Bellagio to chase corporate incentive business


LAS VEGAS--Move over, Desert Inn and Caesars Palace. This city's high-end meetings niche is about to get a little bigger, thanks to the Oct. 15 opening of Steve Wynn's 3,000-room, $1.6 billion Bellagio resort.

With its 120,000 square feet of meeting space--which includes two ballrooms, 10 meetings rooms and two boardrooms--the Bellagio will be able to accommodate a range of groups, from a board meeting with as few as 20 people up to a theater-style gathering of 5,500 people, said Chris Flatt, vice president of hotel sales and marketing.

The BellagioThe property will focus on bringing in high-end corporate incentive business, she said, with association meetings being a secondary target market.

As for competitors, Flatt said Bellagio does not have any direct ones in Las Vegas.

"We're looking at the Desert Inn to some degree and Caesars Palace to some degree [as competitors]," she said, noting that the property also is competing against places like the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., and other higher-end hotels in cities such as Palm Springs and Orlando.

In Las Vegas, she added, the Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay, which is scheduled to open in March, "will be more of a competition for us." That's because the Four Seasons is noted for its service, a feature that Flatt said "is probably our No. 1 advantage."

"We're going to be offering robes in all the guest rooms and twice-daily maid service," she said. "There will be 9,500 people to service our guests. Everything from the minute [guests] walk in the door until the minute they leave will be the best they've experienced anywhere."

Like the rest of the property, Flatt said, the ballrooms--which include the 45,500-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the 22,000-square-foot Bellagio Ballroom--will feature decor with a European flair, such as beige and burgundy color schemes, tapestries hanging on the wall panels, hand-blown Italian sconces and chandeliers and details such as marble work, brass edging, woodwork and moldings.

The ballrooms will be fully functional, with state-of-the-art equipment and an audiovisual control booth that extends over both rooms. Each ballroom also will contain a full production stage.

The 10 meeting rooms are named for artists such as Monet, Gaugin, Cezanne and Degas. Flatt singled out the 9,500-square-foot Monet room as a particularly attractive meeting spot because it overlooks the property's swimming pool and features a balcony-style patio 18 feet above the water.
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