On Friday 8th July The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority held an exclusive media event to coincide with Virgin Holidays and Las Vegas’ Virtual Reality pop up at BOXPARK, Shoreditch.
The pop-up allowed consumers the opportunity to test out the destination’s virtual reality (VR) headsets and app – considered the ultimate ‘try before you fly’ experience. In addition to this there were appearances from key talent, spa treatments and signature cocktails for visitors to sample!
- Performances from Las Vegas’ most iconic acrobatic act, Cirque du Soleil
- Cocktails from famous mixologist, Salvatore Calabrese
- A serenade from a gondolier, reminiscent of The Venetian
Vegas showgirls mingled with the Shoreditch hipsters and after getting our VR fix and sampling some ‘Only in Vegas’ experiences we congregated at the Beach Blanket Babylon for a drinks reception with canapés – all proving to be the perfect start to our Friday night!
The event launched a new partnership between the two organisations that sees Virgin Holidays install Las Vegas’ virtual reality in more than 50 retail locations across the country. The initiative helps bring truly immersive holiday experiences to customers and allow people to ‘try before they fly’.
Lee Haslett, Virgin Holidays sales director, commented: “We want to create the world’s first ‘destination-tour’ captured entirely in virtual reality, and there was no better partner to bring this to life than Las Vegas. We want our customers to be able to truly experience their holiday before they even get on the plane; everything from arriving at the hotel and checking out their room, to taking a helicopter tour, will be experienced as authentically as possible.”
Las Vegas aims to show that virtual reality is no longer a fantasy of the tech savvy and instead is finally going mainstream, with many arguing that VR will soon become integral in the holiday booking process. With this in mind, Las Vegas has developed its own custom VR app featuring 24 original 360-degree interactive videos that become immersive virtual reality experiences when used with a VR viewer. The free app is compatible with smartphones, or other viewers such as Google Cardboard.
Even without a cardboard viewer, users are able to watch all of the 360-degree videos on the app and interact with the videos using gyroscope, swipe and zoom functions. Additionally, the Vegas 360 content lives on Facebook and YouTube as well as the custom GeoVegas site.
Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing at the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority said:
“The UK is an incredibly important market for Las Vegas with more than 400,000 travellers visiting annually. The UK remains our number one source of overseas visitors and it is anticipated that through tourism initiatives such as VR, we be able to interest more consumers in visiting Las Vegas.”
The virtual reality experiences which we tested at BOXPARK included:
- Experience the SlotZilla Zip Line which flies over the bustling Fremont Street Experience
- Take a gondola ride through the famous canals at The Venetian Las Vegas
- Get a bird’s eye view of the Las Vegas Strip on board a Maverick Helicopter flight
- Gaze in awe at the performers in Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère show
The 360-degree videos of Las Vegas can be accessed at: http://geovegas.lasvegas.com/#journey