The hospitality sector is undoubtedly one of the most profitable and thriving industries in the 21st century. The industry is established based on the concept of host and guest. Its utmost underlying principle is the provision of great reception and entertainment to guests followed by a display of respect, friendliness and equality to all. Due to the nature of the sector, service is the key component in guaranteeing consumer satisfaction. Thus, providing excellent service is directly proportional to the success of any organization in the hospitality industry. Beyond great service, however, location is also significant in attracting a large number of guests. An ideal location should be able to meet the wide and unique tastes and preferences of each guest. The city of Las Vegas is one such destination, with unique and attractive locations. Therefore, it is among the world’s most ideal locations for hosting meetings. The following paper is a discussion of Las Vegas as meeting destination. The paper also takes an in-depth look at elements of destination, venue and transportation, highlighting how they contribute to making Las Vegas an ideal wide-world location in host meetings.
Upon hearing the name Las Vegas, one might be too quick to think about expensive, posh and trendy lifestyle. In addition to its branded name ‘Sin City’, Las Vegas is often regarded as the city of endless entertainment with a fast-lane type of lifestyle. Not only is Las Vegas a great entertainment hub, but also a conducive location for meeting planners to host meetings.
Situated on the Southern Nevada landscapes, a marsh of vegetation and water which later created a valley is what came to be known as Las Vegas. ‘Las Vegas’ is a Spanish name for ‘the meadows’, given by a European explorer as a description of the valley’s extensive spring watered grasses. Pre-historical evidence shows the existence of Native Americans and the Paiute tribe dates back to over 10,000 years ago. As a result of human presence, expeditions were channeled towards Las Vegas with an aim of creating trade routes between New Mexico and California (Moehring & Green 76).
By the beginning of the 1900s, the railroads had already appeared in Las Vegas, thus connecting the city with the nation’s main railway networks and the Pacific Ocean. Thereafter, massive construction projects were initiated in the city, drawing a large number of workers and traders into the region. With the completion of the Boulder Dam cheap hydroelectricity was used to power flashy signs of the emerging casinos and showgirl venues that were gaining popularity. In the 1900s, Nevada was acclaimed as the place where ‘unhappy couples would quickly get divorced’. Las Vegas embraced this concept, making the city a place where quick marriages would be performed with ‘no strings attached’. This fact further made the city popular and drew in large masses of people. The main foundation of Las Vegas growth is its casino and entertainment venues rather than its spring valleys (B. Land & M. Land 112). With long gambling traditions, Las Vegas attracted a large number of both legal and illegal investors who steered the city’s economy. The Las Vegas Strip, the Mob era, entertainment and glamour are embedded in the city’s history.
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Las Vegas is the ultimate fantasy- land with an ever-changing string of entertainment and attractions. Once being a desert, the city of Las Vegas has seen unbelievably massive expansions over the decades becoming one of the world’s popular entertainment cities. Entertainment in Las Vegas revolves around hotels and casinos, with the spectacular sights and sounds of the city attracting millions of tourists every year. With the city’s ability to tolerate and, in many instances, encourage various forms of adult entertainment, it earned the title ‘‘Sin City’’. Las Vegas provides a wide range of entertainment including glamorous and unique hotel experiences, expensive five-star restaurants which are favorite to many visitors (Denton & Morris 505). Numerous casinos, golf courses, pools and health spa provide a large selection of leisure to visitors. Moreover, Las Vegas is home to several museums that attract tourists who are interested in its history and culture. Some of the attraction sites include the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the Discovery Children’s Museum, the Mormon State Historic Park, the Downtown Arts District and Las Vegas Springs. The icon sign “Welcome to Las Vegas” and the popular phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” are large attractions to visitors seeking to have endless entertainment.
According to the 2010 census carried out in the city of Las Vegas, Non-Hispanic whites were the most popular ethnic group. The percentage had a significant drop from a 72.1% in 1990 to a 47.9% of the total population in 2010. The decrease in Non-Hispanic whites however is amid a larger increase in the total number of other ethnicities within the city. For instance, the number of Hawaiians moving into the city has tremendously increased over the past few years. Native Americans have the lowest presence in the city.
With a population density of 4,222.5/sq mi, the population of Las Vegas as per the 2010 census stood at 583,756 people, with 211,689 households and a total of 117,538 families living in the city. The city’s age demographics were fairly spread out. 25.9% composed of persons under 18 years old, 8.8% representing the 18-24 age group,32% composed of persons of 25-44 years old, 21.7% representing persons of the age of 45 -64 while 11.6% were persons at the age of 65 or older. In terms of gender gratifications, in every 100 females, there were 103 males. The census also indicated that the average median income per household was at $53,000 with the median income per family at $58,465. Men showed a higher median income of $35,511 compared to females who had a median income of $27,554.8. An estimated 8.9% of the total population was living below the poverty line, many being under the age of 18 and above 65 years (Moehring 217). Having few restrictions in terms of marriage and divorce, the city has one of the highest marriage and divorce rates in the United States.
With a booming economy, Las Vegas has a huge number of key industries and companies that drive its economy. The hospitality sector is the main industry in Las Vegas alongside other major industries including health, education, retail, banking and telecommunication sectors.
Numerous corporations drive the economy of Las Vegas and provide a great environment for new businesses to grow and thrive.
In general, at a national level, the United States of America has no value added tax (VAT) or other indirect taxes. However, it is important to note that every state, city and county is allowed to levy their taxes at the local levels. The local taxes incurred are on all purchases inclusive of airline tickets and restaurants/hotel checks; hence, these taxes do not appear on price tags. The average sale tax in Las Vegas is at 8.1% and is included in food and drink bills. While seeking for accommodation in hotels along the Strip, the hotel rooms are accompanied with a 12% tax while hotel rooms on the downtown attract a 13% tax. In addition, show tickets also carry an added tax rate.
Las Vegas has a vast number of tourist attractions. Over the years, the hotels and casinos have grown to be the city’s major attractions. Many of the hotels provided a wide selection of attractions such as gambling areas, show theatres that host live performances and concerts, shopping malls, restaurants, clubs, bar lounges and cafes. The Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas have the largest cluster of hotels and casinos. Larger hotels in Las Vegas are located along the Strip offering the world’s largest room spaces and thousands of rooms of all sizes (Hannigan 162).
Additionally, various large and small hotels and casinos are positioned across the city and the larger metro area hence giving tourists numerous options in terms of finding accommodation and entertainment. Many tourists flock the city to enjoy the various bus tours across the Las Vegas valley and indulge in affordable and high-end shopping. In terms of outdoor activities, the city offers water sports along Lake Mead, with skiing and snowboarding activities on Mount Charleston.
Having held the title of the world’s top convention and meeting destination, Las Vegas provides endless possibilities and options for citywide conventions. The city is home to three of the world’s top 10 largest and outstanding convention centers according to the US survey on citywide meetings. There is an estimated more than 10.8 million square feet of room space for events, meetings and trade shows in Las Vegas. It is for the same reason that the city receives more than 5.1 million convention attendees on an annual basis (Baloglu Love 261).
Several festivals and annual events are held in the city, displaying a diverse culture. One of the prominent festivals is the ‘First Friday’ celebrations. The celebrations are held on the first Friday of every month in a large area of the downtown. Many annual festivals and celebrations exhibit exceptional artworks of local artisans and musicians. Moreover, numerous galleries are always on display during the festivals (Moehring 158).
With striking and interesting historical backgrounds, Las Vegas, once a desert, provides an incredible destination to any visitor across the globe. The city has extensively developed over the years and nowadays provides one of the world’s greatest experiences filled with glamour and entertainment. Apart from great entertainment and attractions, the city is adequately endowed with the world-class meeting facilities and sufficient room space for any size and type of convention, making it a top meeting destination.
Away from the glittering and famous casino properties of Las Vegas, the city also provides a wide selection of events venues for hosting meetings from massive convention centers to comfortable hotels and unique venues. Keeping in mind that successful hosting is a vital component in the success of any meeting or convention; Las Vegas offers a cosmopolitan meeting destination. In this sense, the city provides a perfect venue for hosting meetings, ranging from a wide selection of meeting facilities to accommodate both large and small groups. The following chart below presents five (5) top venues in Las Vegas that can successfully host a meeting of 20 to 500 persons.
Las Vegas provides a large selection of cuisines in different restaurants across the city. With a wide variety of dining options, guest seeking an off-site meal option may be overwhelmed in identifying the perfect and suitable dining venue. As a result, the following chart provides a selection of restaurants that may be helpful to attendees (see fig. 3). Additionally, the chart also presents location of each restaurant, its main type of cuisine, average entree price per event/person and any relevant reviews from 3rd parties. In doing so, the chart allows meeting planners to have a prior overview of dining options for large and small groups. Therefore, the meeting planner is well informed in making the necessary plans and reservations that fit the size of the meeting group. The following are five (5) off-site restaurants that favorite dining options for groups and guaranteed to make it a memorable experience.
Individuals attending meetings may prefer to go out and have meals on their own. It often helps to meet attendees’ meal budgets and allow individuals to seek personal nutritional needs. Thus, visitors can go in search of restaurants that fit their dining options. However, in a city like Las Vegas, there are the hundreds of dining spots; hence it might particularly overwhelm an individual in deciding where best to dine. The following chart provides a detailed list of five (5) venues that suit off-site individual meal options in Las Vegas (see fig. 4). The chart includes important information regarding the type of cuisine served, price entree, general distance of the restaurant and rankings from third parties. The chart provides a variety of dining venues that will make the attendees experience memorable and allow them to explore further and enjoy the city of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is well linked with an effective and reliable transport system. The air transport, train and interstate bus services enable visitors to come comfortably into the city. In regards to the public transport system, RTC Transit provides reliable bus services throughout the city and many other regions along the valley. Greyhound, on the other hand, has inter-city bus services for users. Previously, Amtrak trains had serviced the city up to their cancellation; however, Amtrak California can provide train services to the city with designated rail stations for its passengers. In addition, the city has two main freeways; Interstate 15 and 515/ US95, which lead out of the city connecting it to neighboring cities such as Los Angeles. Conveniently, Las Vegas air travel is well supported by the McCarran International Airport. The airport handles both domestic and international flights, together with private aircrafts and freight flight services. In addition to the McCarran International Airport, the city also relies on Henderson Executive Airport, and North Las Vegas Airport for smaller aviation traffics.
For the movement within the city, attendees have access to numerous options including local bus services such as the Strip and Downtown Express which connects the Las Vegas Strip, downtown and the Las Vegas convention center. Taxis and shuttle services are widely available in the city, with many hotels providing such services to their guests including limousine and private cars upon request.
Given the unique blend of vintage, glamour and ultra-modern touch, Las Vegas stands out as a great destination for any visitor for the purposes of business and pleasure. Its wide selection of entertainment, ranging from the expensive hotels and casinos to the magnificent Las Vegas Springs, the city is accommodative to each taste and preferences. Additionally, endowed with state-of-the-art meeting facilities, meetings and conventions are a must success and attendees are guaranteed to have a memorable experience as they progress into a successful meeting.
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