VANCOUVER — Travel agents attending the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s ‘Vegas is Back’ event last night were not only wined and dined at the luxury D/6 Bar & Lounge at Parq Vancouver, they also heard how Las Vegas is reshaping itself with new attractions and jackpot deals to get clients into airline seats.
Air Canada Vacations is offering a Las Vegas Blowout package priced at $399 for 3-night hotel and flight bookings made Sept. 22-25.
Ana Vazquez, ACV’s area sales manager for B.C., Yukon and the Northwest Territories, said the market is returning and prices are rising. “Don’t let them (your clients) wait too long to book,” she advised travel agents.
WestJet Vacations is also offering deals: a 2% commission bonus on the regular 8% commission for bookings through Sept. 30. The travel window is good for 330 days plus from the booking date.
Shannon Cunningham, WJV’s manager of leisure sales, said the airline has added two new hotels, the new-build Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas, the city’s first adults-only hotel, and the Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World.
WestJet also has published a flat sheet offering Las Vegas promotions that yield client savings on bookings at The Venetian Resort, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Wynn and Encore Las Vegas and MGM Resorts International.
Fernando Hurtado, LVCVA senior director of global sales, said Las Vegas is reshaping itself and adding attractions. The destination has seen 80% of the Canadian market rebound post-COVID, he added. Entertainment has been the major draw with casinos and shows. The city is now building sporting events and hosting a number of local and international sporting events that will provide more excitement for the weekends. “We have great entertainment,” he said, “But the weekends are something else.”
The new domed Allegiant Stadium, opened in 2020, is home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and has a roster of professional sporting events throughout the year. The stadium will host Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024. Las Vegas will also host Formula 1 racing in November 2023 with the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Part of the city’s iconic Strip will be used as part of the race circuit.
Las Vegas is also featuring a unique attraction aimed at the sporting tourist: an indoor shooting range that’s close to downtown. Esther Cases, marketing director, Machine Guns Vegas, said the company’s two ranges are “only for tourists”. The company pays 20% commission and packages range from US$119 (the Femme Fatale package) to $229 (Seal Team 6 package). The venue is highly supervised with one-on-one instructors, she adds.
Mynor Guerra, vice-president of sales for Maverick Helicopters, said his organization offers 16 different tours including the Grand Canyon and pays commission depending on the package.
“Agencies have to register with us to earn commission,” he cautioned. Maverick, which has a perfect safety record and can handle groups of up to 60 individuals, can also offer some unique experiences. “Such as a wedding at the bottom of the Grand Canyon,” he said.
NEW HOTELS & RESORTS
LVCVA’s Hurtado said three new properties have been added or rebuilt in Las Vegas. They are Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (on the site of the original Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas) and Resorts World Las Vegas (with a Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords). Agents wanting further information can contact Vancouver-based David Han, LVCVA senior account representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other representatives from hotel groups also told agents about major refurbishing efforts on properties or underway. Reps attending included: Alex Philby, director of leisure sales for the Sahara; Adolfo Lopez, director of global sales for MGM Resorts; Joseph Hernandez, leisure sales, The Cosmopolitan Hotel; and Pavy Kosadi, leisure sales manager representing Caesar Entertainment’s 10 hotels plus luxury villas.
Also represented was Indigo, owned by Michelle Sharples, who told agents she connects directly with producers of 35 Las Vegas shows and can provide commissionable tickets and tours.
Edna Ray, Air Canada’s senior key account manager, reminded agents of its weekend flight pass and southwest flight pass offers.
And LVCVA’s Hurtado urged agents to register for the LVCVA’s Learn and Earn program, where agents earn points for bookings that can be used for hotel stays, gift cards, and other Las Vegas travel. He said the registration also helps the LVCVA “reward everyone who has made bookings” with VIP events.