by F. Andrew Taylor
Las Vegas has no shortage of meeting spaces, but only one that gives attendees an opportunity to dine or drink with an eye-to-eye view of 15 species of sharks.
Tucked away behind an unmarked door at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is a truly unique meeting space, the Seascape Ballroom. The intimate, 1,675-sq.ft. space can accommodate up to 80 people for a sit-down meal and up to 100 for a cocktail reception. The space is perfect for intimate receptions, dinners and board meetings. The clean, modern look includes hidden lighting and a projection screen but the real highlight is the wall of four floor-to-ceiling windows hidden behind automated (and customizable) screens. At the push of a button, the screens rise to reveal that the room is adjacent to the largest tank of the Shark Reef, its 1.3-million-gallon exhibit. Guests are treated to a close-up view of more than 30 sharks, sea turtles and other sea creatures leisurely swimming among the faux wreckage of a sunken ship.
An adjoining outdoor patio and lounge, with a shade structure for ambiance and privacy, allows for flexible use of this distinctive space.
The space is available to book from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. seven days a week. Catering is available and booking the space includes full access to the Shark Reef Aquarium. For an additional fee, guides can provide private tours of the aquarium with its 2,000 animals including Johnstone’s crocodiles, sawfish, piranhas, shark rays and two rare, male, juvenile Komodo dragons. For larger groups, the Shark Reef Aquarium may also be rented out for up to 1,500 guests. And for still larger groups, they can create a package so that guests may enjoy Mandalay Beach (with its wave pool and sand), the aquarium and the Seascape Ballroom.
One popular option is the opportunity to scuba dive in the tank. The venue has had events where a company’s CEO has made a surprise appearance by swimming up to the window and making announcements to the room via a wipe board. Another option is to customize the wall of automated screens with a company logo or message.
The Seascape Ballroom is a one-of-a-kind location allowing guests to be immersed in the beauty and serenity of this underwater scene. The scene is so captivating that organizers may find in necessary to eventually roll the screens back down to get the attendees to focus anywhere else, but it’s certainly a venue and an experience that they won’t forget.
The Shark Reef Aquarium is located at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, (702) 632-4555. For more info, visit mandalaybay.com. To book the Seascape Ballroom for a meeting, contact the sales office at (877) 632-7900.
This story originally appeared in the November/December issue of Exhibit City News, p. 73. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_novdec2018