Site Inspection Notes: Lake Las Vegas

I wrote this back on May of 08, Man, I hope that Lake Las Vegas is actually still there….

I love Las Vegas. The bright lights and din of the slot machines bring out the inner Soprano in all of us. I can sit at a roulette table for hours, passing the time chatting with my fellow losers and having a few laughs, but like dark chocolate and fine wine, this is a city that is best in small doses.

Meetings in Las Vegas can be fun and exciting for most groups, but for some, the lure of the strip is too much to handle and programs see their paid attendance numbers go up, but actual butts in the seats go down. People seem to stall making their way to the meeting rooms.

And then there are the distances. The strip is very deceiving both inside and out.

I have personally witnessed the poor souls that insist that they can walk from the Mandalay Bay to the  MGM Grand.  As they set off with good intentions in the 100 degree heat, I can only stand there and  wonder how long it will take before they realize they have made a major mistake.

Myself, I have been  the one that gets all the way to his tradeshow booth and remembered that I left my phone on the  charger back in the room, creating the need for a 1 hour hike back to my room that just happens to be in the same building.

This leads me to my new favorite meetings destination in “Las Vegas”.

“Huh” you say, how can he say these things and then come back with the term “favorite”. Let me tell you how, because right in front of us is a setting that is almost perfect:

Lake Las Vegas, 15 miles from the strip.

A few years ago, when it was still new but not a shiny penny, I visited Lake Las Vegas and found it to be a nightmare, awful and just I just plain wanted to leave. Lake Las Vegas was open but unfinished with  construction traffic kicking up enough dust to cover to cover Texas. It was not a fun place. It just was………A hole in the desert, filled with water, waiting for the people to come.

Time passes and so has (most) of the construction, so I decided to go back with one of our best clients to have a look see. What I found was a little slice of Vegas heaven. Close enough to the strip to get the attendance numbers up, yet far enough away to keep the butts in the seats.

What is Lake Las Vegas

If you are not familiar with Lake Las Vegas, take a small town from North Italy and drop it in the middle of the desert. Then throw in some stellar properties, good boutique shopping, excellent restaurants, water activities and the best little casino on the planet.  At first glance, it is a little out of place here, outside of Henderson, but upon closer inspection you will find that it fits perfectly with its surroundings.

For meeting and event pros, it has the goods you are looking for, meeting space, plenty of rooms and activities ranging from boat rides to dine-arounds, all in one complete package that is accessible, with properties that are just the right size. Large enough to handle your group, small enough to feel intimate.

Lake Las Vegas is spread over a large area, with multiple properties, golf courses and the little village, but it feels close. Regular shuttle service gets you where you need to be and once you step off the shuttle you are mere steps from your destination. Unlike the strip where it may take you an hour to get from point A to point B, in Lake Las Vegas it is a matter of minutes.

Here are the highlights, but to learn more you can visit

Properties, I couldn’t say it better so most of this info came from their websites:

Lowes Lake Las Vegas (used to be the Hyatt):

  • 493 guest rooms including 46 suites/parlors
  • Spa Moulay featuring 11 treatment rooms, full-service beauty salon and complete fitness center featuring massages, skin therapies, manicure and pedicures, cardio and strength training equipment
  • 2 signature pools, a swimming lagoon, cabanas and water activities
  • 18-hole Reflection Bay Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature design championship golf course with instructional programs
  • The  Falls Golf Club, a masterpiece designed by Tom Weiskopf, includes a 10-acre practice facility and PGA professionals available for private or group instruction
  • Kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and a number of electric boats to explore Lake Las Vegas
  • Lake Mead Cruise to sit back and enjoy the view, including Hoover Dam
  • 45,000 square feet of indoor function space and 55,000 square feet of outdoor function space
  • Kid’s Club and baby-sitting service
  • Self, valet and boat trailer parking
  • Laundry/dry cleaning
  • Marssa Restaurant: Pacific Rim-inspired menu in a dramatic setting
  • Cafe Tajine: American cuisine with Mediterranean influences
  • Arabesque Lounge

UPDATE MAY 2012, this is now a Westin Property, will circle around later and update the piece but here is a link to the Westin Lake Las Vegas.

Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas (a 5 diamond award winner):

  • 349 rooms and suites
  • 32,000 square feet of indoor meeting space
  • Extensive outdoor meeting locations
  • 30,000-sq-ft. spa and fitness center
  • 24 treatment rooms
  • Whirlpools, saunas, cool plunges, steam rooms

UPDATE MAY 2012 – This property is now the Ravella Lake Las Vegas, just like the Westin, I will have to find out more.

The Village MonteLago:

Very uncrowded, nicely laid out and a great place to rent out for private events (some areas must remain open to the public), MonteLago Village is like an old Italian Village.

It has cobblestone streets, piazzas, waterfront restaurants, lakeside boat docks, and specialty boutiques, while above are the condos. The coolest thing for attendees is the 40,000 square foot European-themed Casino MonteLago, which never seems crowded, is a step up from many casinos and sometimes has 5 dollar minimums.

Give it a try and check it out!

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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