MGMThink – Q+A with Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International

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MGMThink – Q+A with Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International

In honor or National Travel and Tourism Week, Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts, sits down with MGMThink to discuss Las Vegas tourism.
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Bill Hornbuckle, president @mgmresortsintl, speaks with @MGMThink on #whytourismmatters to Vegas. @USTravel #NTTW16
Friday, May 6, 2016 - 5:00pm

Originally published on MGMThink.

The first week of May is National Travel and Tourism Week - America’s annual salute to travel and tourism.

We are pleased to welcome Q+A guest Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International. Bill has worked in hospitality and tourism for more than 40 years.

MGMThink: What are some of the major factors that contribute to the success of Las Vegas tourism?

Bill Hornbuckle: Las Vegas today sits proudly as the No. 1 convention destination in America. We’re No. 1 over New York and Chicago, two major destinations. If you combined the convention business of both cities, it wouldn’t equal what Las Vegas does on an annual basis.  Conventions are truly a foundational cornerstone of what Las Vegas is and what it needs to be going forward. 

The convention business – along with big-time entertainment – has evolved.  Our company alone last year sold seven million entertainment tickets. For years, Cirque du Soleil set the tone with spectacular productions, but today you’ll find more headliners and mainliners up and down the Strip, and you’ll soon find them performing at The Park Theater at Monte Carlo.

As a company, MGM Resorts set the stage for this evolution in entertainment. Although our arenas weren’t the largest venues in the country, we would still secure great artists like Madonna and the Rolling Stones when they toured. Why? Because we were prepared to pay.

I remember when we had Barbra Streisand perform at MGM Grand for the new millennium in 1999. We paid her $13.5 million for one night. Astronomical, yes. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime show to celebrate a special night, and has set a legacy foundation for the community that still lives on to this day.

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