Prevue January-February 2018 - 65

Las Vegas

Rendering of Las Vegas Convention Center expansion

E-sports to atypical speakers, experential meetings are on the rise
[ON LOCATION] JOHNALEE JOHNSTON

M

ore than 30,000 jobs are dependent on the Las Vegas
Convention Center and "every dollar spent generates
12 dollars back," says Rossi Ralenkotter, president
and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority (LVCVA). The center is currently amidst a phased
expansion and renovation that will add 1.4 million sf and modernize
existing space to accommodate the future habits and behaviors
of convention delegates. The result: an additional $800 million and
600,000 new attendees annually by 2023, the anticipated date of
completion. Terry Jacinsky, senior VP of operations for the LVCVA,
says the expected inflow of millennials into the meetings and
conventions scene is a cornerstone of what's being dubbed the
Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD).
"We're moving toward more built-in features, customizable A/V,
lounge environments and experiential meeting rooms. In other words,
less static space and more adaptable to future tech needs. We don't
know what that tech will be, but we will be able to adapt to it."
We soon learn that as exciting as it is the LVCCD isn't the
only news in town; billions in investments are positioning the city
as a contender among sports destinations. The Vegas Golden
Knights recently became the first NHL team-and first of the four
major North American professional sports leagues-to call Vegas
home. They play at the new T-Mobile Arena. In the next couple of
years, sports groups will also be able to catch a Las Vegas Raiders
(currently the Oakland Raiders) NFL game at the forthcoming Las
Vegas Stadium, cropping up near Mandalay Bay.
We also learned a thing or two about the beauty of sports that
require little to no physicality at all.

THE RISE OF E-SPORTS
An $18 million prize was awarded to one skilled video gamer last

year who battled it out against other qualifiers from around the
world at Millennial Esports, the first permanent e-sports facility
in Las Vegas. Groups as large as 1,000 from big name companies
like Amazon and Microsoft have also donned noise canceling
headsets and settled in at the facility's gaming pods (and their cozy
specialized reclining chairs) and mega screen for what has quickly
become the latest craze in tech team building. Millennial Esports
can customize the gaming experience for groups by loading games
that complement your meeting agenda (we're told "Call of Duty" and
"Halo" team building comps and sports tournaments are popular),
while offering live streaming of gaming events and fun green screens
that make players look like they are actually in the game.

RENT A MOBSTER
Groups of up to 900 are also battling it out at the Mob Museum
via scavenger hunts and after hours "Clue-like"events among the
glitz and gore of the city's past. We explore the interactive exhibits
(an experience that ends with an array of Mob Beer Jelly and other
take-home treasures) with former Las Vegas Mayor (slash former
mobster attorney) Oscar Goodman, who says former mobsters can
also be booked for speaking engagements (he has connections).
Goodman, who played himself in the film "Casino," is also available
to chat. "I wasn't getting any parts after 'Casino' so I ran for mayor
instead," he jokes. And as far as using Vegas' "Sin City" nickname,
Goodman says although "Las Vegas was born from the mob," Sin
City is now "an afterthought-we're a city for everyone."
lvcva.com
For more on this story, please visit us online at
Prevuemeetings.com.

prevuemeetings.com | 65


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