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Mandalay Bay Adds Convention Space

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas plans to open a new, 1.8-million-square-foot Convention Center in summer 2002. The proposed three-level complex will be located on 16.5 acres next to the resort's existing 190,000-square-foot Conference Center, and will be ideal for industry trade shows and association meetings as well as larger corporate meetings, according to vice president of hotel sales Danielle Babilino.

In addition to more than one million square feet of exhibit space, the new facility will house a 50,000-square-foot junior ballroom and 100,000 square feet of breakout meeting space, plus a 100,000-square-foot pillarless “mega-ballroom,” which resort representatives are touting as “the largest hotel ballroom in the nation.”

Babilino cites the large number of guest rooms at local sister properties of Mandalay Bay as a selling point for the new meeting facilities. She says the variety of hotels and a tiered schedule of room rates will allow meeting attendees to choose accommodations at Mandalay Bay or at nearby Luxor, Excalibur or Four Seasons properties. According to another Mandalay Bay spokesperson, the hotel will allow meeting planners who use the new Convention Center to include a variety of rooms at any Mandalay Resort Group property in a single contract.

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Minneapolis Event Pros Combine Services

Three Minneapolis-based firms have merged to form Event Lab, a full-service event management company. The new organization combines the strengths of management firm Destinations Event Management, event rental company Creative Concepts & Special Events, and event producer JPS Designs to offer services ranging from theme party planning to transportation, according to CEO Becky Harris. For customers who want to create their own events, Event Lab will maintain an extensive rental warehouse, she adds.

“The three of us really shared the same vision,” Harris says of Event Lab president Brent Bixby, formerly of Creative Concepts, and vice president John Johnson, formerly of JPS Designs. Harris adds that a major part of that vision centers on expansion into the national market: “We really feel like we can go on the road.” According to Harris, her former company, Destinations Event Management, has worked with many Fortune 500 companies that have a presence in the Twin Cities area, and she hopes Event Lab “will go with them as they do meetings and events in other cities.” She adds, “We have the truck — the movable feast.”

Event Lab
International Market Square
275 Market Street, Suite C-17
Minneapolis, MN 55405


Bravo Productions of Long Beach, Calif., has been awarded a five-year contract by the United States Army Community and Family Support Center for event planning and management services. Under contract terms, Bravo will provide the Army with national event planning and management, technical and show direction, advertising and promotion, entertainment, and commercial sponsorship, among other services. Bravo Productions, 110 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 537, Long Beach, CA 90802; 562/435-0065;

Special effects professionals Bettina Buckley and Tylor Wymer, both formerly of The Walt Disney Co., have launched WOW!Works, a special effects design, implementation and management company based in Clermont, Fla. The new company's goal is to deliver “never-been-done effects” in a way that “transcends cultures,” according to Wymer. WOW!Works, 1239 Commons Court, Clermont, FL 34711; 352/243-2124;

The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., plans to open a 20,000-square-foot addition to its meetings facilities this fall, bringing total meeting space at the 234-year-old resort to 72,000 square feet. The new space will feature a 14,000-square-foot ballroom with an additional reception area and a large outdoor terrace. The Homestead, U.S. Route 220, Main St., Hot Springs, VA 24445; 800/838-1766;

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Send your news items to Lisa Hurley at fax: 310/317-0264, e-mail: [email protected].

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