Scott Sibella, Resorts World Las Vegas

Scott Sibella

A City Within a City

Editors’ Note

With over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Scott Sibella has a history of delivering and overseeing excellence at destination resorts. Before joining Resorts World Las Vegas, Sibella served as President and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Grand for eight years. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of all resort operations at the 5,044-room resort, including The Signature, SKYLOFTS and The Mansion at MGM Grand, in addition to the 16,800-seat Grand Garden Arena and numerous restaurants led by celebrity chefs. Prior to MGM Grand, Sibella was the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mirage. He also served as the vice president of casino marketing for the Tropicana in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Additionally, he held executive management positions at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas. Active in the Las Vegas Community, Sibella currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Las Vegas Events, sits on the board of directors for Opportunity Village, Rebel Golf Foundation and Dream Foundation, and also serves on the advisory board for the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer Council. Sibella holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2007, the university named him Alumnus of the Year, an award given to an outstanding alumnus as a symbol of recognition for their accomplishments.

Property Brief

As the first integrated resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in over a decade, Resorts World Las Vegas (rwlasvegas.com) seamlessly blends the technology and luxury appeal of an urban contemporary resort with the traditions and time-honored details of the international Resorts World brand. The sleek yet simple elegance of this new property was developed with the intention of bringing the elevated experience for which the Resorts World brand is known to the modern Las Vegas traveler seeking luxury, value and variety.

Resort World Las Vegas

High Limit Room

Will you provide an overview of Resorts World Las Vegas and how the property is positioned in the market?

Resorts World Las Vegas is the newest resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The integrated resort blends contemporary design with progressive technology and luxury amenities. Resorts World Las Vegas features 3,506 guest rooms and suites; an innovative, next-generation gaming floor; over 40 world-class food and beverage options; a 5,000-capacity theatre; distinct nightlife venues; an extensive retail collection boasting a wide spectrum of designer and boutique brands; and more.

Resort World Las Vegas Starlight on 66

Starlight on 66

Resorts World Las Vegas was developed by Genting, a global gaming and hospitality company led by Chairman & CEO K.T. Lim, whose leadership and expertise in building integrated resorts is unprecedented. His vision and expertise building resorts in destinations around the world, coupled with his desire to bring something unique and different to the Las Vegas experience, challenged us and I think what we were able to deliver as a result is something special. I’ve been fortunate to have worked at some amazing properties on the Strip and I’m constantly learning, evolving and encouraging my team to break the mold in order to find new and better ways to create the best experience for both guests and team members.

Resort World Las Vegas Genting Palace

Genting Palace main dining room

How do you define the Resorts World Las Vegas difference and what sets the property apart from its competitors?

The goal from the outset was to focus on creating the best guest experience. One of the ways we approached being able to offer something for every level of customer was to partner with great companies such as Hilton. They are a leader in global hospitality and offer a variety of recognized brands, from the ultra-luxury and premium product, to full-service brands for those looking for affordable comfort. By being able to offer all of these within one integrated resort at Resorts World Las Vegas, we give our guests more variety of accommodations than anywhere on the Strip. We looked at similar opportunities and partnerships with global leaders in various industries including entertainment, nightlife, shopping and dining to create a city within a city with memorable guest experiences for everyone.

We have also looked at ways of incorporating the latest technology and interactive experiences into the resort. Because we were building from the ground up, we were able to approach things more intuitively rather than having to adapt to existing environments.

We also worked very hard to make the property easily accessible for our local community so they can take advantage of the dining, nightlife, shopping and other aspects of the resort.

Resorts World Las Vegas

Resorts World Las Vegas

How did Resorts World Las Vegas adapt to address the challenges caused by the pandemic?

Our team worked diligently to review every touchpoint across the resort experience through a new lens that is hyper-focused on sanitation and safety. From the very beginning, we’ve always had the vision to build a new kind of resort experience here in Las Vegas – that goal didn’t change so much as the considerations. Being the first resort to be built on the Strip in more than a decade, we had a natural advantage to create the cleanest, safest resort experience in Las Vegas simply because today’s technology and advancements didn’t exist ten years ago. Two aspects of the guest experience we looked at very closely were air quality and progressive technology. We partnered with Global Plasma Solutions (GPS), the leader in indoor air quality, to help us provide the cleanest air on the Strip – from casino floor to the guestrooms.

Resort World Las Vegas VIP Pool

VIP Pool

How proud are you to see the resilience of your workforce during this unprecedented time?

I have worked in Las Vegas and in the hospitality/gaming industry for many years and I have seen great resilience through so many different events over those years. The workforce and community of Las Vegas has seen the best and worst of times, and through it all, the city continues to lead the way for the greater hospitality industry.

I am not surprised that Las Vegas and all of the workers in our industry have risen to the occasion with the challenge of the pandemic. They are the engine that drives our community. We started the mass hiring process for the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas in the midst of the pandemic and the response we received was incredible. It truly was rewarding to be able to open and play a role in helping our community and our economy at such an important time by creating nearly 6,000 new jobs.

Resort World Las Vegas Tiesto entertainment venue

Tiesto entertainment venue

What are you views on the state of travel and tourism to Las Vegas?

We are seeing good numbers in Las Vegas from domestic travel and many of our guests are excited to be able to return to Las Vegas. We still don’t have large numbers of international travelers, but we’re optimistic for 2022 and beyond. We are also seeing the return of some of the convention business and announcements regarding future plans to return. Given our proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center, I think it goes without saying that we are excited about that and look forward to more conventions returning.

Overall, we are optimistic about the outlook for growth and Las Vegas visitor volume has steadily been increasing since the start of the year. Given current travel restrictions limiting numbers in some sectors, the climbing numbers are a positive indicator.

How critical is it for Resorts World Las Vegas to build a diverse and inclusive workforce in order to mirror the diversity of its guests?

Las Vegas is a diverse town and it is what makes our community so great to live and work in. Our goal and a key differentiation for Resorts World Las Vegas is to offer the best guest experience for every customer. To successfully accomplish that, we need everyone’s help. We worked hard to build a diverse and inclusive workforce and we view this as a constant work in progress to see what we can improve upon and act on ways we can make everyone feel welcome, whether guest or team member.

Resort World Las Vegars Judith Lieber

Judith Lieber store at Resorts World Las Vegas

What do you see as Resorts World Las Vegas’ responsibility to the community it serves and to being engaged in the community?

Resorts World Las Vegas is and will continue to be an active and engaged community partner. Giving back and being actively involved locally is an important part of our company culture. We are the new kid on the block at the moment, but we are taking our first steps in being a positive and contributing member of Southern Nevada. There are already organized efforts to mobilize employee volunteers to get out into the community and we are actively working on the framework and structure for our efforts and support for our community.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in hospitality?

The greatest thing about working in the hospitality industry is the multiple facets of the business. From management, to finance, to logistics, to planning, to marketing and even construction. There are so many different avenues you can take in this industry. I would recommend for anyone interested in a career in hospitality to be open to trying different things and learning as many areas of the business as you can. If you understand the challenges, the processes, and the overall day-to-day of the people in various departments, when it comes to operational planning and management, you have a better understanding of what people are experiencing and can better adapt your expectations and creatively strategize on ways for improvement.