Gaming resorts may be known for drawing attendees like high-stakes magnets, but there also is a lot of value for group meetings and events underneath all the glitz and glamour.
Circa’s 35,000-sf, state-of-the art facility marks the second phase for the downtown Las Vegas’ resort, providing meeting planners with contemporary and tech-forward options to book events, galas, meetings and more—off the Strip. The meeting spaces offer groups turnkey audiovisual capabilities and customizable rooms for up to 1,000 guests. Featuring a ballroom, breakout and banquet rooms, adjacent pre-function space and a 1,600-sf outdoor terrace, the spaces complement Circa’s art deco and modern designs.
“The most important differentiator with Circa is the fact that the audiovisual is in-house,” saving upwards of 40 percent over competitors, says Sasha Lee, director of sales for Circa Resort & Casino. “Circa also is an independent and family-owned hotel, so the ease of contracting and getting answers back quickly is far superior. We don’t have the multiple layers of approvals the Strip hotels have to abide by, which can cause a delay in the contracting phase.” The meeting and convention space also features a large freight elevator to transport large vehicles and displays directly to the third floor for ease of access.
Circa makes it easy for on-the-spot event functionality as the spaces are equipped with best-in-class technology, and unique environmental measures have been implemented throughout the spaces. This includes LED lighting and adaptive, intelligently controlled HVAC systems that adjust temperatures to changing ecosystems, as well as 16K LU laser projectors, retractable screens, audio tie lines, patchable ethernet lines, strands of patchable single mode fiber in pairs on LC connectors, quad outlets and LED screens.
Galaxy, the largest of Circa’s meeting spaces, offers four adjoining meeting rooms boasting 14,456 sf and a 1,677-sf outdoor terrace overlooking the city. It was designed to be able to host a multitude of events with a large LED screen, built-in AV, full rigging and a partition wall that opens the ballroom to the pre-function spaces. Opened in the 1950s and still operating today, Starlite spans 3,572 sf across three rooms. The resort’s Carousel space offers 1,651 sf across three rooms; Circa’s two Ambassador meeting areas can be booked together for a total of 1,055 sf.
With 13 resorts along the Las Vegas Strip, MGM Resorts is designed to provide planners with endless possibilities for events of all sizes, not to mention seamless, streamlined facilitation as they only have to work with one team on the ground.
In addition to the well-known, robust convention spaces at Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand, there’s a seamless luxury experience to be had at Bellagio, ARIA, Vdara and Park MGM that provides a convenient way to build out dynamic, creative programming across multiple resorts. Now MGM has added The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas—located in the heart of the neighborhood—into its portfolio. “This Luxury Meetings District is particularly attractive to our smaller and mid-size corporate groups, which make up a large part of our business,” says Stephanie Glanzer, sr. VP and chief sales officer, MGM Resorts.
For groups looking to maximize efficiencies and create a convenient experience for attendees, “We always encourage our planners to take full advantage of the venues and spaces throughout our resorts,” she adds. “For example, while keynotes and welcome receptions may take place in ballrooms or convention spaces, our resorts offer a plethora of restaurants, theaters and other unique locations for break-out meetings, smaller client events or teambuilders.”
MGM Resorts is undertaking a $100 million remodel of its 2-million-sf Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which will be completed in early 2024. The project reflects the evolving needs and preferences of today’s meeting planners and attendees with significant technology upgrades, dynamic digital signage and a fresh, new design and ambiance. “The feedback we’ve already been receiving from planners and attendees has been terrific and we’re excited to showcase the new space for groups throughout the coming year,” Glanzer says.
Baha Mar, a leading integrated luxury resort in The Bahamas, is home to three iconic oceanfront hotels: the richly refined Rosewood Baha Mar, the playfully hip SLS Baha Mar, and the stylish and modern Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. The resort offers a combined total of 2,300 hotel rooms and 300,000 total sf of private event space, including The Baha Mar Performing Arts & Convention Center, an indoor and outdoor convention facility, incorporating the Bahamian culture through art and decor.
The Bahamas sounds far-off and exotic, but groups can also take advantage of direct flights from most major U.S. cities as well as Canada and Europe, and the resort is only an 8-minute drive from the Nassau airport. Baha Mar also has a diverse event culinary team with the ability to provide different types of cuisines, including Indian and Kosher meals, in addition to over 45 world-class dining options including celebrity chef concepts.
While luxury is on the table, the on-property experiences create time and budget savings when compared to the need for transportation and outside vendors at most resorts, says Graeme Davis, president of Baha Mar. For example, Baha Mar’s new $200 million luxury beachfront waterpark, Baha Bay, is complimentary for all Baha Mar resort guests. In addition to an array of aquatic experiences, luxe poolside lounge areas with full-service private cabanas and multiple food and beverage options, Baha Bay has the world’s first casino gaming pavilion inside a water park.
“Another key to maximizing value and at the same time often enhancing the overall experience is by seeking out the shoulder season weeks,” Davis points out. Pricing is more flexible from late August to early November, and the Baha Mar hotels, including Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, offer special pricing promotions to groups and events.
For a new venue look to the Providence Patio Deck, 5,600 sf of covered outdoor space that is adjacent to the meticulously landscaped and recently redesigned 30,000-sf New Providence Lawn.
Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, WA, is notable for the flexibility of its meeting space and the expertise of its staff. Onsite options for pre- or post-event diversions include the T Spa, an award-winning Las Vegas-style casino, multiple dining options, live entertainment and nearby shopping and golf.
“However, what truly makes our resort unique is that, as a tribal property, we offer an exceptional design that showcases the beautiful art of our tribe, highlighting the coast Salish style,” says Tracy Goolsby, director of sales & hotel operations. “Our meeting space tells a story and welcomes your meeting or event to be a part of that story.”
Tulalip Resort Casino opened nearly 14 years ago and most of the sales, catering and banquet staff still work there today, a testament to the quality of the organization and to the level of service you can expect, Goolsby says. “We pride ourselves on taking care of our customers from start to finish and look forward to working with both new and returning groups as they plan their upcoming events and meetings.”
There are many ways to get a great bang for your buck at Tulalip Resort Casino, but two top options Goolsby recommends are:
• Tulalip offers groups an option for an overall minimum food and beverage to waive all meeting room rental costs, and it includes cash bar sales toward that calculation, giving groups credit for all of their spend to help offset the bottom line.
• The standard setup of the resort’s beautifully appointed meeting space includes tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware and silverware, plus WiFi at no additional cost.
We are always working to keep things fresh at Tulalip Resort Casino,” adds Goolsby. “We renovated our first-floor meeting rooms in 2018 and our second-floor meeting rooms in 2021. We also opened a new restaurant—Salish Sun Taqueria, Bar & Burgers—in September 2022; and unveiled our new 5,000-sf DraftKings Sportsbook (complete with 800-sf LED video wall as well.”
Value, luxury and variety are three keywords for Resorts World Las Vegas, the first integrated resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in over a decade. The property, which opened in June 2021, represented the largest multi-brand deal in Hilton Hotels & Resort’s history—it includes three of Hilton’s premium brands into its resort campus, including Las Vegas Hilton, the resort’s full-service brand; Conrad Las Vegas, Hilton’s lifestyle luxury brand; and LXR, Hilton’s network of independent luxury properties, which operates as Crockfords Las Vegas. Altogether, it includes 3,506 luxury guest rooms and suites, along with a 117,000-sf casino complete with a 17,000-sf Entertainment Zone.
The property also is a meetings and events bonanza, with 50 multi-functional, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, six configurable ballrooms, and an expansive rooftop terrace with dramatic Strip views—a total of nearly 350,000 sf to accommodate groups of any size. Located across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion, Resorts World Las Vegas offers the 23,000-sf Lily Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Strip, as well as a spacious outdoor terrace. Other key venues are the pillarless Events Center, which offers 100,000 sf of open-air events and entertainment space for large-scale events and exhibitions. Its 5,000-seat theater features a 100,000-sf screen (one of the largest screens in the world), making it a cool space for anything from sales meetings to product launches.
Resorts World Las Vegas also offers more than 40 dining options to suit any taste, several of which can host groups in private dining rooms or for full buyouts.
mgmresorts.com/en/groups-and-weddings.html; bahamar.com/meetings; tulalipresortcasino.com; circalasvegas.com/meetings-events; rwlasvegas.com/groups-and-celebrations