The Las Vegas hotel school is already on the leading edge of hospitality education in the world and evidently it desires to stay there. Dean Stuart Mann and his team have drafted an ambitious plan for its future that includes several major developments.
It's currently busy at work to make the INNovation Village a reality. When all is said and done, it'll be a "campus within a campus" at UNLV, a one-of-a-kind concept that combines academic and business interests to give future students a strong stepping stone from which to launch themselves into the real world of the hospitality and tourism industry. It'll also put a significant emphasis on commercially viable research and several high-profile companies, among them Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, MICROS, InfoGenesis, Bose and Sony, have already shown interest in getting involved in that.
The college took a bold step in 2006 and expanded abroad by opening a campus in Singapore to tap the rapidly-growing Asian leisure market. The site presently offers a bachelor's degree program in hospitality management and a smaller graduate program. It compliments well the strong presence of Las Vegas-based resorts in Macau, like MGM Mirage, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.
That isn't enough, though, since Dean Mann has a brand new project on his desk. This time the focus is on the Middle East and more specifically the United Arab Emirates, a seven-member federation. As it so happens, MGM Mirage already has ties to the area. It is planning to develop a $3 billion resort there with Abu Dhabi as the local partner and has sold half interest in Las Vegas CityCenter condominium, hotel and casino complex to Dubai, another one of the seven emirates.
Recognizing the U.A.E.'s increasing draw as a tourist destination, UNLV Hotel College is thinking about starting a campus there, too, and model it in many ways with the Singapore one. It would be located in Ras al Khaimah. The good thing is that the program, if it comes to fruition, would be financed by the emirate while UNLV would keep total control of the curriculum and admissions and hiring decisions.
As the world tourism expands and capable management talent is in increasing demand, UNLV Hotel College is actively preparing to meet that demand.