Event professionals and meeting planners spend a lot of time in Vegas. Like, a lot of time. My team often refers to Vegas as their second home, as they spend weeks there every year. When meeting planners think of Vegas, a few clichés come to mind: heavily air-conditioned meeting spaces, stereotypical casino carpet and décor, and the unmistakable sound of slot machines.
It’s important for event professionals to remember that this one-of-a-kind city has much more to offer. We asked the experts at the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Authority about unique spots off the Strip and away from the casino: “Long gone are the days of sitting in a lecture or conference room for hours on end,” said Chris Meyer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) VP of Sales. “The best opportunity to captivate your event attendees is to engage them with unique experiences, and Las Vegas has no shortage of options.”
It’s time to rethink what you thought you knew about Vegas: consider these unique options for your group.
Mob Museum: Las Vegas is rooted in a fascinating history laced with stories of the mob. There’s no better place to learn about the city’s rich history than at the Mob Museum. Located in downtown Las Vegas, right off iconic Fremont Street, the museum occupies a retired courthouse that belongs to the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the courthouse (including the courtroom where mobsters were tried during the Kefauver hearings) has been beautifully restored. The museum offers rental options for private events,ranging from 30-person meeting rooms to a full museum buyout. Hosting your group at the Mob Museum allows attendees to learn more about Vegas and spend time in a historical landmark, rather than a hotel venue on the strip.
Neon Boneyard: Where do neon signs go when they retire? The Neon Boneyard! This eerie yet gorgeous outdoor museum space is an excellent option for events in Vegas. For an outdoor event, the Neon Museum boasts over 5,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space, as well as a 600 square foot visitors’ center perfect for smaller gatherings. Their collection of more than 200 preserved neon signs could make a unique backdrop for your event.
Life is Beautiful: In recent years, downtown Las Vegas experienced a cultural renaissance and is now a lively borough where the arts are celebrated. This is especially true during the Life is Beautiful Arts & Music Festival held each September. The festival occupies multiple city blocks of downtown Vegas with four stages, local food vendors, and countless art installations. Top-billed artists are consistently booked to perform. Educational speakers such Bill Nye, and legendary Vegas talent like Cirque Du Soleil are also known to make appearances. The best part? Life is Beautiful offers fully furnished upscale suites for large groups. These private spaces come complete with charging stations, concierge, food and specialty cocktail options, and air-conditioned restrooms. Life is Beautiful offers a special opportunity to host C-Suite teams or high-touch partners.
The Oquendo Center:Anyone who is familiar with Las Vegas can certainly appreciate the importance of scouting out a bargain.The Oquendo Center, located a few miles east of the Strip, offers a more economical option. This modern space requires no F&B minimums and includes many fees in the facility rental. The Oquendo Center is a perfect fit for medical professional meetings, as the venue features an impressive 1,400 square foot surgical suite ideal for demonstrations and hands-on labs. Their website urges meeting planners to let their attendees “get down to business during the day, and enjoy all Las Vegas has to offer at night.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
The LVCVA team is always keeping their finger on the pulse of new attractions in Las Vegas; resourcing them for advice and guidance on anything Vegas is completely free to meeting planners. Take your next group off the Strip and into the rare venues and experiences that can be found only in Las Vegas.
Know any other noteworthy spots in Vegas?