Citing the strength of the Caesars brand, Harrah’s Entertainment has rebranded as Caesars Entertainment Corp. The company had planned the change as part of an initial public offering on November 19, but after the IPO fell through due to “market conditions,” the company continued with the name change, making it official on November 23.
The eight properties in the company’s Las Vegas meeting division—Caesars Palace, Paris, Bally’s, Flamingo, Planet Hollywood, Imperial Palace, Harrah’s, and Rio—which had worked together under the name Las Vegas Meetings by Harrah’s Entertainment, will now be known as Las Vegas Meetings By Caesars Entertainment. Harrah’s acquired Caesars in 2005, becoming the world’s largest casino company.
The change comes a little more than a week after LVMBCE hosted 250 meeting planners for a weekend of education, community service, and entertainment (chain saw jugglers in tutus!) at its Las Vegas Educational Experience.
The theme of the conference, held November 11-14, was “Diamonds Are Forever,” but it had nothing to do with James Bond or precious stones. It was about treating meeting planners like A-list celebrities through Caesars Meeting Diamond program. “Most hotels have diamond programs just for high rollers,” said Don Ross, vice president of catering, conventions, and events at LVMBCE. “Meeting planners are our high-rollers.”
Meeting planners who stay at Caesars’ properties in Las Vegas are enrolled in the Meeting Diamond program, which provides benefits usually reserved for VIP casino customers. Planners get priority access to the exclusive Diamond Lounges, free admission to the health spa, priority valet or taxi service, and discounts at hotel-owned gift shops. They also go to the head of the line at restaurants, clubs, and casinos. “We want to make the busy meeting planner’s job easier,” said Ross.
During the sessions on November 12, Michael Massari, vice president of meeting sales and operations at LVMBCE, explained the company’s “8-stop” strategy, which allows the company’s eight Las Vegas properties to operate as one. Under one(and one food-and-beverage minimum), planners can book any combination of hotels and meeting venues. The eight properties have a total of one million square feet in meeting and exhibit space and about 25,000 hotel rooms.
The conference also featured sessions on generational dynamics and. At the latter, Gwen Migita, corporate director of social responsibility at LVMBCE, talked about Code Green, an internal program that trains and certifies Caesars employees in sustainability. She explained that the Las Vegas properties all have back-of-the-house recycling as well as programs to reduce energy, carbon emissions, and water consumption. Also, the 263,000-square-foot expansion at the Caesars convention facilities is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–certified.
MeetingsNet columnist and conference summarizer Dale Irvin was emcee for the meeting, offering his humorous take on events as they unfolded. Entertainment was provided by comical singing group The Water Coolers; comedian George Wallace; and The Passing Zone, an extreme juggling duo who wowed the audience with their chain saw ballet.
The conference ended with a community service project at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, Nev., which is home for about 60 foster children. The planners helped landscape the campus.