We have a faint memory of Vegas being quiet. Well, that’s done.
The CSI DMC team has been getting their steps in on and off the Strip, producing more inspiring events and elevated experiences than ever! A lot has changed in the last few years, and as Kristin Wilson, Director of Sales with CSI DMC in Las Vegas, shares, “I love nothing more than a good deep dive with clients who want to experience Las Vegas, now. It got super scary during the pandemic, but I knew nothing would stop Vegas from bouncing back, and it’s wild!”
When talking about new venues, Jennifer divulges, “One of my favorites right now is Moon. It is at the top of the Fantasy Tower at the Palms Resort and Casino, which just reopened in April. Every aspect of Moon feels VIP. It was a nightclub previously and has been fully renovated. I find it awe-inspiring as soon as you walk through the doors on the 53rd floor. I love the floor-to-ceiling windows, the retractable roof, and the balcony has amazing views of the Las Vegas Valley. It works well for a dinner for 250 people, a reception with a famous DJ, and we’ve also recommended it during the day for lunches.”
When providing some pro tips for planners who have not been to Las Vegas, Jennifer quips, “Flat shoes are a must! Sometimes the walk from the resort entrance to the ballrooms can feel like a mile long! Also, you should always bring a light jacket. It can be hot outside, but many properties have their AC blasting indoors.”
April Stewart, CSI DMC Account Executive, and Las Vegas transplant dishes, “I love living here, it’s fun sharing experiences that are unique to Las Vegas and introducing new ideas that give guests a chance to do something they have not done before. Las Vegas has a bit of everything, on and off the Strip. If you like the outdoors, there are a ton of trails to choose from, as well as Springs Preserve, Red Rock Canyon, and Mt. Charleston. We plan experiences in all of them. I love the Arts District in Downtown, though some groups are hesitant to go anywhere outside the Strip. I love how surprised clients are when we show them how revitalized it is now. On the Strip, I always enjoy Beer Park in front of Paris. It opened back in 2016, and is right across from the Bellagio. It’s a cool and convenient location, with garage-style doors and separate areas, so you can easily accommodate 100 people or do reception buyouts for up to 1,000. I like that it is accessible from the street, which can be hard to find on the Strip. It is a great option for clients that want a casual but classy venue, there are lots of branding options, and we constantly customize their menus. One client shared the French fries were the best they’ve had!”
April shares further about the “post-Covid” business operations, “Some groups don’t want to contract their events until a few weeks out right now. That puts us in a time bind because vendors are still staffing up and supplies are not what they used to be. We’ve been providing creative solutions, but of course, I always want my clients to be happy and get what they want, and it’s definitely easier when decisions are made sooner.”
One of Kristin’s venue recommendations is the Keep Memory Alive Event Center. Says Kristin, “It’s a Frank Gehry-designed building so it’s super creative and modern, with curved steel and big windows. It’s a great blank canvas, plus if you use the gardens, you can have an event for up to 1,500 people. I like that the proceeds from the venue rental benefit Cleveland Clinic Nevada and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, too. It’s a great win-win for clients looking for impressive space while giving back to the community.”
Surprisingly for some, Downtown Las Vegas is not what it used to be. But for locals, it was just a matter of time before this favorite locale ramped up! Shares Kristin, “Downtown has become this mecca for art and up-and-coming spots with hip new chefs. There is a revolution of sorts happening here. It’s exciting to share it. I have a hard time choosing with so many new and revamped places, but right now, Barry’s Prime at Circa is amazing. You will NOT regret it! The décor, the menu, the energy – I love all of it!
On the Strip, Kristin has a soft spot for the new Water Grill inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.“ It’s the best seafood in the area, hands down!” she declares. “I also love a good speakeasy, and Here Kitty Kitty at Resorts World is hidden within the Famous Street Eats food hall. You push the wall of snacks open, and voila! There’s a hidden bar. Lounge on 66 is also excellent. You’ve got to see it.”
For outdoor enthusiasts, Kristin is a fan of Boulder City, NV. “It’s a quaint little mining town about 35 minutes away. It is minutes from Lake Mead Marina, which has a main drag with several fun breweries, wine bars, and dining options. It’s adorable and unexpected. I love taking people here, and my dog is also a big fan!”
Miguel Hechavarria, CSI DMC Event Manager who has called Las Vegas home for a decade, shares, “Living in Las Vegas is super relaxed if you want it to be. As someone who doesn’t gamble, I usually save the Strip for clients, friends, and family visits. However, I do have a special place in my heart for Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan. It is not new, but the food and drinks are phenomenal and have a great swanky Vegas vibe. I’ve also recently enjoyed working at Resorts World; it opened last year and has great high-tech event and meeting space.”
“My current focus is helping clients work through some of the new challenges we have all been experiencing. In my ten years here, I’ve never seen such supply and staffing shortages; costs are higher than before Covid. But Vegas is a place where who you know and how they know you are important. We have great relationships with local partners, many of whom are working to rebuild their teams, making hitting deadlines harder. We all collaborate to help our clients achieve their goals.” Hechavarria adds, “Don’t let costs be the reason you hold off from booking an event. Venues are just getting busier, and as demand increases, costs do too. We like to lock in pricing for clients early when we can, and there is something for everyone in Vegas!”
Kristin adds, “We constantly inform our clients of longer turnaround times. We must manage expectations for everyone. Ultimately, I think the shortages will be corrected; we need to be patient, which is not easy to imagine in Vegas! But every day, we make it work, and we are excited that so many clients have chosen to return!”
Ah, Las Vegas, we are so glad you are back. While NASA won’t commit 100% that you are the brightest spot on the earth when viewed from space, we know it’s true. After all, it’s Vegas, Baby!
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