The Business Side of Las Vegas

The Business Side of Las Vegas

I visit Las Vegas fairly often.  Part of the reason is that it’s in close proximity to Seattle, making it a great getaway spot for a weekend escape.  I love taking in some theater (I’m a HUGE Cirque du Soleil fan), having some great meals, and catching a little sun.

Las Vegas Convention Center at Night

Las Vegas Convention Center at Night

Las Vegas is also a prime spot for conferences and conventions, probably because of the variety of accommodations, meals, and price ranges that can be accommodated.

Las Vegas Means Business, a relatively new website that promotes the business side of visiting the city cites 10 reasons why Las Vegas is a great place for business events.  A few of the reasons that they mentioned caught my eye:

  • Accommodations:  There’s no doubt that Las Vegas is teeming with hotel rooms at a wide variety of price points.  On my last few trips to the city, I was able to find reasonably priced, well-located hotels – even when over the weekend and/or at the last minute.  From personal experience, I can tell you that that hasn’t always been the case!  With hotels rooms at a soft price point, a conference become affordable to more people and the company’s they represent.  From everything I’m reading these soft prices are going to last for awhile, making the city an attractive business choice for the next few years.
  • Convention Centers:  I’ve been to a number of events at the Las Vegas Convention Center, both large and small, and have always thought it was a top-notch facility.  Conveniently located on the monorail (although I have a long list of reasons why I think the monorail is falling short), it is easy to get to, has plenty of ways that it can be configured, and is well laid out and easy to get around.  I’ve also been to events at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and that has been great for events that don’t need quite as much space as at the Convention Center.  Next month I’ll be attending an event that has part of the activities at the MGM Grand Conference Center, and I’m interested to see what kind of meeting space they have there.
  • Airport:  Everyone can get to Las Vegas, no matter where you’re coming from.  With 900 flights a day, and non-stop service from 130 cities, you won’t be spending half you’re life just getting to your conference destination.
  • Weather:  320 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 66 degrees, combined with low rainfall and humidity, makes Las Vegas a pleasant place to be temperature-wise.  I’ve visited in the very middle of summer, in the days of 100+ weather, and have still found it quite manageable.
  • Dining:  Buffets are just not my cup of tea, so I love the fact that there’s less emphasis placed on all-you-can-eat and more emphasis on delicious food.  I’ve grabbed a quick burger at a coffee shop as well as lingered over a gourmet meal at a celebrity chef restaurant.  I’ve spent many an evening engaged in heated debate or business strategizing, while enjoying a glass of nice wine at a comfy wine bar.

’m heading back to Las Vegas next month.  I will be attending the Luxury Travel Expo, a chance to learn about what’s going to be hot in the luxury market for the coming year, as well as a taking some personal vacation time to check out a few new restaurants, take in a couple of shows, and escape the Seattle rain for awhile.  I’m going to be taking a look at the business side of Las Vegas through a new set of eyes – those of a visitor who may not come to the city all that often — someone who doesn’t take for granted many of the things that I do.

Vegas has gotten a bad rap for a lot of things – gambling, drinking, and inappropriate behavior.  But there’s another side of Vegas, too.  There’s a side of the city that works hard to attract business travelers, and businesses that work hard to make sure that those business travelers have a productive an enjoyable event.  Business and pleasure have always worked hand in hand (how many deals have been inked as a result of a game of golf or over a martini), and it’s a shame that some of the past excesses of some people have cast a pall over the best that it has to offer.

Have you been to a conference or convention in Las Vegas?  How do you think it measures up to other convention cities?

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

One Response to “The Business Side of Las Vegas”

  1. July 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I also think vegas is a great place to have as a business meeting place. Travel there is cheap, great entertainment. plenty of places to eat at all hours day or night. and they really want your business!

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