Las Vegas is truly the capital of the North American hospitality industry, followed next by perhaps New York City and Orlando (or all Southern Florida). With massive infrastructure investments, this modern , cruise-ships-on-land offer everything a guest could want under a single roof. As such, these thousand-room properties deserve special focus as a litmus test for the industry as a whole.
Specifically for today’s consideration, it has been over a decade since the City Center and the Aria Resort opened shortly after the financial meltdown of 2008. Was it mere coincidence that Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV), opened in June 2021, launched just as the COVID-19 pandemic was winding down?
For your humble scribes, a keen aficionado of Las Vegas hotels, a week spent investigating this new and quite opulent addition to The Strip was hardly a tortuous assignment. Moreover, it was particularly interesting to see how the innovations garnered over the past dozen years would be exploited.
Simply put, RWLV is the hands-down class act of The Strip, and in one fell swoop it has become the ‘must visit’ spot for those in our industry. The genius of the design rests with a keen balance of F&B, gaming, event spaces and accommodations (with the retail component still under development at the time of this writing).
Years ago, Las Vegas conglomerates recognized that F&B had both the revenue and sticking power to keep guests on property longer. And, as we all know, the longer a guest stays, the higher the propensity to improve TRevPar (revenue per guest across multiple departments). And this applying to both hotel guests as well as walk-in traffic.
Most resorts have two tiers of dining – fine (labeled as signature at RWLV) and casual. The cafeteria-style, all-you-can-eat buffet that Las Vegas has used as a sacred hallmark is firmly gone. RWLV adds a third dimension with a food hall section called Famous Foods Street Eats. Here, many outlets are making their North American debut. Technology is levered to create a guest-centric experience with centralized kiosks that allow customers to order from multiple outlets with all synced to their room key or credit card and text notification to a given mobile number when the product is ready for pick up. As another option, a Grubhub team member will deliver your order poolside or to a guestroom.
Innovation in hotel room strategies is hard to find. RWLV’s approach is to triple-tier a bevy of Hilton branded properties – a good, better, and best approach with Las Vegas Hilton, Conrad Las Vegas and Crockfords Las Vegas respectively. Staying in all three, the differences are subtle. Each of the brands targets a different audience and price point, allowing for revenue management optimization. While there are roughly 3,500 guestrooms, only 6% are branded as Crockfords for a proper hotel-within-a-hotel luxury experience. This brand, a member of Hilton’s LXR properties, may not be as familiar to North Americans, as it grew from the famous Crockfords Club in London. As to be expected, a Crockfords casino-within-a-casino floor adjoins this hotel’s lobby.
Not to be outdone by the dining and hotel experiences, RWLV’s gaming protocols as well as its spa and pool facilities reflect a thorough understanding of those amenities, technology and design advances. As our focus was hotel-oriented, a thorough investigation of these elements was outside of the scope of this article.
Speaking in detail with Scott Sibella, RWLV’s President and CEO, the sheer magnitude of the task of bringing this property to fruition became truly mind-numbing. As was to be expected, Sibella reflected on the strengths of his multiple development, construction, management, and service teams. Through this period of post-pandemic labor shortfalls, we were impressed with the remarkable high level of guest service and commitment.
As a hotelier, you owe yourself a trip to RWLV to experience this property firsthand. To Mr. Sibella and his team, kudos on a job well done.