By Guest Blogger Heidi Baldwin
January 29, 2010

It’s not every day that you get to move into a brand new hotel, see a sneak peek preview performance of a new Cirque du Soleil show and, better yet, dine at some of the most incredible new restaurant venues in the city…with about 130 of your friends and colleagues. But, when you work in public relations and have the opportunity to host over 100 fantastic journalists at Las Vegas’ newest resort development – CityCenter – that’s what you get to do. I’m a lucky gal.

Let’s start at the beginning…I began working on CityCenter over two years ago and let me tell you, pitching stories to journalists about an $8.5 billion development opening in the midst of a recession wasn’t the easiest job. However, as the months came and went and as the towers grew taller and began to take shape into this incredible city-within-a-city, people became intrigued by what CityCenter would bring to Las Vegas.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CityCenter) Fireworks explode during the grand opening of the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter December 16, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fast forward to 11:30 p.m. December 16, 2009…the moment many of us had been waiting for. Opening right on schedule – defeating several obstacles and proving many disbelievers wrong – was CityCenter. I can’t begin to explain what it felt like the moment the public was introduced to CityCenter. Watching the fireworks shoot off the rooftop of ARIA was not only breathtaking; it was the highlight of my entire career. Five years in the making, two years of my personal hard work and countless hours of planning this remarkable opening and here it was…right before me. That single moment will forever be frozen in time. The cheering of the crowd, erupting fireworks and flashing cameras made every triumph and struggle of representing this extraordinary development completely worth it.  

Heidi Baldwin and her teammates with Alan Feldman, SVP of Public Affairs for MGM MIRAGE at the opening gala for Mandarin Oriental, CityCenter

Just last week, I was part of an incredible PR team that hosted over 100 national and international journalists at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter. Talk about event planning! From pitching the media (meaning many 7 a.m. morning starts to catch both east and west coast journalists – and lots and lots of coffee), to coordinating flight and hotel arrangements and over 100 customized itineraries, we had our work cut out for us. Over the four day media week, we saw Viva ELVISTM by Cirque du Soleil®, conducted property tours (showcasing CityCenter’s Fine Art Collection, sustainability initiatives, WET water features, among other elements), ate fantastic food, hosted culinary tastings, met with the chefs, ate more food, danced at Eva Longoria Parker’s new nightclub Eve, ate some more and capped off one evening at Haze Nightclub inside ARIA.

The best part of the entire experience was being able to connect with the journalists I have been working with over the past two years face-to-face. I am so privileged to walk away from this experience with incredible story opportunities underway, but more importantly, with newly formed friendships with some of the most insightful, down-to-earth and amazing people I have ever met.

Nobody said opening an $8.5 billion development in Las Vegas would be easy, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of this unbelievable journey.