Meetings

The Difference Luxury Makes for Meetings

Opulent surroundings and exquisite cuisine are just the beginning, meeting planners.

Luxury is defined as “a condition of great ease and comfort and a sumptuous environment.” But it is also “something that is helpful or welcome and that is not always available.” When it comes to a convention venue, both of these definitions are key to creating a memorable—and deeply appreciated—experience that will surely bring attendees back year after year.

When it opened in 1989, The Mirage Hotel & Casino led Las Vegas’ transformation from a gambling town to an opulent mecca for meetings and conventions. At the time, it was the costliest casino hotel ever built, but The Mirage was just the beginning.

Since then, four other MGM Resorts upscale destinations opened, and all provide a seemingly endless array of luxurious and sumptuous environments. But all the beautiful designs, accommodations and fine dining can be quickly forgotten without the helpful, knowledgeable staff and warm welcomes one expects when staying and meeting at luxury resorts.

We like first-class facilities, for sure. The personnel working at Bellagio are first class. They bend over backwards to make sure everyone’s happy. They are very good with details and fair-minded, helping you as a meeting planner to make a very successful meeting. I’ve been in this business for a long time, and if we didn’t have the service that we have at Bellagio, we wouldn’t be going back. — Richard C. Brown, Executive Director, Convention & Meeting Services, The Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Virginia

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Association held its annual conference at The Mirage for five years, but when Tom Anderson, CMP, Director of Conferences and Events for TSIA, saw ARIA going up, he knew his attendees would be impressed.

“It made total sense to use, at that time, the new kid on the block because it had probably the best of the best in the newer destinations and existing MGM Resorts destinations,” Anderson said.

A benefit to staying within the MGM Resorts family of luxury destinations is the seamless transition from one resort to another.

Rather than starting from scratch, all of the association’s previous specs are available, which cuts down on a tremendous amount of work when planning the next event.

“Planners like that each of our resorts has its own personality and unique offerings,” said Martie Sparks, CMP, Vice President of Convention Operations for Mandalay Bay. “But where it makes sense, we have combined contracts, policies, procedures and services so it can be seamless when planners work with another MGM Resorts property.”

The ease in using multiple destinations trickles down to the attendees, as well. “What I really appreciate is that you can charge from one hotel to another hotel,” said Richard C. Brown, Executive Director of Convention & Meeting Services for The Associated General Contractors of America.

Brown explains, too, that although Bellagio is considered one of MGM Resorts’ most luxurious destinations, the staff works tirelessly to help the association stay within budget in all aspects of planning.

“And 97 percent of our attendees stay at Bellagio, and they don’t mind paying the price because they feel that they’re getting good service for a fair dollar,” Brown said.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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