The mere possibility that Las Vegas could get an NHL franchise to fill its new stadium (opening in 2016) tells you all you need to know about the city: it ain’t what it used to be, reports editor Michael Baginski in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
Built on casino gaming, Las Vegas is now a destination where visitors are more likely to see stars on ice than gangsters being put on ice.
Indeed, where once gambling versus entertainment revenue of the city was city was 70-30, now those figures are being transposed, with entertainment commanding close to 60% of a visitor’s spend.
“You can come to Las Vegas and never spend a dime in the casino,” says MGM Resorts Int. exec Scott Ghertner, explaining that the term “entertainment” in Las Vegas means not just live shows, but dining, pools, shopping, spas, and much more.
“Entertainment is all-encompassing,” he says. “You can do all those things and never go to the blackjack table.”
Vegas began its slow transition to an environment that is less dependent on gambling after the 2008 financial crisis, when visitors were taking care to spend less at the tables.
This new path continues unabated, and a host of new developments in the city are coming on stream to cater to the trend.
Last year, for example, saw the opening of the LINQ entertainment district, featuring an outdoor shopping/dining promenade and the High Roller observation wheel.
The Las Vegas arena is part of another forthcoming outdoor entertainment area set behind New York-New York that will also include a park, plaza and 5,000-seat theatre.
Vegas is also committed to bringing large events to the city, ranging from music fests to rodeos and motor races.
“It’s new traffic to Las Vegas; it’s a reason for people from Toronto and other gateways to come,” says MGM Resorts Int. VP of Leisure and Marketing Jeff Eisenhart.
For the full story check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.