New luxury Vegas meeting venue isn't on the Strip

Las Vegas Review-Journal/August

By Richard N. Velotta

Las Vegas' newest venue for small conferences, corporate retreats, weddings and parties isn't in a Strip resort.

But IPEC Las Vegas is within a half-mile of Las Vegas Boulevard, and even closer to McCarran International Airport.

And nowhere on the IPEC property is a single slot machine in sight — although slot manufacturers Bally Technologies and Konami Gaming are neighbors of the Bermuda Road facility just south of the airport.

"Las Vegas is the meetings capital of the world and IPEC allows planners and attendees the best of all worlds — a self-contained, tranquil atmosphere free of distractions and conducive to the greatest productivity, yet close enough to the Strip and all it has to offer for off-site excursions," said Michael Fiorentino, asset manager for IPEC, short for International Peace Education Center.

Originally envisioned as an education center for the Unification Church, a religious movement founded in South Korea by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the church decided instead to capitalize on the facility's elegance to provide a one-of-a-kind meeting experience in Las Vegas. The facility won't be used for religious services.

The building houses more than 20,000 square-feet of flexible meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot grand ballroom. There also are guest rooms onsite, a kitchen, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and room to grow as needed.

IPEC is showing off the facility next week in an invitation-only reception, and sales director Catherine Price, a former Caesars Entertainment sales manager, said bookings are expected to begin next week.

Price said the cost of renting space is negotiable based on the services provided, but renting the grand ballroom will start at $10,000 and using the entire facility starts at $50,000.

Fiorentino said he thinks the first event at the facility would occur in September, although the church already has conducted some small meetings there.

People entering the front of the IPEC facility know immediately they aren't in a traditional Las Vegas meeting center.

The white-tiled, 5,000-square-foot foyer has 29-foot ceilings and two curved staircases leading to the ballroom, meeting rooms and 49 guest rooms, most of which have two queen-size beds, a bathroom, a desk and a sitting area. There's a peaceful fountain near the center of the entry and an East-meets-West motif adorns the interior.

Two single-bedroom accommodations have a master bath, living room and wet bar, while one four-bedroom "bridal suite" offers three baths, a living room, dining room and kitchen.

Each guest room has a mini-bar and overnight accommodations are available exclusively to guests booking an event.

There are six conference rooms with capacities ranging from 22 to 96, depending on the seating configuration. With the flexibility to subdivide rooms, IPEC can accommodate groups of between 50 and 720 for an event.

While the facility and two lots behind it are owned by the church, IPEC as an event-management company, which has contracts with AWG Destination Management Services for transportation, Metropolitan Exhibition Services to develop meeting settings, and Hospitality Performance Network for concierge services.

The company also has relationships with several catering companies that will have access to the 2,500-square-foot kitchen.

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