Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Extended History of MEET Las Vegas



I’m so excited to have constructed MEET Las Vegas within the structure of a 1970’s modern building. Basically, we built a new building inside the shell of an existing one. It was the original location of Bank of America before they moved cattycorner from us prior to the purchase of our building. With the uniqueness of the exterior and the outdoor pavilion, we are a completely enclosed, gated property with lush landscaping to compliment and blend into the Downtown Las Vegas Centennial Plan.


After 9/11, I decided that it was time to open a multimedia computer-based training center in Las Vegas. Las Vegas had proven itself to be the most economically resilient location for meeting, training, exhibition, and events markets. Las Vegas was the first to recover after the 1st terrorist attacks of this magnitude on U.S. mainland soil.

I looked on the Internet to find a commercial realtor. Found one, we met; we clicked the first day as we proceeded to look at about 15 properties. Like searching for a nice apartment in Paris, most everything I saw had close to no redeemable features to meet my vision. I thought it would take months to a year to locate the perfect property. The last property we saw was this 1970’s colonial like style structure on Joe W. Brown drive called The White House. Historical by Las Vegas standards, the White House has had many uses. I think it even has a second floor bachelor pad at some point in history, which many older structures in Vegas had seen the likes of. We transformed the aged structure in a state-of-the-art training facility. I decided to keep the name “The White House” because so many people in town knew the name and location. Luckily, we were able to trademark the use on the name and truly create an evolution for our company and building. We occupied the White House for five years with amazing success! We literally turned away two times the business we could accommodate. The White House was in the footprint of the Las Vegas Convention Center future expansion plans. So we sold it to the LVCC. When we opened the White House, I knew we would continue to grow in the Las Vegas landscape. I had this burning idea to create MEET, but needed to become more familiar with the Las Vegas market and potential.

Before we sold the White House, I looked at dozens of potential properties. Mayor Goodman said to me at the opening of The White House, “You wouldn’t have had so many problems with the neighbors had you considered Downtown." When I found the building that has become MEET, I know it was our best possible location! The 3rd floor of MEET will continue the brand of the White House multimedia center. It’s bigger and better than our prior facility. With the rapid change in the computer-based training environment, it was beneficial to have the change to do the multimedia computer-based center for a second time in Las Vegas.

Without a doubt, there is nothing in Las Vegas like MEET and the 3rd floor Executive multimedia center continues what we started seven years ago.


Interestingly, we have had substantial interest in users wanting to use the computer-based training rooms as e-mail pavilions, to train customers on the software for the product or service, or as temporary offices for their employees during tradeshows. We have also had substantial interest in using the computer-based training rooms for production offices while using the majority of MEET for television or film production as well.

The process of demoing out the complete interior of modern Japanese architecture, maintaining the exterior architecture while shelling out this 48-foot-high building was quite the feat. Basically, we built a new building inside of a huge free-standing steel and stucco box.

Once the structure was a shell and the former bank vault was removed, a new steel structure was erected that could handle the weight and tension for assembly loads and a rigging infrastructure that will outperform our competition. We are completely column free and we will be the most expeditious move-in and move-out in the industry. The first floor has three access areas, one wide enough to drive in a ship. We have a freight elevator with a second floor lift gate for quick hydraulic lifting into the 2nd floor space.

While the bulk of our business will come from the event, exhibition, and product showcases and production, I think that repeat users will find a need for the 3rd floor for strategic purposes. Plus, it’s sexy as all get out!! It’s sort of the “Ugly Betty - Mode Magazine” office interior; fresh, hip, and frankly, sexy!

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