On the fourth floor of the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park lies Black Fire Innovation, a technology hub that is expected to take the hospitality industry to the next level.
UNLV and Caesars Entertainment joined forces to create one space that provides an environment for startups, students, and companies to test technology and foster research with a focus on advancing the gaming and hospitality industry.
Several people gathered for the grand opening of the space last Thursday.
“It’s possible that revolutionary ideas will be conceived and perfected by Black Fire Innovation,” Tony Rodio, Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO said to the Review-Journal. “Those ideas may lead to a superior guest room experience, a new table game, a new slot.”
According to Christian Gardner, the president and CEO of the Gardner Company, the facility is expected to be the first of several projects. Gardner says he plans on adding 10 to 12 more facilities in the Technology Park.
“Personally, I’m excited for the kinds of things I’ll learn in the space. It’s like training grounds for students,” said Elijah Bail, a junior majoring in Hospitality Management at UNLV. “It gives us hands-on experience outside of classrooms and being set in a replicated casino environment will prepare us even more for the future.”
Similar to the Strip’s casinos, the Black Fire Innovation environment includes a sportsbook, blackjack tables, hotel rooms, slot machines, and an esports arena. Students have the opportunity to train and gain hands-on technical experience by working in the field.
“I’d been waiting for this space to go into full effect for a while and now that it’s here, it seems like the possibilities are endless in terms of where the hospitality industry could go and especially my future,” said Bail.
Aside from technology, the space is filled with private offices, conference rooms, coworking spaces, classrooms, and presentation facilities to promote collaboration and research among students and companies.
“Black Fire Innovation will create opportunities for collaboration between industry and academia that simply aren’t possible on many college campuses today,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak at the grand opening.
Black Fire Innovation is located on the fourth floor in the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park. The building is located at 8400 W. Sunset Road, on the northeast corner of Sunset Road and Durango Drive in the southwest valley. For more information, visit unlvtechpark.com