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Las Vegas championed by local meetings industry executives

Las Vegas meetings industry leaders were in Washington on Thursday to support the U.S. Travel Association’s Global Meetings Industry Day.

Michael Massari, chief sales officer for Caesars Entertainment Inc., Stephanie Glanzer, chief sales officer and senior vice president of MGM Resorts International, Chandra Allison, senior vice president of sales for The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, and Steve Blanner, executive vice president of hotel sales for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, were there to boost travel to Las Vegas for meetings, conventions and trade shows in meetings with Nevada’s congressional delegation and with Washington-based tourism experts.

“In a normal year, the meetings and convention business represents $11.4 billion in economic impact to Southern Nevada,” said Brian Yost, chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “So it’s important to us to observe this day as both a reminder of the economic impact in general, what meetings and conventions mean to our community as well as to continue to remind people that the industry is on a comeback and we can’t take for granted that we still need to build attendance at shows.”

Yost said the meetings and conventions sector is about two-thirds recovered from the slowdown that occurred with the COVID-19 shutdown. How to get that other one-third and more is what the contingent that went to Washington wanted to accomplish.

“We need to continue to be out there reminding them we’re growing,” Yost said. “There are new activities and new properties, and there are new things to do in addition to the 14 million square feet of meeting and convention space that we have in the destination. We’re using platforms like the Global Meetings Industry Day to get that message out.”

Las Vegas has been the No. 1 destination for meetings for 26 years.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the U.S., as a result of the pandemic, saw a decline of $211 billion in business travel spending, $97 billion of which was caused by the decline in meetings, conventions and trade shows.

Tradeshow organizers say Las Vegas is a preferred destination because of the ease of conducting business and ample entertainment and hotel options — offerings that are critical to the success of a show.

The Venetian turned its external signage blue Thursday in support of Global Meetings Industry Day.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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