Photo credit: Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation has a vision for 2020, and meeting professionals will be winning big. The company announced plans today to construct a brand-new conference center called Caesars Forum in Las Vegas for a high-rolling price tag of $375 million.
The new building will house a grand total of 300,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. To help put this into perspective, it adds up to more than five football fields. It’ll feature the world’s two largest pillar-less ballrooms, each measuring 108,000 sq. ft., in addition to dual 40,000-square-foot ballrooms.
Outdoors, guests will be able to get fresh air and enjoy a breakfast, cocktail party or evening reception on a 100,000-square-foot plaza. The entire Caesars Forum can accommodate mega-groups of more than 10,000 attendees for a buy-out, or multiple smaller groups simultaneously. Chief Sales Officer Michael Massari tells Smart Meetings that flexibility is one of Caesars’ tenets. “The latest in technology about us is in the air wall system,” he says. “It is the key technological advancement that allows customers to do what they need to do.”
An exact number is yet to be determined, but there won’t be a lack of breakout space either. Massari estimates the property will include about 200 individual breakout rooms and 1,000 different meeting room configurations. The expansive conference center will be sprawled out on one level, making for easy load in and load out. Caesars acquired 18.4 acres in transactions with VICI Properties to make way for this large structure. Designers are still working out details of the interior, but Massari anticipates it to have an “airy and open” feel with “lots of glass” and a “seamless connectivity to the outside.”
“Building the two largest ballrooms in the world demonstrates our continued commitment to the meetings industry,” says Massari. “We are excited to provide our customers with a new experience and look forward to building relationships with future clients.”
Caesars Forum will be located on the east side of the Strip and feature a pedestrian bridge to connect it to Harrah’s, LINQ, the LINQ Promenade and Flamingo Las Vegas. This’ll give meeting-goers easy access to more than 8,500 guest rooms at those three hotel properties, which Massari says, “are really under reserved for the meetings customer because of lack of meeting space…We’ve got a lot of groups that outgrow our meeting spaces and a lot of groups we can’t go after. A lot reside at our competitors or other parts of the country.”
Massari tells Smart Meetings that the plot of land is currently a parking lot, so no structure will be demolished to make room for this addition. Some of the parking spots will be replaced. It is located off to the side, so he doesn’t anticipate that it will impact the guest experience at hotels or on the promenade during construction. They are set to break ground on the project in the second quarter of 2018.
“We are excited to be investing in the meetings business in Las Vegas as we continue to see this industry as a strong driver for Caesars Entertainment and our city,” Bob Morse, president of hospitality with Caesars Entertainment, says in a press release. “With its mid-strip location and state-of-the-art design, the Caesars Forum will be the ideal location for anyone looking to host meetings and events in Las Vegas.”
This isn’t only good news for meeting professionals. Caesars Forum will boost the Las Vegas economy through job creation. During construction, the project will employ 1,000 locals and hire 450 permanent positions to staff the facility.
Want to be the meeting professional that sets the standard for the future of meetings? “The sales team is geared up and ready” to take bookings for Caesars Forum, Massari eagerly tells Smart Meetings. He says they already have a wish list of the business they’d love to win, but he is keeping a poker face for now.