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Las Vegas
The Fontainebleau Las Vegas brought a shot of glitz and glamour to the north end of The Strip.

Las Vegas offers hot venues for out-of-the-box events and a new ultra-luxe option, plus a classic is in the midst of a massive makeover.

From Las Vegas’ evolution into the “Greatest Arena on Earth” with the massive success of the recent Super Bowl LVIII and last year’s record-breaking Formula 1—to name but two of its splashiest wins—to the continued expansion of its already vast square footage of meetings and events space, the opening of unique venues and the ever-growing numbers of new and upgraded hotel properties, this metropolis shows no sign of slowing down.

Crossover Venues

When big sporting events hit Las Vegas, the wins have a trickle-down effect that benefits not only the city coffers but also meeting planners looking for out-of-the-ordinary venues to offer their clients. “We just got a list for the third quarter at Allegiant Stadium,” says LVCVA CEO Steve Hill. “And while there were 15 very large events, there were another hundred in different parts of the stadium that were available.

“When the A’s stadium is built (2028), it’ll be the same. And we do that at T-Mobile (Arena). The [Las Vegas Grand Prix Pit Building at Grand Prix Plaza] is going to be a venue for meeting planners, 48 weeks out of the year. [What] happens as a result of these major events is it creates a critical mass of capacity throughout the year that is then available for meetings and trade shows.”

The Grand Prix Plaza’s main meeting space can welcome up to 3,000 attendees.

The A’s stadium, currently proposed as a 30,000-seat ballpark where the current Tropicana Las Vegas sits, will also have an on-site hotel. The 4-level Las Vegas Grand Prix Pit Building, which debuted in November 2023, is all of 300,000 sq ft and is extraordinarily customizable, with an expansive rooftop terrace with three 941-sq-ft LED displays, ample terraces, elevator and escalator access, gourmet finishing kitchens and 14 garages that can be converted into hospitality suites, pop-up restaurants and more—the planner’s imagination is the limit. The building sits on the 39-acre Grand Prix Plaza, an entirely paved outdoor space that can be used for temporary event structures, concert stages and outdoor activations.

Of note: The rooftop also has a programmable 28,000 sq ft rooftop screen that can be seen from planes and helicopters, a perfect opportunity for event branding.

Upgrades, Renos & New Eats

The new massive media walls at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center can be configured for any number of uses.

MGM Resorts has poured money into the refresh of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center—over $130 million, according to Vice President of Sales, Catering and Convention Services, Ernest Stovall—and it is nearing completion. That investment, he says, includes new openings in the F&B realm, but also: “We’ve been able to really customize this entire conference center and made a huge [capital expenditure] on our digital experience.” That includes Cat6A Ethernet cabling and a series of digital walls that can be customized not only for marketing and advertising purposes but to broadcast a keynote speaker, for example, shows or even a big game during a small reception—the perfect networking opportunity.

Steak is served sizzling with sumptuous sides at Peter Luger Steak House. (Photo by Caesars)

Still svelte from its most recent renovation, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace is the quiet place at the heart of the action that’s Caesars Palace. Tucked away next to its homonymous restaurant, the kintsugi-inspired design offers guests statement pieces and sleek, modern lines with every creature comfort a traveling executive could want. It’s also steps away from the new Peter Luger Steakhouse, the brand’s first outside of New York. With its beerhall setting and family-style tables, it’s the perfect spot for wheeling and dealing over great lager, excellent wine and even better steaks.

New Hottie on the Block

The ultra-luxe Fontainebleau Las Vegas opened with a glitzy splash in December 2023. “It’s a new hotel, a new vibe, a new aesthetic, a journey that’s easy on the meeting attendee,” says Carmen Rubino Jr., Vice President of Sales at the hotel. And it’s the journey that’s one of the many things that separates this new property from others on the Strip.

This iconic bowtie can be found throughout the property and is an homage to architect Morris Lapidus.

“What I really love about this hotel is you have the ability as a group meetings customer or a leisure customer to turn Las Vegas on or off. What do I mean by that? When you walk into this luxury space, there’s no slot machines here. There’s no Vegas crowd. There’s not all of the casino activity. We have it here, but you check into this luxury facility. On the whole other side, the south lobby, that’s where the guests who just want to join the restaurants, the nightclub, the pool, and the casino will enter. So, we have a nice little separation.”

Here, it’s all about the vertical. “We’re on 25 acres,” explains Rubino. “Most Las Vegas hotels are on 50, 60, 70, 80 acres. You’re walking massive amounts of spaces to get to your meeting space. We’re pretty tight. It’s really a boutique hotel that just happens to have 3,644 rooms.” Of those, about 10 percent are suites. The hotel also has a “hotel within a hotel” concept for VVIPs, the Fontainebleau Fleur de Lis.

The opulent meetings offer includes 550,000 sq ft of fully customizable indoor and outdoor meeting and convention space, with 57 meeting breakout rooms, four ballrooms, three boardrooms, a business center and six dedicated freight elevators—a boon for exhibitions. It also boasts the Waterbleau Terrace, a 25,000 sq ft unique private outdoor function space next to the Moonstone Event Center with 11,388 sq ft, the BleauLive Theater and, in the Spring, it will debut a 6-acre pool deck with a 36,000 sq ft Dayclub.

The Fontainebleau also has the second-largest casino in Las Vegas, the Lapis Spa & Wellness spa, a massive fitness center with just about every cutting-edge piece of equipment your attendees’ heart can desire, two levels of luxury shopping venues (expected to open in Spring 24) and 36 dining outlets. A note about the restaurants and bars, particularly the latter: Much like the property itself, these spaces can welcome volume but have a uniquely intimate, elevated feel about them—and no gaming.

Being Extra

The Hardwood Suite basketball courts wit Murphy Beds set up.

While Las Vegas has no shortage of VIP suites, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention those at Palms Casino Resort, in particular the themed specialty suites, the Sky Villas and the infamous Hardwood Suite, just down the hall from the world-class recording studio. Accessible only by a stop on a private floor (we were sworn to secrecy), this 10,000 sq ft getaway is especially sought after by A-listers, celebrities and C-suite clients for its ultra-privacy, two king bedrooms, pool table, hidden whiskey room, private basketball court (with three Murphy beds), professional locker room and 24-hour butler service.

And, of course, there’s nothing more “extra” than the Sphere, which debuted late last year. This mega-high-tech, immersive entertainment venue can accommodate 20,000 with 18,600 seats, 23 suites and a VIP club.


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