What Happens in Vegas

If I love DC and I’m infatuated with New York, I find Las Vegas utterly irresistible.  Too commonly, Las Vegas is associated with sin and sin alone, and while it’s ignorant to say sin doesn’t make a home in Las Vegas, sin can be found in just about any conference destination.  Las Vegas made the unrecoverable mistake in its leisure marketing to remind people “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” because the unavoidable affects it has had is to keep people “staying out” of Vegas.  And those who are staying out – are missing out.For those who are obsessed with hotels, Las Vegas offers a jaw dropping 24hr look at the most elaborate, grand hotel designs anywhere in the world.  The sheer quantity of chef drive restaurants is mind staggering.  Each hotel is bigger and more perfected than the one before it.  The quantity and quality of entertainment acts is second to none.  The amount of convention space one walkable street is a meeting planner’s dream.

I recently had an opportunity to stay at the Venetian Palazzo for the first time.  In sum total, this hotel complex has more than 7,100 rooms – and all the rooms are suites.  They also have more than 1 million square feet of meeting space.  In just about any American city with the possible exception of Orlando, a group which sells out the Venetian Palazzo would be considered a citywide convention.  And these hotels do sell out!  Indeed hotels like this and many of its neighbors are cities unto themselves.  I once sold a boutique hotel whose footprint could easily fit inside the prefunction space of one of this hotel’s junior ballrooms!

What impresses me the most is specific to the five star, five diamond element which exists in Las Vegas on an unrivaled scale.  In many cities, pulling off a five star hotel isn’t terribly uncommon, but they are often 100-200 room hotels.  Accomplishing this kind of service level in hotels the size of Wynn, Encore, Aria, and Bellagio is an incredible feat.  How are they able to so brilliantly take care of so many people at once!

These hotels are high functioning cities all on their own and conferences and governments who instruct their planners to avoid them are unAmerican.  Given the caliber of service and the scale of the product, the values here are tremendous.  What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas – it should happen in every good convention city in the country – or we’re all missing out!

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