When a major insurance company wanted to learn how to increase its team synergy, Cirque du Soleil, through its innovative SPARK Sessions training and development program, shared lessons learned from the high level of synergy involved in producing its 21 shows, eight of which are staged in Vegas. Factoring in the number of departments, show nights, stage cues and other quotients, SPARK creator James “Jay” Guilford figures that it takes “1.5 million moments of synergy” to create the Cirque magic each year.
Las Vegas itself is a stage for boundless synergistic possibilities and combinations. Here are some bright choices for sparking and activating the agenda in the destination that mixes fun with business like no place on Earth.
The spin lasts just 16 minutes, but a nighttime “City Lights” tour of the Strip and back with Sundance Helicopters dazzles from start to finish. Founded in 1985, the company operates from a private terminal at McCarran International Airport across from Mandalay Bay.
Offering at least 15 day and nighttime tours of varying lengths, including the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, Sundance specializes in combining helicopter tours with customized experiences for groups. These include 007, Austin Powers and other themed events at the terminal, champagne dinners on the floor of the Grand Canyon, Colorado River rafting adventures and more. Several programs include luxury stretch limo service. The growing fleet of 25 helicopters are the elite of the industry—and if you are lucky, Hollywood hunk Lorenzo Lamas is among the pilots.
Introduced in 1929 at the Oasis Cafe on Fremont Street, neon signs electrified the Vegas scene through the 1980s. Today, the vogue is LED and digital signage, but along with Glitter Gulch icons along and around Fremont Street, the Neon Museum vitally preserves some 150 of these alluring works of art.
With its visitors center housed in the relocated Space Age-era La Concha Motel, the boneyard’s wonderland of memories includes a vintage Caesars Palace frieze and yesteryear classics such as the Stardust, Sahara and Golden Nugget. Tours, docent-led only, tell the compelling stories behind the signs, such as the Moulin Rouge and its role in desegregation. Private event spaces include La Concha, the 3,500-square-foot outdoor North Gallery, and smaller Neon Boneyard Park.
Illuminating in its own way is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Created by Larry Ruvo of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada (the city’s leading supplier) in memory of his Alzheimer’s-stricken father Lou, this outpatient facility is among the world’s preeminent research centers for Alzheimer’s, dementia and other brain disorders.
Helping fund this vital work, which presently includes NFL concussion studies, are all proceeds (after expenses) from events staged at the connected Keep Memory Alive Event Center. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the venue, an undulating stainless steel wave with 199 windows, offers a spectacular canvas for events of up to 450 seated or 700 standing.