More and more, organizations are moving their large meetings away from the traditional convention-center setting and hosting them in hotel and resort meeting space. Doing so puts everything “under one roof,” said Michael Dominguez, senior vice president and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International. “We’re very unique because we have a wide variety of venues beyond typical meeting spaces, so we can bring groups together easily and create very dynamic, engaging programs.”
This year, MGM Resorts will be able to accommodate even more meetings after several of the hospitality company’s properties undergo massive expansions.
ARIA Resort & Casino on The Strip
ARIA Resort & Casino on The Strip in Las Vegas is getting an additional 200,000 square feet of technologically advanced, flexible meeting space across four stories as part of a $154-million project. The property is also adding several stunning indoor, open-air spaces along with a glass-enclosed venue with dramatic views of The Park and the new T-Mobile Arena. Once complete in February 2018, ARIA will feature more than 500,000 square feet of meeting space.
“Convention business at ARIA is very strong and demand is currently exceeding the space we have available,” said Tony Yousfi, ARIA’s vice president of sales. “Hosting large meetings and conventions is a core part of our business; as our clients’ needs grow, we are committed to growing with them. We also challenged ourselves to introduce spaces not available anywhere else in Las Vegas. This led to the creation of the Cypress Executive Lounge, a 2,984-square-foot library-style offering with its own pantry, conference room, and three private meeting rooms.”
Not only will the extra space provide more room for larger and growing conventions, but Dominguez says MGM will be able to accommodate more association business as well. “Associations often book so far out that we can’t always guarantee it, but now with the new space, we can start saying yes to more long-lead bookings and playing more in the association world because we have the flexibility that we didn’t have before.”
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Convention Center
In addition to ARIA, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Convention Center in Las Vegas recently underwent a $70- million transformation. The property added a 70,000-square-foot Oceanside Ballroom and 350,000 square feet of new exhibit space, a 20,000-square-foot foyer and an underground parking area. The Mandalay Bay Convention Center now boasts more than 2 million total square feet of space, including more than 900,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space.
The final phase of Mandalay Bay’s expansion included a $100-million redesign of more than 3,000 guest rooms and suites, completed in February 2016. The resort offers three hotels, including Delano Las Vegas and Four Seasons, and more than 30 world-class dining options. It’s the ideal setting for a wide range of meetings, from large conventions to smaller, more intimate events. “To strengthen our position as a leader in the meetings industry, we have made significant changes and enhancements to provide a unique resort destination with diverse and comprehensive options to remain a top choice for corporate groups and trade shows of all sizes,” said Stephanie Glanzer, vice president of sales at Mandalay Bay.
The new space has state-of-the-art, high-density Wi-Fi in order to accommodate any size group and a rooftop with solar panels stretching 28 acres making it the largest convention-center solar array in the world. All combined, the panels produce enough electricity to power 1,300 homes.
The newly expanded property is also a leader in waste management, integrating environmentally responsible practices into its operations, including recycling more than 80 percent of all convention materials. From sustainable serviceware and organic, sustainable menus to zero-waste recycling, Mandalay Bay’s convention service managers offer a number of options to help each group conduct green and socially responsible meetings.
MGM Grand Las Vegas
“The expansion of Stay Well Meetings, along with our 340 Stay Well accommodations, allows MGM Grand to offer a completely unique destination for groups that carries through the entire resort experience — from the board room to the guest room,” Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales for MGM Grand, said in a statement. “The conference-center expansion allows us to grow with the needs of our clients and drive new and expanded business to Las Vegas.”
The new 250,000-square-foot space at MGM Grand will seamlessly connect to the existing conference center on all three levels and will include a new 5,500-square-foot outdoor courtyard available for private events, a 49,000-square-foot ballroom, a 32,000-square-foot ballroom, three junior ballrooms, and 11 breakout rooms. The resort’s unique meeting spaces include the stand-alone, 92,000-square-foot Marquee Ballroom and the 16,800-seat Grand Garden Arena. The expansion is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.
Upon completion of these projects, MGM Resorts International will offer a total of 4 million square feet of leading meeting and convention space within a two-mile stretch on the Las Vegas Strip. “The interest in Las Vegas and specifically MGM Resorts destinations has been tremendous,” Dominguez said. “Because we deliver extraordinary events that achieve client goals, we have been able to continue cultivating loyal relationships with companies that want to grow with us. The increased demand for space compelled us to develop more robust and creative meeting options throughout our portfolio.”
For more information, visit MGM Resorts International Newsroom.