by Maya Dollarhide | January 24, 2017

Luxury and Las Vegas have been entwined ever since Bugsy Siegel signed his own death warrant by going over budget building The Flamingo. The city's sprawling, high-end resorts with regal amenities and four- and five-star restaurants appeal to connoisseurs of the good life. When traveling to Las Vegas for an incentive, there is simply so much to do in this megacity of glitz, it's hard to know where to begin.

"We recommend to clients that they try to start planning a year in advance and we start with a budget," says Bri Steck, vice president of group sales for SPI Entertainment, a theatrical producer and talent agency that also specializes in arranging VIP experiences in Las Vegas for corporate clients like AARP. "From there, we offer them a menu of choices. It might be a day at a high-end spa, or a great meal, or a great show with a name headliner."

Steck believes Las Vegas is experiencing a return to its performer-based roots, describing how visitors are taking an interest in seeing musical shows with headlining talent when they plan their trips to Las Vegas. SPI produces musical acts like Human Nature and the Bee Gees and can arrange for the artists to perform or hold "meet and greets" with groups. In 2017, the company is adding hotel-booking options for its corporate clients to increase its role in creating customized stay/play packages for clients. Because Las Vegas is an annual or repeat destination for many corporate groups, hiring an event planner can help ensure the experience is new for each visit.

"Almost 85 percent of people who visit Las Vegas annually are repeat visitors," says Manny Kess, CEO of The Kess Group, which creates luxury experiences for visitors. "Our first order of planning is to discuss the client's vision and end goals; planning a hedge fund's employee appreciation weekend or organizing a new luxury-product launch is going to be very different than arranging for a corporate training seminar," he says. In Vegas, where the old adage, "everything old is new again" remains true, groups who are planning a trip may appreciate thinking beyond the "play and stay" mind-set of some Vegas visitors. "We take pride in our ability to suggest practical solutions and forward-thinking ideas that extend beyond our clients' expected range of possibilities," says Kess.

Continual Growth
Groups seeking a specific experience for their stay have many choices if they want to go the high-end route. The Mansion at MGM Grand will appeal to those seeking a luxurious respite from the neon chaos of the Strip. Designed to resemble an 18th-century Tuscan villa, it is home to five modern facilities newly available for meetings and events, and the amenities are decidedly top-notch: from butler and concierge services to personalized menu preparation.


The Mansion at MGM Grand offers
a luxurious refuge from the chaos
of the Strip

"We have the unique opportunity to be able to accommodate groups that have all interests right here under one roof," says Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales for MGM Grand. "If a group wants to stay away from the energy that comes with Las Vegas, they might consider staying in one of our Stay Well Rooms, which are designed to renew, recharge, and refresh. This experience can continue as a group moves its special events into our Stay Well Meeting Space, with complete curated menus created in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic."

After their meeting concludes, he suggests that attendees could then enjoy several of the property's award-winning and celebrity chef--driven restaurants including its newest by the original Iron Chef, Morimoto, or the eponymous restaurant by three-Michelin-star chef Joél Robuchon.

In addition, ARIA's Sky Suites (rated five star/five diamond) and the "Villas" are luxurious options and can now be booked online.


Caesars Palace recently celebrated
its 50th anniversary

Caesars Palace recently renovated its guest suites and provides access to lavish amenities such as the 50,000-square-foot Qua Baths & Spa. The classic resort is celebrating its 50-year anniversary, which means there are special packages and deals available in 2017.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be home to 21 exclusively designed penthouses this year in the Boulevard Tower, comprising a total of 63,000 square feet. Each of these 2,000- to 5,000-square-foot apartments, with stunning views of the skyline, will include access to a private gaming salon. Non-penthouse guests can still enjoy The Cosmopolitan's chic amenities, like the 50,000-square-foot Sahra Spa & Hammam that transports visitors to the exotic spa rituals of Marrakesh, Morocco. For total immersion in the luxurious Hammam experience, try the private-suite treatment, Moroccan Journey: 130 minutes of gold-star pampering for under $500 that includes a full-body massage.