June 4 was an emotional day for Stephanie Glanzer, Chief Sales Officer and Senior Vice President at MGM Resorts International. After 78 days of closed doors at iconic properties that previously never slept, the feeling of welcoming employees and guests back was over the top. “I have been with the company 22 years and experienced many grand openings; this had the same overwhelming feeling,” she said.
Her team went through numerous scenarios as they prepared for reopening after working from home for more than two months. “It is not just like flicking a switch,” she explained with a laugh. Furloughed workers are learning new ways to serve that will protect everyone.
Las Vegas has been recognized as the No. 1 trade show destination in the U.S. for 26 consecutive years by Trade Show News Network. Las Vegas welcomed more than 6.6 million business travelers in 2019 and spending by visitors attending conventions directly supported 43,500 jobs, generating more than $11.4 billion in overall economic impact.
All that came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic, but that did not stop Las Vegas from expansions and renovations. In addition to the West Hall expansion, development continued on a number of major projects in 2020 totaling more than 2 million square feet of new meeting space, bringing the citywide total to more than 14 million square feet, with more planned later in 2021. Some of the new additions included CAESARS FORUM, Allegiant Stadium and AREA15, as well as expansions at MGM properties Mandalay Bay, ARIA and Park MGM, including the MGM Grand Conference Center, the Stella Studio at The Venetian Resort and new indoor and outdoor space at Wynn Las Vegas. Two new resorts opened, Circa Resort & Casino and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, and a third, Resorts World, is scheduled to open this summer.
Steve Hill, CEO/President of the LVCVA summed it up best on April 8, 2021. “This year, Global Meetings Industry Day, is especially meaningful to us because larger meetings are coming back to Las Vegas, and the destination is stronger than ever. We’re known for providing unparalleled facilities and services, and those offerings have only improved over the past year.”