Among those who sell Las Vegas for US Airways Vacations, the yearly agent appreciation Scavenger Hunt is becoming a tradition. For the fourth annual edition, 24 top-selling agents assembled in the city in mid-February for a three-day fam that included lots of site inspections along with a not-for-the-meek contest that divided $25,000 in US Airways flight coupons among members of the winning team. This year’s pot was shared equally, unlike years past when one lucky winner would take all.
“If you thought last year was hard, this one was about four times worse,” says Chris Ames, director of product sales, US Airways Vacations. Ames, who helped fashion the clues, traditionally dispatches his staff the day before the hunt to ensure all the clues are cogent and still workable—as, in Vegas, things change faster than a roll of hot dice.
This year, six teams of four agents and a smattering of supporters from US Airways Vacations were paired according to their hotel of residence. The day started with a power breakfast, courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas, as each team assembled at its table. And then they were off, scrambling around the city, picking up clues and finding hidden items.
The winners were team Planet Hollywood with Angela Brown from Dugan’s Travel in Michigan, Mel Nobel from The Travel Guy in Florida, Pamela Russo from Travel Reports in Massachusetts and Patricia Whitmire from LeisureNet Travel in South Carolina.
Committed to Vegas
“We keep moving it around to keep it fresh for agents,” says Ames. “We’re the only travel company that works with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority [LVCVA] to put on a scavenger hunt like this and it’s a great incentive.”
Although Vegas has seen its share of recession woes and US Airways Vacations’ tour product to the city has suffered with a decreased lift to McCarran Airport and reduced demand for travel, Ames expects business to pick up. The magnificent CityCenter is now open, and there are new and exciting luxury condo suites to sell at Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate—all partnering up with US Airways Vacations to offer reasonable rates.
Meanwhile, given the current economy, US Airways Vacations’ top agents murmured fears that this may be their last Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt. But John Meyer, leisure sales executive, LVCVA, assured them that as long as there was a US Airways Vacations, Las Vegas would be behind them.