Verandah, (Four Seasons), American
Pearl, (MGM Grand), Chinese
Shanghai Lily, (Mandalay Bay), Cantonese
Fiamma Trattoria, (MGM Grand), Italian
Bouchon, (The Venetian), French
AquaKnox, (The Venetian), Seafood
Seablue, (MGM Grand), Seafood
Antonio's, West of Strip, Italian
For more information on these and other restaurants in the Las Vegas area, please click on www.zagat.com.