Las Vegas is a destination that never grows old, with massive new resort-casinos and entertainment district developments pushing the limits of what’s possible—or even conceivable—in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Because of this and by its very nature, Las Vegas has become a showcase for spectacular technology and massive annual events such as CES, the largest consumer technology show in the world that lures nearly 200,000 tech buffs to the city every January.
Following are some of the top tech offerings of Las Vegas, all geared to dazzle attendees or make the lives of meeting planners easier.
The latest and greatest new meetings and events facility opening in Las Vegas is CAESARS FORUM conference center, which will boast the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world when it opens in March 2020. This high-profile facility will feature some impressive high-tech features, led by a massive lobby LED video wall that will wrap into an adjoining corridor at a 90-degree angle.
Photo: CAESARS FORUM exterior rendering. Credit: CAESARS FORUM
“It’s going to have certain soothing content,” said Stuart Falk, Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Encore Event Technologies, a Freeman Company, which will operate the wall and create its content. “And any time the wall is available to be rented, we can work with groups to put their logo on there, or any other information they want to include.”
Falk said content on the wall will include non-static, nature-inspired images such as running water and blooming flowers that will change with the time of day to reflect morning, afternoon and night scenes.
“It’s definitely on the highest end of an LED wall you can purchase today,” Falk said.
Other cutting-edge technology at CAESARS FORUM includes AV equipment that will save meeting planners money due to reduced labor costs and also be more environmentally friendly.
CAESARS FORUM’s RCL, or remote-controlled lighting, equipment will allow AV staff to move pin spotlights around in each room without having to hang lights, which typically requires bringing in a lift.
The FORUM will also feature an extensive and innovative rigging plot system, with points that can hang up to 2,000 pounds each instead of the typical 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.
Other high-tech and energy-saving features include:
- Laser projectors that eliminate bulbs, which are expensive, burn out much more frequently than laser projectors, and end up in landfills.
- Short-throw laser projectors that can sit six feet away from a screen, opening up more space in breakout rooms for attendee seating.
- Paperless flipcharts that store information digitally, so the content is never thrown in the trash after a brainstorming session.
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A Brave New Digital World
Targeting a late-2022 opening, the 67-story, 3,719-room Drew Las Vegas (pictured), a Marriott Convention and Resort Network property, will offer 550,000 square feet of high-tech meeting space virtually across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“We are developing a meeting space that is digitally rich, which will facilitate customers to tailor the experience to their needs,” said Lisa Marchese, Chief Operating Officer for project developer Witkoff, and Chief Marketing Officer for Drew Las Vegas. “For instance, we will enable it to activate its brand with large-format digital surfaces that are architecturally integrated, while also allowing it to leverage our dynamic wayfinding surfaces.
“Additionally, we will embrace some straightforward technology that permits us to eliminate typical resort bumps through mobile and easily accessible self-check-in, digital keys, and more,” she added.
Viva La Fremont!
Since its launch 15 years ago, the Viva Vision Fremont Street Experience light show canopy has revived Downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street into an attraction that rivals the 24/7 excitement available on the Strip.
Viva Vision rang in the new year by unveiling a major upgrade of the 1,500-foot-long, 130,000-square-foot curved display. Now featuring 50 million LED lights—four times sharper, seven times brighter and four times more than the old panels—the $32 million project allows for shows to occur day and night.
Adventurous attendees can soar under the light show on the SlotZilla Zipline over Fremont Street, which is full of food and beverage offerings and street performers, and lined with casinos dating back to the formative years of Las Vegas gaming.
[Related: The Details on the Mega Projects Transforming Las Vegas in 2020]
A Towering Visual Sphere
The 18,000-seat MSG Sphere arena, connected to The Venetian, will be a stunning 160,000-square-foot programmable spherical screen that’s visible for miles.
Photo: MSG Sphere at The Venetion cross section rendering, Courtesy: The Madison Square Garden Company
Anticipated for a late 2020 opening, MSG Sphere was conceived in partnership with Madison Square Garden and will boast an adaptive acoustics system that can focus sound on individual seats and a spherical camera system that will allow concerts and corporate customers to project original content to attendees.
The exterior, towering 360 feet above the Strip, will also be completely programmable.
A Space-Age Bazaar
Also pegged for a 2020 opening, Area15 is self-described as an “immersive bazaar” that will present a “radically reimagined retail and entertainment complex.”
The space-age complex will showcase the work of visionary artists throughout, all curated by the facility to provide a stimulating, interactive and experiential environment that will be a good fit for tech, gaming and performance-based meetings groups.
- 32,000 square feet of flexible outdoor event space for up to 3,000 attendees and suited for concerts, food festivals, drone racing and cinema under the stars, among other activations
- 7,500 square feet of indoor event space for up to 800 attendees
- Meow Wolf, an anchor tenant that specializes in curating and presenting cutting-edge, underground art installations
- A full-service catering operation
Transport to the Future
Another amazing Las Vegas tech achievement, and also one grounded in practicality, is the new People Mover that will shuttle attendees below the Las Vegas Convention Center. The $52.5 million underground, autonomous, electric-vehicle system is being developed via a collaboration between entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Boring Company and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and is planned to be operational in time for the January 2021 CES show.
Photo: Conceptual rendering of interior view of a Tesla vehicle in The Boring Company People Mover tunnel at the Las Vegas Convention Center, released November 2019. Credit: The Boring Company
The all-electric Tesla vehicles will be capable of transporting up to 16 people in two tunnels bored up to 40 feet underground. While it will initially be used to shuttle attendees free of charge between the Las Vegas Convention Center’s total campus space of 2.5 million square feet of space, including the 600,000 square feet of exhibition space in the West Hall Expansion, the potential exists for the system to connect to Downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and McCarran International Airport, and beyond.
Podcast: Viva Las Vegas! What’s New in the World’s Biggest Meetings Destination. Listen now.
Robotic Room Service
Room service is entering the 21st century at Vdara Hotel and Spa, which has enlisted a pair of autonomous robots named Fetch and Jett to deliver everything from spa products to food and beverages to guest rooms.
Fetch and Jett will complement their human counterparts in the delivery effort, with Vdara staffers loading products into a compartment within the robots, alerting guests to the delivery via phone before they arrive.
A Sassy Bot at Your Service
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers a text-based digital concierge system named Rose that uses artificial intelligence to serve customers.
Introduced in 2017, the SMS chatbot can arrange for amenity deliveries such as towels and pillows, and also can serve as a virtual concierge to provide restaurant suggestions, off-menu cocktail suggestions, communicate special offers, play games and provide other services.
Keeping with The Cosmopolitan’s edgy personality, the playful Rose can also be a bit sassy, being described as the hotel’s “resident mischief-maker,” quick with a quip for unsuspecting guests.
Whether it’s highly functional AV advances, towering special events venues with eye-popping projection tech and artist installations or service enhancements powered by artificial intelligence, Las Vegas continues to astound visitors and meeting delegates by being the showcase for the latest and greatest hospitality technology that seemed like a futuristic dream only a few years ago.
Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by and was produced in collaboration with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Read more: The Las Vegas meetings and events landscape is always evolving. Stay up to date with what’s new on our Las Vegas destination page!
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