The M Resort is expanding its meeting space in an effort to position itself as a destination for conventioneers.
The hotel-casino, located 10 miles south of the Strip at the corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard in Henderson, is adding 25,000 square feet to its event space.
A new pavilion will have room to host 2,300 people and accommodate corporate meetings, trade shows, concerts and large-scale galas.
Last year, the M hosted about 200 meetings, Vice President of Sales Drew Varga said. Next year, Varga hopes to increase that business by 10 percent.
“Our customers were asking for more space,” Varga said. “With the addition of this new venue, we’re able to commit up to 85,000 square feet (of meeting space) without requiring more guest rooms for groups, which puts us at a competitive advantage in the city.”
The $3 million expansion is under way now. A large, steel arch frame for the pavilion went up recently near the resort’s Milan ballroom. Construction is set to be completed in mid-December.
The M opened in March 2009 with a focus on attracting a local clientele. But after only four months in operation, amid a precipitous decline for the Las Vegas economy, the casino no longer could afford to make interest payments on its $700 million loan.
Penn National Gaming stepped in and bought the property at a vast discount from bank lenders. The company took over operations in June.
The acquisition has improved the resort’s outlook. It allowed the M to tap into Penn National’s customer database of 2.2 million people. Revenue, earnings and occupancy rose last quarter.
Penn National has emerged during the recession as one of the best-capitalized casino companies in the nation.