Attracting Millenials, Las Vegas style

By John Rezell

Back in the day when we lived in Southern California, it wasn’t unusual for us to launch a spur of the moment road trip to Las Vegas.

Even as a somewhat frequent visitors we found it difficult to keep pace with the endless evolution that is known as Vegas. Old stomping grounds quickly became a hole in the ground, soon to be filled with the new and latest attraction that seemed to spring up overnight.

Vegas keeps its finger on the pulse of the public, so when Las Vegas decides to open an eSports Arena, it’s time for sports planners to take note.

The 15- to 34-year-olds in the millennial market are a different breed. As they infiltrate the workforce, their spending power increases. And what interests this fresh generation differs from Xers and Boomers.

Las Vegas has come to understand that millennials are not big on traditional gambling, so it has looked for new approaches to lure them. The eSports Arena is one example.

The 15,000-square-foot eSports venue will host competitive video game tournaments.

“Las Vegas needs to consistently reinvent itself to remain relevant to the up-and-coming generation,” Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming and a member of the board of directors of Millennial Esports, the company behind the arena told the AP. “We’ve always come up with ways to maintain our position as the entertainment capital of the world.”

On March 3 the venue will open its doors with a three-day, $50,000-prize-pool Halo World Championship qualifier and it plans to host an EA Sports-sanctioned Madden 17 NFL tournament later this month.

The AP story on the new arena points out the many elements that are focused on attracting millennials. Within walking distance of downtown hotel-casinos, the arena has stadium-style seating overlooking the main stage for 200 with screens showing the live competition in other halls.

The entire facility was built in an area that once housed movie theaters and a nightclub. Yep, the kinda things Xers and Boomers enjoy.

The story also pointed out that “Las Vegas casinos have invested in numerous non-gaming amenities to attract the elusive millennials, from rooms with bunk beds for the young travelers who don’t want to spend a minute apart to a lounge that features pool, foosball and air hockey. The Downtown Grand, a short walk from the new arena, has an e-sports lounge, where tournament competitors, casual gamers and fans play and socialize.”

“The younger people don’t get enamored by the glitz and the glitter of something; it’s all about authenticity for them,” Alex Igelman, CEO of Millennial Esports told the AP.

If you feel like targeting millennials, a road trip to Vegas might we worth it.