Tourism from Canada remains a top priority for Las Vegas, with the city anticipating heightened interest from north of the border thanks to its new NHL expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights.
That was the message of Fernando Hurtado, international market manager, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, who was in Toronto as the LVCVA welcomed partners and media to a dinner event at the fashionable One Restaurant at the Hazelton Hotel yesterday evening.
Speaking with PAX, Hurtado highlighted the importance of the Canadian market to Las Vegas as the city geared up for a busy year ahead.
“Canada is our number one international market in Las Vegas, with about 1.5 million visitors just last year,” he commented. “So, the purpose of being here in town this particular day is to review our new fiscal [year], in going forward, and see what kind of programming we’re going to have with all of our airline partners, tour operators and that type of thing – and keep Las Vegas top of mind for Canada.”
The newly-formed Golden Knights, who recently unveiled their new roster at the NHL expansion draft – held in conjunction with the NHL awards in Las Vegas at the end of June – will debut in the city this fall. “We’re super excited about that,” Hurtado remarked.
“They released the schedule just recently, and [we’re] looking forward, obviously, to all those teams from Canada coming down to Las Vegas. We’ve got a couple of groups that have already surfaced from that, and they’re bringing all the fans down.”
Toronto hockey fans can look forward to Dec. 31, 2017, when the Leafs are scheduled to visit Vegas for what Hurtado says is a great opportunity to take advantage of the city and its many attractions. “The Toronto [Maple Leafs] game is New Year’s Eve," he said, "so that will be a great opportunity to have a good weekend in Las Vegas.”
Hurtado also noted the current cost of tickets to hockey games in Vegas, which compares favourably to the asking price for admission in Canada. “The tickets are a lot more reasonable in Las Vegas,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a full sellout with the season tickets – there’s definitely tickets readily available, compared to the ticket prices [in] Toronto in Montreal.”
Instead of splurging on tickets in Canada, he suggested, tourists could come to see games in Vegas – and make a holiday out of it. “You can absolutely make a two or three-day weekend out of what it would normally cost to purchase a ticket here in Toronto.”
The Vegas Golden Knights will make their regular season debut at the T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10, 2017, against the Arizona Coyotes, with the Leafs visiting on New Year’s Eve.