LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Venetian Resort celebrated a milestone Friday when it turned 20 years old. 8 News NOW was there for the big event to see how the property has evolved over the years.
“I never, ever thought I’d be at one property for over 20 years,” said Gary McCreary, the VP of catering and convention operations.
McCreary moved to Las Vegas from Dallas in 1998. He was a part of the opening team for the mega-resort.
“I knew a little bit about the Venetian and the concept that Mr. Adelson had, and wow, what a run,” McCreary said.
The resort rose out of the ashes of the old Sands Hotel, which was demolished in 1996 to make way for the new mega-resort. The Venetian tower opened in 1999 with 3,036 rooms. At that time, it was the largest hotel on the Strip.
The Pallazzo tower was christened in 2007, upping the number of rooms to nearly 7,100. This made it the largest hotel in the world at the time.
“You create that open and welcoming sense of hospitality, and that’s very intoxicating to people,” said McCreary. “They come back again and again and again.”
That theory couldn’t be more accurate for the Lindleys who come to Las Vegas often from Chicago.
Kathy Lindley: “We’ve been coming here probably…”
Warren Lindley: “Probably all of 20 years.”
Kathy Lindley: “We’ve been together [for] 20 years.”
Warren Lindley: “Can’t believe it’s been 20 years.”
“I come every year for Super Bowl,” Warren said. “We come probably 4 to 5 times a year, and [we] always stay here.”
Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson gambled on betting big on hosting conventions and events, and it’s paid off.
The property hosts numerous conventions every year, and just in the past couple of years, the venue hosted a presidential primary debate, along with the president himself. Pres. Donald Trump was in Las Vegas just six weeks ago.
McCreary’s role has grown over that time as well. Now, he’s vice president of catering and convention operations.
“It’s just been such a tremendous honor and a tremendous thing for me personally to go through,” McCreary said.
The property will continue to expand with the MSG Sphere Performing Arts venue that is scheduled to open in 2021.