Ask anyone who has been to Las Vegas what their favourite aspect of the popular destination is, and you will get hundreds of different answers. That’s because the nearly 40 million people who flocked to Las Vegas last year had so many experiential choices they can’t pick a favourite. This is why Las Vegas is the No. 1 choice of business travellers, and studies prove it.

Canada is Las Vegas’ top international market. In response to the increase in visitation, especially from Canadians, it opened a new $2.4 billion terminal at McCarran International Airport making the desert mecca even more welcoming. With nearly 150,000 hotel rooms, three of the 10 largest U.S. convention centers, spectacles featuring such Canadian icons as Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain, more master sommeliers pouring vintage bottles at award-winning restaurants than anywhere else in North America, it’s no wonder the city is so attractive. Add the infrastructure to handle small and large meetings flawlessly, and it’s earned the titles “the convention and entertainment capital of the world.”

Canada is Las Vegas’ top international market. In response to the increase in visitation, especially from Canadians, it opened a new $2.4 billion terminal at McCarran International Airport making the desert mecca even more welcoming.

A bright future

Last year alone, the destination hosted more than 21,000 conventions and welcomed 4.9 million delegates. And it’s only getting bigger.

A series of new projects, including a transformative new global business district was recently announced, and will inject more than $5 billion into the destination over the next several years.

“This is an exciting time as the confidence in the Las Vegas brand continues to build with new projects and ongoing reinvestment,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “The billions of dollars being invested in Las Vegas for unique experiences and world-class facilities and amenities show why Las Vegas continues to be the premier leisure and business destination.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority recently unveiled plans for the Las Vegas Global Business District, an overarching vision for the Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding area. The preliminary cost for the project is $2.5 billion and will be completed in phases. It will create an international business destination by incorporating major renovations of the Las Vegas Convention Center, leveraging the World Trade Center designation and developing transportation connectivity through a centralized hub. This will be the first major expansion of the 54-year-old Las Vegas Convention Center in more than a decade. The LVCVA plans to issue up to $150 million of commercial paper to fund phase one elements.

“The billions of dollars being invested in Las Vegas for unique experiences and world-class facilities and amenities show why Las Vegas continues to be the premier leisure and business destination.”

A true international destination

Its vision as a true international destination for business and pleasure is evidenced by the significant resort and entertainment projects currently underway. Last March, Malaysia-based Genting Group announced a multi-billion dollar Asian-themed resort complex on the Las Vegas Strip. Expected to open in 2016, Resorts World Las Vegas includes a replica of the Great Wall of China and more than 300,000 feet of pool and water features.

THE hotel at Mandalay Bay is currently undergoing transformation into Delano Las Vegas, which will open in early 2014, and Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage and Bellagio will be renovated in 2013 with $300 million in capital investments from MGM Resorts to its properties.

The new Gansevoort Las Vegas will be located on the site of the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. Featuring celebrity chef Giada di Laurentiis’ first restaurant, the boutique property is scheduled to open in 2014. Caesars is also continuing work on its more than $500 million dining, shopping and entertainment district The LINQ, which will feature the world’s largest observation wheel — the 550-foot high Las Vegas High Roller, and recently opened the first Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace.

Best of both worlds

In addition to these projects, several resorts are re-branding and refurbishing their properties to attracting travellers looking to do business while combining the best of the destination’s leisure offerings.  Some major resort projects include the rebranding and reopening of the Sahara as the SLS Las Vegas in 2014 and the rebranding and reopening of the Lady Luck as the Downtown Grand.  These projects join major renovations at The Venetian, Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate, Palms, The D Las Vegas, Riviera, The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Four Seasons, and more.