Innovative new spaces await Las Vegas groups
The biggest convention city in the world got even bigger while everyone was quarantining at home. Groups returning to The Strip will see some exciting new additions that offer plenty of room to spread out. From new hotel and convention center offerings to F&B adventures, the lights will be even brighter. Consider this your virtual FAM.
Meet and Stay
In October, the all-adult, 44-story Circa Resort & Casino opened downtown with 777 guest rooms. The new property anchors the city’s Freemont Street Experience. Rentable space focuses on the 1,000-person Sportsbook upper level at Stadium Swim; with wall-size LED screens and hospitality suites, the vibe is definitely focused on making business fun.
In an era when big is better, the long-anticipated inaugural event at the 550,000-square-foot CAESARS FORUM filled one of the 100,000-square-foot pillarless ballrooms in November with 130 socially distanced partners from ConferenceDirect. At the COVID-delayed opening (the property was originally scheduled to debut in March), the indoor-outdoor space with lots of natural elements and massive roll-up doors linking to a 100,000-square-foot patio seemed perfectly designed for meeting CDC protocols.
More: A Masterclass in COVID-Era Meeting Protocols Marked Opening of CAESARS FORUM
This month, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is planning a celebration to throw open the doors on a 1.4 million-square-foot expansion at Las Vegas Convention Center. The high-tech new-build is part of a three-phase expansion and renovation that was just awarded Gold Star accreditation by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for its clean facilities protocols.
A wave-shaped porte cochere will shelter an outdoor terrace that can hold up to 2,000 people and offers Insta-worthy city views. The entire structure is wired to serve the most advanced meeting needs. Interactive LED screens, integrated audiovisual equipment and high-speed connectivity pave the way for even bigger tech events in the future. By 2023, a third phase will bring the existing 3.2 million sq. ft. of space at the 60-year-old existing facility completely up to date.
The long-awaited transformation of the former Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, will be unveiled in January, with 1,505 chambers (as guest rooms are referred to in Virgin-speak) and 130,000 sq. ft. of convention space. The property will be divided into three towers—Opal, Canyon and the all-suite Ruby Tower—with unique experiences in each, but each room will afford sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip, surrounding valley or the property’s five-acre pool oasis. When the pool opens in March, it will feature a promenade and event lawn with fresh dining options.
The shiny new 3,500-room Resorts World Las Vegas is scheduled to open in summer 2021 and will be a stop, along with Wynn across the street, on the new underground transportation system being built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company as part of Vegas Loop. The integrated resort will fuse three Hilton Hotels & Resorts brands—Hilton, LXR and Conrad—to three distinct experiences that all have access to 117,000 sq. ft. of modern gaming and four distinct dining and entertainment options—Zouk Nightclub, AYU Dayclub, RedTail social gaming bar and FUHU experiential Asian dining. In addition to a 100,000-square-foot events center, the property will feature a high-tech, 5,000-seat theater.
Finger Licking Foodie Tours is partnering with ARIA Resort & Casino to offer two-hour, self-guided tours, featuring immediate seating with VIP service at three of Vegas’ most sought-after restaurants—Carbone, Jean Georges Steakhouse and Catch. Dinner and helicopter tours known as Savory Bites & Neo Lights are also available.
Looking for an only-in-Vegas outdoor option? Sinatra at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas is one of the best kept open-air secrets on The Strip, with upscale ambiance and old Vegas menu items. Or, head over to Mizumi for a secluded meal of Asian specialties on a floating pagoda table overlooking a 90-foot waterfall accessed by way of a path through a lush garden.
Need to Know
- 150,259 hotel rooms
- 1.7 million passengers in Sept. at McCarran International Airport (LAS) (Up from 152,716 in April, but down from 4.32 million in Sept. 2019)
- 127 suites at new Allegiant Stadium (available for private events)