With a hospitality empire that stretches across the nation, encompassing 40 gaming destina- tion properties and all the top-shelf accoutrements that entails, Caesars Entertainment knows how
to stage an event. Its late April press trip leading up to
the 10th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetite culinary fete showed off this capability from soup to nuts.
Meetings Today was one of a few meetings industry
trade publications to hit this jackpot of press trips—and
even got to film an Executive Insights interview with
Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment’s senior vice
president of national meetings—that was a 12-course
affair that would make an English baroness blush.
The proceedings started at McCarran Airport, where
Caesars’ fleet of stretch limos was pressed into duty
shuttling new arrivals to Caesars Palace, where Diamond Club check-in to the newly renovated Julius Tower rooms ironed out any seams that could be presented
by the high-volume main entrance check-in desk.
The first course was a meal at the new MR CHOW
(max. cap. 250), a decidedly heavenly affair—the
overwhelmingly white decor provided an atmospheric
aura—that opened with a champagne trolley selection
and commenced with family-style signature dishes
that are setting trends in Chinese-style fine dining.
The on-duty manager even rigged the centerpiece
kinetic sculpture to do its thing on demand during the
meal—don’t tell anyone there’s a secret switch!
Next up was a performance by Sir Elton John,
playing his “
at The Colosseum
at Caesars Palace.
Besides the unde-
niable virtuosity of
the hit-making rock
invited the audience
up on stage to rock
out with him near the
end of the show—the sound, lighting and especially
the video effects were phenomenal, serving to bring
a historical context to the artist’s catalogue and provid-
ing accents that drove home the emotional peaks of
John’s long career.
The third course found our group enjoying breakfast at GIADA (max. cap. 200) at the Cromwell Las
Vegas. The first restaurant of Emmy Award-winning
celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, the venue boasts views of Bel-lagio’s famed fountains and the
Romanesque grounds of Caesars
Palace across the Strip. Serving
Italian cuisine informed by California influences, the award-winning GIADA offers an excellent
option for groups to hold a dinner
that immerses participants in the
signature views of Vegas.
The group then took a short
trot down the boulevard to tour
The Vortex at The LINQ Hotel &
Casino. Beckoning visitors with
its swirling light display, this 7,000-square-foot venue
offers a second-story deck with panoramic views of
the Strip on one side and a glimpse of the High Roller
observation wheel in the back. An indoor space is also
in the offing.
Next on the agenda was Drai’s Beachclub & Night-
club (max. cap. 4,500), which proudly showcases its
love of live music—some may lament that Vegas has
been taken over by DJs!—and provides a multilevel
expanse that can accommodate the needs of any
group, including cabanas that are ripe for sponsorship
opportunities and a pool area and hot tub that over-
look the prime area
of the Strip.
Not forced to go
hungry, we next vis-
ited Mesa Grill (max.
cap. 300) at Caesars
Palace, where South-
western cuisine is
served in a conve-
nient location just off
the casino floor.
The seventh course found the group really getting
a prime Las Vegas view, at 550 feet, courtesy of the
High Roller observation wheel—the world’s tallest—
with a dedicated bartender slaking our thirst in a
40-person pod during the 30-minute rotation.
The cuisine highlights continued with a tour of Hexx
Kitchen + Bar at Paris Las Vegas, where a chocolate
confectionery kitchen demonstration
unfolded, followed by a sumptuous
After breakfast at Caesars Palace’s Payard Patisserie & Bistro, the 10th course
unfolded even higher in the sky above
Las Vegas, with a Maverick Helicopters
flight to nearby Hoover Dam and a run
down the Strip. A truly breathtaking experience for groups of up to 500-plus in its
fresh fleet of 47 copters, the whole event
unfolded in about an hour, given the
efficiency of the pre-flight process and
location near the Strip. Groups should
schedule in about four hours, including
hotel pickup and drop-off.
Leading up to the end of the program, the 11th
course entailed boarding limos for a drive to the Cae-sars-owned Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, where
groups have the option of lessons from one of the top
staffs in the world at the Butch Harmon School of Golf.
And the final course? You’ll just have to take a look
at pages 16 and 17 to see for yourself the gastronomic
grandeur of the Grand Tasting in Caesars Palace’s
Garden of the Gods! m
By Tyler Davidson
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT LAS VEGAS PRESS TOUR
THE NEW ROMAN EMPIRE ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET
CAESARS MEANS BUSINESS
THE LINQ VORTEX
ON the SCENE
DRAI’S BEACHCLUB & NIGHTCLUB
EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS INTERVIEW