26 THE MEETING PROFESSIONAL JANUARY 2017
more than 5. 9
for more space
is much more
than just a project to bene;it
center; it’s an investment in the
says Chris Meyer,
CMP, CEM (MPI
Southern California Chapter),
vice president of
sales for LVCVA.
“If a show be-
ing held in the convention center grows, attendance grows,
and the entire city bene;its by ;illing rooms, restaurants and
The center’s renovation and expansion will happen in four
phases, Meyer says, with the ;irst phase nearing completion
with the acquisition and demolition of the Riviera Hotel and
Casino. The second phase will add 1. 4 million square feet of
new space, including 600,000 square feet of exhibit space.
“This space will allow our clients to continue to hold
their shows at the convention center with minimal disruption while phase three is under way,” Meyer says. “This third
phase will include a full renovation of our current 3. 2 million-square-foot facility. Phase four will be evaluated at a future
date to determine what additional improvements or projects
need to be put into motion when the time is right.”
More to See and Do
The 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena—which opened in April
2016—will be home to Las Vegas’ ;irst professional sports
organization, the National Hockey League’s expansion team
the Vegas Golden Knights, who will
begin play this year.
Visitors can also experience The
Park, an eight-acre outdoor space
with dining and entertainment options that opened in conjunction
with the arena.
“[Last year] was also a big year
for new attractions in Las Vegas,”
Also opening in December was Lucky Dragon, Las Vegas’ ;irst resort featuring an authentic Asian cultural and
gaming experience. The resort offers 203 guest rooms,
27,500 square feet of casino space, an indoor-outdoor
space called Cha Garden that features tea curated by Las
Vegas’ only tea sommelier and ;ive Asian-inspired restaurants.
Further in the future, look for a 17,500-seat performing
arts center built by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the Madison Square Garden Co. to open in 2017; XPark Vegas, an
adult adventure park opening in 2018 that will feature zip
lines, dirt bike tracks, speedboat racing and more; and the
Resorts World Las Vegas, scheduled to open in 2019 with
more than 3,000 guest rooms, 100,000 square feet of casino space, a 4,000-square-foot theater and a panda habitat.
Finally, there’s football. In October, the Nevada legislature approved ;inancing for a 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion
domed stadium that would be home to the National Football League’s Raiders. As of press time, discussions to bring
the team to Las Vegas are ongoing.
And it’s not just new venues or restaurants that offer
excitement for visitors. From pedestrian-powered streetlights to a proposed high-speed rail, Las Vegas is putting
itself at the forefront of technology to attract visitors.
“The destination has developed several initiatives to
bring the excitement of the destination to travelers around
the world,” Meyer says. “Research shows visitors are increasingly interested in traveling to obtain unique experiences, and the digital space allows us to demonstrate ‘
on-ly-in-Vegas’ offerings to a wide-reaching audience.”
Las Vegas has quickly become a leader in the virtual reality (VR) destination marketing ;ield, he says, and is one of
the only destinations to incorporate VR into its marketing
efforts, as well as having a VR app.
As Meyer said, “Seeing Las Vegas is selling Las Vegas.” ■
“[Las Vegas] has
initiatives to bring
the excitement of
the destination to