Don’t Bet Against Vegas

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Don’t Bet Against Vegas

By Rich Luna | Sep 25, 2020

Las Vegas is the top trade show destination in the U.S., and more than 6.6 million people attended meetings and conventions in the city in 2019. That contributed more than US$6.5 billion in direct local economic impact.

Then came COVID-19, and the industry was shut down. While major meetings and conventions are still on hold in Las Vegas, that doesn’t mean the meeting industry is not hard at work ensuring that it will be ready for business. Here are a few updates.

Allegiant Stadium

Operated by ASM Global, Allegiant Stadium has opened its doors in a prime location, adjacent to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and with one of the most prominent views of the Las Vegas skyline. The new home of the National Football League’s Las Vegas Raiders, which cost about $2 billion to build, is also home to 10 different event spaces capable of hosting a range of experiences.

“We are so excited to debut Allegiant Stadium to the private event industry,” says Samantha Johnson, director of sales, Allegiant Stadium. “The unique variety of spaces within our venue allows us to host a wide range of events, which plays a crucial role in our ability to tailor the event experience to individual client needs. We have the incredible opportunity to introduce a venue to Las Vegas that the city has never had before.”

Allegiant Stadium has 1.75 million square feet and the biggest event spaces—aside from the 95,000 square feet of football field, which can also be utilized for trade shows and private concerts—include Ford Plaza with 44,500 square feet, Coors Light Landing with 24,000 square feet and the Modelo Cantina Club and Twitch Lounge, each with 20,600 square feet. There are two other club areas, the Credit One Club and Champions Club, each with 9,400 square feet.

“We have the incredible opportunity to introduce a venue to Las Vegas that the city has never had before.”

The Coors Light Landing is the venue’s most highly anticipated location, with the ability to accommodate up to 2,500 people. The Al Davis Memorial Torch is centralized next to the 80-foot-tall lanai doors in the landing, which overlooks the Las Vegas skyline on one side and the Raiders’ field on the other, ideal for an evening banquet, Johnson says.

Meeting planners will be able to organize behind-the-scenes experiences in areas such as the Raiders Locker Room and inside the corridors of the stadium to learn about unique construction facts and how the building is operated.

“When clients are hosting events at Allegiant Stadium, we provide an electrifying atmosphere that will energize each guest that walks into our event spaces,” Johnson says. “When guests are excited about where their event is taking place, they are more engaged and connected to the event, whether that is a reception, trade show or presentation.”

Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) expansion project remains on schedule, with its new exhibition hall slated to be ready in December. The West Hall expansion will add 1.4 million square feet including 600,000 square feet of new exhibit space. The expansion also includes a 14,000-square-foot out-door terrace. The expansion will cost more than $908 million.

The convention center has also been awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR facility accreditation by ISSA: The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. Considered the gold standard for safe facilities, the GBAC program was designed to control the risks associated with infectious agents, including the virus responsible for COVID-19. The LVCC was the first facility in Nevada to receive the accreditation.

ISSA introduced the GBAC STAR accreditation program earlier this year as the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation. To achieve the accreditation, the LVCC was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk-assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures.

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“We are honored to receive this prestigious accreditation, which demonstrates our commitment to health and safety as we work toward reopening our doors,” says Brian Yost, chief operating officer for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA). “While this has been a challenging time, the meetings and conventions industry in Las Vegas is resilient. This is a significant first step toward ensuring the safety of our operations in this new environment.”

The LVCVA also developed a comprehensive plan for a new system of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention. The plan was developed in collaboration with health officials and key stakeholders after extensive, thoughtful research on health and safety protocols and industry best practices.

The underground people-mover project is also on schedule for completion before the end of the year.

MGM Sphere

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted construction of the MGM Sphere at The Venetian, which is now expected to open in 2023. The sphere-shaped music and entertainment arena will include a 17,500-seat auditorium.

“We are continuing to move forward with critical construction work on MSG Sphere,” says Nick Tomasino, vice president, construction for Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. “Over the next 15 months, we will complete the venue’s concrete elements before continuing structural steel erection and ultimately building one of the most complex components of construction—the steel-domed roof.”

Photo courtesy Las Vegas News Bureau



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.