Caesars Entertainment broke ground on its $375 million Caesars Forum conference center on Monday, July 16, 2018, during a ceremony for trade press, industry executives and Caesars staff members. The ceremony was also livestreamed by Caesars so that people could tune in from all over the world.
“Who’d of thought Caesars could [convince] so many people to sit in a parking lot in 100 degree heat?” U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow said in his opening statement.
Upon its completion in 2020, the 550,000-square-foot Caesars Forum conference center will feature the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world. It will also include Forum Plaza, a 100,000-square-foot outdoor meeting and event space, which Caesars is touting as the first of its kind in Vegas.
“Caesars Entertainment has eight properties located in the center of the Las Vegas Strip—more than any other competitor,” said Mark Frissora, president and CEO for Caesars Entertainment via press release. “With our geographic advantage, and the demand for meetings space exceeding the inventory, this project builds on our strategy to provide a value-add to meeting planners, guests and investors.”
An Efficient Groundbreaking Ceremony
Meetings Today was in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, which indeed was held in the middle of what was essentially a parking lot behind the LINQ Promenade and the 550-foot-tall High Roller observation wheel, but Caesars still managed to put on a show in true Vegas fashion.
Members of the press were chauffeured out to the middle of the future site of the conference center in limos to a large, “air-conditioned” tent emblazoned with the Caesars Forum logo. Attendees got settled and Roger Dow took the stage as the event’s MC, welcoming guests and introducing the presenters.
Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Mark Frissora provided an overview of Caesars Forum, mentioning that it could accommodate up to 10,000 guests and its LEED Silver Certified status. After a video presentation stating Caesars’ vision for the facility, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani took the stage to talk more about how the Caesars Forum will positively impact the city as a whole.
She mentioned the city appreciated Caesars’ goal of achieving LEED Silver certification in its construction of the building and also applauded Caesars for taking “the lead on gender equality and LGBT [rights].”
A “360 fly-through” video was then shown on a large projection screen, highlighting the latest renderings of the Caesars Forum. The technological side of the presentation went off without a hitch and Caesars even offered high-speed Wi-Fi access in the tent to press in attendance at the event.
The Caesars Forum groundbreaking ceremony concluded with closing remarks from Roger Dow and the obligatory shovels-in-the-ground photo op, which included many of those involved in the project.
Caesars Forum Project Highlights
Following is a quick run-down of highlights and key features of the Caesars Forum project, as revealed by Caesars Entertainment in a press release on July 16. Opening in 2020, the Caesars Forum will:
- Provide direct access via skybridge to Harrah’s Las Vegas and The LINQ Hotel and Casino.
- Be connected by pedestrian bridge to LINQ Promenade and Flamingo Las Vegas.
- Feature 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including two 110,000-square-foot, pillarless ballrooms, two 40,000-square-foot ballrooms and six state of the art boardrooms.
- Accommodate more than 10,000 participants and offer more than 100 breakout rooms.
- Be built on one floor for convenient move-in, along with nine accessible loading docks.
- Feature Forum Plaza, a 100,000-square-foot outdoor space, ideal for outdoor events, wellness breaks, opening cocktail receptions, meals or entertainment.
- Be located within walking distance to eight of Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas properties.
- Divide into “limitless” configurations for customers, utilizing over two miles of airwalls.
Emphasis on Design and the Attendee Experience
Members of the meetings and events press in attendance were invited to meet with various industry executives and key players on the Caesars Forum project in a hospitality suite at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
Chief Sales Officer Michael Massari and President of Hospitality Bob Morse opened a group discussion on what the facility means to our industry in more detail. Massari and Morse mentioned how Caesars met with some of the top largescale meeting facilities around the world for input on the project.
They also said that they reached out to numerous meeting and event planners for guidance.
Vice President of Catering, Conventions & Events Don Ross then joined the conversation, and talked about how the facility will be able to take advantage of Caesars’ all-star roster of celebrity chefs to create innovative banquet menus. Guy Fieri’s Lollipop Chicken Wings were an example menu item.
Meetings Today spoke with KGA Partner and Director of Interior Design Chelsea Lavell on the innovative design aspects of the Caesars Forum. According to Lavell, standout features of the facility include an emphasis on biophilic design and providing abundant natural lighting to improve attendee productivity.
Safety and Security a Priority at Caesars Forum
Though he mentioned it was difficult to get into specifics at this stage in the Caesars Forum construction Chief Sales Officer Michael Massari commented on security at the venue in a one-on-one interview.
“Planners are going to be thinking about [safety and security] wherever they hold meetings,” Massari said. “When you consider security at Las Vegas resorts relative to other types of places they’d be going to have a meeting, our security ranks high. We’ve got EMTs on site, [former] FBI agents as heads of security, and our [safety initiatives] continue to grow and evolve. Of course, a lot has changed in the last six months as you’d imagine, and this issue has never been on my mind more than the past year.”
Based on the amount of detail put into the project so far, planners should be able to rest assured that the design and safety standards of the facility will be on par with other world-class event facilities.
Caesars Forum will open in 2020. Stay tuned to Meetings Today for more details on the project.