More people are visiting Las Vegas for conventions. A lot more people are visiting for a convention. In fact, while overall visitation to Las Vegas decreased in 2017, there were 5.2% more people in Las Vegas for a convention. Expect to see more business travelers in Las Vegas in 2018 and beyond.
MGM Resorts will be introducing new and upgraded meeting and convention spaces throughout the year. Not only are they introducing collaborative, innovative, and unique meeting spaces they will be offering all-inclusive incentive group packages for the first time. Even if you’re not visiting Las Vegas for work, this will matter to you. More on that later.
This year MGM Resorts will open meeting and convention enhancements at Aria, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo/Park MGM and Luxor, totaling approximately 900,000 additional square feet. When all expansions are completed by the end of 2018, MGM Resorts will have 4 million square feet of meeting and convention space. That’s more than any other company in Las Vegas.
Here are brief overviews of the new convention and meeting spaces MGM Resorts will open this year.
ARIA Convention Center Expansion
This new space will open in February. You may remember that this major expansion project began in May 2016 when the Viva Elvis show closed. The $165 million expansion at Aria includes an additional 200,000 square feet of technologically advanced, flexible meeting space across four stories, for a total of over 500,000 square feet.
MGM Grand Conference Center Expansion
This new space should also open around February. The $130 million expansion is adding 250,000 square feet for a total of more than 850,000 square feet when complete. This unique meeting and convention space will include Stay Well Meetings. This is the industry’s first-ever wellness meetings experience. It ties in nicely with the Stay Well rooms at the hotel.
Park MGM To Debut New Meeting Space
While the transformation from Monte Carlo to Park MGM isn’t complete yet, this new meeting space has already seen its first guests at a preview during the Consumer Electronics Show. The new 77,000-square-foot conference space will combine innovative, non-traditional spaces, an outdoor terrace, and flexible design. This space is intended to serve smaller meetings than some of the other MGM expansions.
Luxor, Delano, Mandalay Bay, and The Mirage Offering More Meeting Options
New restaurants, updated meeting spaces, and ballrooms offer new meeting opportunities at these four casino-resorts. These smaller spaces can accommodate meetings or dinner for as few as 10 people.
What Do Conventions And Meetings Matter For My Vacation?
While the actual spaces might not matter to you, the people they bring to Las Vegas will have an impact on your Las Vegas vacation. Meetings and conventions are typically held during weekdays. Sunday through Thursday are often the quiet periods in Las Vegas casinos. Not only are hotel rooms usually less expensive but tickets and reservations are usually more readily available.
Business travelers tend to stay in the hotel where their meeting or convention is being held. When occupancy is high, the hotel operator can charge more for rooms. If these new meeting and convention spaces are successful MGM Resorts should be able to charge higher midweek rates at these casino-resorts.
Caesars Entertainment is piggybacking on this idea. They’re building the Caesars Forum convention center behind The Linq, Harrah’s and Flamingo. When it opens, this could in turn increase hotel room rates at those properties.
The sky isn’t falling. Las Vegas is still one of the most affordable travel destination. However, finding deals might become more difficult to find. This Las Vegas convention calendar is a great resource to see if there are any events in town that might be off the radar of most media outlets.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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