The Westgate Las Vegas will host the 2024 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC) as the headquarters hotel and has a storied history. The Westgate opened in 1969 as the International Hotel. With 1,512 rooms, the International began the era of mega-resorts. When it opened, the International was Nevada’s tallest building as well as the largest hotel. Barbara Streisand opened in the showroom, along with Peggy Lee performing in the hotel’s lounge.
The Y-shaped plan for the hotel tower was inspired by the UNESCO Headquarters building; it was chosen to maximize the number of rooms that could be fit into a square plot while allowing each room to have a satisfactory view. This design was imitated by later Las Vegas hotels such as the Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and Venetian.
In keeping with the hotel’s name, rooms were furnished with different international decors, with each floor featuring either a Spanish, Italian, or French theme. There was also a complex of international restaurants, offering Japanese, Italian, Mexican, and Bavarian cuisines. Employees were outfitted in costumes from different cultures, such as Scottish kilts and French gendarme uniforms. In July 31, 1969, immediately following Streisand’s engagement, Elvis Presley performed the first show of what would become a seven-year run at the hotel, encompassing 636 consecutive sold-out shows. Since 2018, the theater hosts Barry Manilow’s residency show, The Hits Come Home.
Westgate was also the home of Star Trek: The Experience, an attraction that opened in January 1998 and closed September 2008. The Experience was based on the Star Trek entertainment franchise and featured a museum with numerous Star Trek history items. This was the location for the annual Star Trek convention and provided a Borg Invasion 4-D attraction, Klingon Encounters, and Quark’s Bar, where you could order Holy Rings of Betazed and drink Romulan Ale. A portion of the casino floor was transformed into the SpaceQuest Casino, a space-themed casino complete with high-tech table games, which served as the gateway to the Experience.
Explore Las Vegas via the Monorail
Westgate Resorts offers easy access to the Las Vegas Monorail. The Monorail operates along a 3.9-mile route from the Sahara to the MGM Grand Station, providing access to many of the strip’s iconic hotels and casinos. From the property’s main entrance, head towards the Bell Desk and follow the Monorail direction signs out the exterior doors. The Monorail arrives approximately every 4-8 minutes, with seven monorail stations unlimited. Three-day passes are available and cost about $30. View the Monorail map.
CLEC 2024 will be held February 22-24, and registrants have the option to attend in-person or virtually. Register by February 1 to get the regular rate and save $50 off the onsite/late registration rate.