Caesars Entertainment showcased some Las Vegas must-see experiences to members of the meetings industry press who were in town for the 2021 Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress —from exquisite dine-around options to exciting down-time adventures tailor made for groups as well as individual travelers.
There is no shortage of things for groups meeting in Las Vegas to see, do and eat, of course, but here are four Las Vegas must-see options a Prevue editor recently experienced.
For those who want to get their groups out of the ballroom and into the full flavor of Las Vegas, Nobu restaurant at Caesars Palace is a Las Vegas must-see adventure in Japanese cuisine, specializing in imported Asian seafood and exotic delicacies. Created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the sushi includes a wide variety of nigiri, sashimi and sushi — and for those with food allergies, there also are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Our group feasted on a wide, ever-replenished variety of specialties, each seemingly more delicious than the last. The restaurant also has put several health and safety protocols in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, including masked servers, daily staff wellness checks and a reconfigured layout to accommodate social distancing.
Caesars Palace’s latest gustatory offering is the Amalfi Restaurant, just opened by celebrity chef Bobby Flay in May 2021. Inspired by the chef’s culinary travels to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the restaurant’s market-fresh focus is immediately brought to mind by the fish and seafood display in colorful blue ceramic containers, staffed by a fishmonger who can tell you not only where each fish is from, but also when it arrived in Las Vegas. The wait staff also were happy to provide details on each dish, from marination to plate — and if you’re lucky, you may catch the chef himself in house, greeting guests and working shoulder-to-shoulder with the kitchen staff. From the roasted butterfly prawns and bufala mozzarella salad to the spaghetti zucchine, each course was sublime. Of special don’t-miss mention is the charred octopus, which was so tender it literally melted in our mouths.
Another Las Vegas Must-See: The “Other” Las Vegas
While we didn’t have time on our short version of the Lip Smacking Urban Downtown Tour to experience all the dining options the tour usually showcases in historic downtown Las Vegas, our tour proved that yes, there is life well worth exploring beyond The Strip. The Las Vegas Fremont East District is an adventure in arts and culture, from incredible murals of all sizes and styles to quirky retro neon signs.
Our first stop on this Las Vegas must-see tour was Fergusons Downtown — you can’t miss this revitalized historic motel-cum-shopping and dining destination. You know you’ve arrived when you see Big Rig Jig, a 42-foot twisty, soaring sculpture by artist Mike Ross featuring two 18-wheelers that began life as a Burning Man DJ booth before wending its way to Vegas. Fergusons Downtown retains a charming old-motel vibe on the outside, but inside the former motel rooms are a wide variety of vendors offering unique arts, crafts and food and beverage. The center courtyard also is now a very cool event space that the owners use to showcase jam sessions when it’s not being used for group events.
We also stopped by the open-air Outdoor Container Park, where we were greeted by a 44-foot-tall metal praying mantis sculpture that we hear often doubles as a flame thrower at night. Many of the boutique retails shops and unique restaurants were, in fact, built inside metal shipping containers. At the far end of the park was The Lawn, a green space that can host up to 300, and a fully equipped stage that comes complete with lighting and sound. While the playground is a kids’ delight during the daytime, we heard that adults could let their inner child romp freely there after 9 p.m., when the entire park turns into an adult hangout. The Park is available for full buyouts for late evening events.
Getting High Over the Strip
We capped our visit with another Las Vegas must-see — an evening flight over the Strip on a Maverick Helicopter Tour, and what a nightcap it was! The emphasis was on safety first, with a knowledgeable pilot making sure we were buckled in and ready to soar in our ECO-Star eight-person helicopter, aka the “limousine of the sky.” Then we took off from the easy-to-get-to Las Vegas Strip Terminal and, to a soundtrack that had those of us who opted to wear the headphones bopping in our seats, got a whole new perspective of some of the places we’d been all week, from Caesars Palace and the new Caesars Forum, which hosted MPI WEC 2021, to the new Allegiant Stadium that hosted MPI’s opening night party. We also got a whole new perspective on Bellagio’s famous fountain show as we cruised by on our way back to the landing pad.