The wellness economy, from personal care to nutrition to gym memberships, represented $4.2 trillion in consumer spending in 2017, according to the most recent study from the Global Wellness Institute. Of that, workplace wellness totaled just a small percentage of that overall number at $48 billion, proving that in business settings wellness continues to be a plus, but not a must. The question is, how can the meetings business help bridge that considerable gap?
Steve Blanner, vice president of hotel sales for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, found one possible answer when the resort began planning its 430,000-square-foot meeting and convention space expansion, debuting in February. “We asked meeting planners to tell us what’s important to their attendees; what types of experiences make them the most excited. The overwhelming feedback we received, from about 95 percent, was about wanting to provide outdoor space, natural light and ways to feel more connected to wellness routines,” he said. “Planners increasingly want a sense of peace incorporated into their meetings, and that was instrumental in our thought process for the design of the new space.”
In a city as high energy as Las Vegas, it can become even more imperative to find the right ways to incorporate mind and body wellness into meeting agendas. “Meetings are often a non-stop experience, but planners are finding more ways to build times of respite into overall itineraries, and they need the right resort partner to help them do that,” said Blanner. “Sometimes it’s as simple as having a calm setting where you can walk outside for a second and catch your breath. Other times it involves longer breaks to help attendees re-center and recharge.”
Wellness breaks are increasingly necessary for meeting attendees, according to experts in the field. “In 2014, I was contacted by an IMEX America representative in search of a wellness expert to speak at the upcoming Las Vegas show,” recalls Lee Papa, an internationally recognized mindfulness speaker and trainer who specializes in meetings and events. “I accepted, and I saw an audience that wore stress like a badge of honor.”
Integrating a wellness component into the workplace as well as events can help immensely, Papa continues. “Science and media have promoted the profound benefits of mindfulness on overall health and well-being. Forward-thinking companies such as Wynn have embraced dynamic well-being and wellness components. And what I find most interesting is those who have embraced wellness at the top corporate levels are the ones who have rolled out the most successful initiatives.”
Charting a New Course
For meeting-goers, getting outside and moving can be critical. That concept was top of mind in the recent golf course redesign at Wynn Las Vegas, which also serves as the backdrop to the convention space expansion and provides sweeping views along its nearly 10,000-square-foot outdoor terrace.
A boon for the attendee trying to get in 10,000 daily steps, the Wynn Golf Club is the only golf course connected to a resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Fully reimagined by legendary golf course architect Tom Fazio, the course features eight totally new holes and 10 revamped holes. The caddie staff includes several PGA Class A professionals who oversee guests with tee times set 15 minutes apart to “make it feel like you are the only foursome playing,” says Blanner. “We’ve created a truly relaxing experience set among lush greenery, 7,000 trees and a spectacular waterfall,” he adds, citing the plus of a peaceful walk. The course is also ideal for a corporate buyout and offers many customizable options.
Oasis of Calm
In a city well known for dining, entertainment and nightlife that has attracted meeting-goers for decades, it can be easy to overlook how much Las Vegas has cultivated its status as a place to relax and rejuvenate. “The more we focus on Las Vegas as a destination for wellness, the more that reality will unfold,” Papa says. “The proof is being witnessed with the rollout of wellness offerings within meetings experiences over the last five years.”
Wynn’s commitment to that effort is evidenced in its redesigned Spa at Wynn, which adds a completely new aesthetic and refreshed treatment menu to the first and longest-holding Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa in town. Much like the idea of a 15-minute gap in tee times on the golf course, the 45,000-square-foot retreat is designed to provide uniquely personal experiences.
At its core, the spa’s unmistakable accent on calm aligns with what meeting planners are seeking with 44 revamped totally private treatment rooms, two hydrotherapy areas, and a central relaxation corridor. “We have created a space of great possibilities,” says Roger Thomas, executive vice president of design for Wynn Design and Development. “As the guest journey unfolds, there is a sense of mystery met with uniquely personal contemplative moments that are meant to be discovered.”
This sense of wellness and discovery is imperative, Papa believes. “There is a common denominator of all those attending any wellness exercise. Everyone is seeking relief in some form, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. This same awareness can be brought to the meetings industry.”
Wynn Las Vegas is banking on the new wellness initiatives increasing an already enviable retention business. “It comes down to an exacting attention to detail,” says Blanner. “When we’re walking potential clients around the resort, we’re always pointing to the finishing touches that make all the difference; those special moments that add to the overall experience. This extends to our wellness offerings, which we continue to reinvent with meeting and convention guests in mind.”
“To maintain five-star status, the stakes of ‘getting it right’ are high,” adds Papa. “The Wynn name is synonymous with exquisite taste, and their brand of exceptional practices flows through their leading-edge wellness initiatives. Wellness is not an element that can be faked. It must be lived.”
Learn more here about hosting an event at Wynn Las Vegas.
For more on how Wynn is elevating the meetings experience, click here.