Facilities & Destinations Fall 2020

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Meeting in the Great Outdoors CAESARS FORUM hosts ConferenceDirect’s 2020 Annual Partner Meeting in its Forum Plaza

These venues afford both fresh air and peace of mind in the age of social distancing


t goes without saying that the world is a much different place today than it was in January. We are fortunate to see events begin to return, often in smaller numbers and exhibiting tremendous care for attendees’ health and safety. We hope the trend continues throughout the months ahead. While medical information about the transmission of COVID-19 changes quite frequently, professionals have advised that it is less likely to contract the virus outdoors. When you’re outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing potentially infectious respiratory droplets containing the virus. A tangential benefit of being outdoors is that “it offers an emotional boost and can help you feel less tense, stressed, angry or depressed,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Indeed, while outdoor event space was always something of an added benefit when planners looked at staging their functions, it has become a sought-after commodity as a result of the pandemic.


Recently, Caesars Entertainment inaugurated CAESARS FORUM, Las Vegas’ newest convention facility (highlighted as the cover feature of the F&D 2020 Summer issue). In addition to housing the two largest pillarless ballrooms in 32

the world, one of CAESARS FORUM’s selling points, noted during our pre-opening tour, is its “garage doors” that open to extend available space into the 100,000-sq.-ft. Forum Plaza. Allowing groups to gather under the stars and in the shadow of the High Roller observation wheel, the plaza was integral to the resounding success of ConferenceDirect’s recent conference (see page 17). No doubt, Forum Plaza will attract larger groups looking for a venue that can cater to their needs and as well as the needs of the day.


In January, following the conclusion of PCMA Convening Leaders at San Francisco’s recently expanded Moscone Center, we joined many of our industry colleagues to explore Napa and Sonoma, an hour north of the San Francisco Bay area. Our visit to Napa commenced with a stop at the awardwinning Hagafen Cellars, where in addition to a tasting of wines and olives (grown alongside the winery’s vineyards), we received a most informative and entertaining introduction to the region’s winemaking history. These days, planners do well to supplement the boutique winery’s tasting room with its patio, which facilitates social distancing. Napa’s Meritage Resort and Spa and sister property Vista Collina have a combined 467 guestrooms, and are set FACILITIES & DESTINATIONS 2020 FALL

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