What happens when a top research institution and the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment provider join forces? The world gets Black Fire Innovation research facility that elevates gambling, entertainment and hospitality industries to completely new heights.
This venue brings the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Caesars Entertainment together in a collaborative environment to spark innovations that drive the gaming industry and community forward.
As the first flagship tech hub…
…situated on a 43,000 square feet fourth floor of the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, Black Fire Innovation will offer the first-of-its-kind casino innovation lab and integrated resort.
It is a unique place where students, innovators, tech companies and the hospitality sector can come together and collaborate.
What Is the Primary Mission of Black Fire Innovation?
By combining student ingenuity, cutting-edge resources and key strategic partners, the facility tends to spark innovations that will revolutionize gaming, entertainment and hospitality industries. It is a unique concept and the world’s first amenity of this type.
On the venue’s official site, the primary goals are defined as:
- Showcasing of emerging technologies
- Spurring creativity & entrepreneurship
- Enhancing collaboration & partnership
- Creating new business opportunities
As stated on the UNLV website, the facility “will create a collaborative, synergistic environment designed to spark strategic partnerships, advance research, elevate student learning and entrepreneurship, and highlight an emerging workforce trained to excel in a rapidly evolving industry”.
It houses a replica of the casino resort with software development and maker spaces, advanced supercomputing access, business acceleration activities, training opportunities, as well as living hospitality and gaming labs.
The Facility Opened Doors in January 2020
This innovative institution opened its doors on January 23th, 2020. Many prominent officials were a part of its debut including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a host of federal, state, and local officials joined leadership from Gardner Company, UNLV, and Caesars Entertainment.
“The economic and academic benefits of the research park are strong. Black Fire Innovation will create opportunities for collaboration between industry and academia that simply aren’t possible on many college campuses today”, said Governor Sisolak at the opening ceremony.
At this ceremony…
…the four-story, 111.000 square-foot futuristic building in Las Vegas was open, as the first project completed by Gardner Company and a part of a master-planned development envisioned by UNLV, the UNLV Research Foundation, and Gardner for the tech park.
As its centerpiece is the fourth floor, where Black Fire lays as a result of the collaboration between UNLV and Caesars Entertainment. Here new gaming and hospitality concepts will be created and tested in a 43,000 square-foot space that consists of mock hotel rooms, a casino floor and sportsbook, an esports studio, and virtual reality facilities.
“Black Fire Innovation, and the research park more broadly, exemplify the positive impact that can occur when the university and business community come together with a common goal. The park and its related partnerships provide a gateway for companies to enter our regional business ecosystem, which elevates our research potential, offers unparalleled opportunities for our students, and in turn strengthens our economy”, said Zachary Miles, UNLV associate vice president for economic development and executive director of the UNLV Research Foundation.
Esteemed Partners Are Lining Up
This unique concept has proven to be very interesting to the reputable gambling and technology brands, judging by the list of the already signed partnership agreements. It is attracting some of the world’s leading technology companies who want to have a presence in the region and partner with industry leaders from both Caesars Entertainment and UNLV.
“Caesars Entertainment has been at the forefront of gaming and innovation for many years. Collaborating in partnership with UNLV, one of the nation’s top gaming research institutions, is the perfect recipe for success.
Black Fire Innovation is unprecedented, bringing together top researchers and industry experts in a unique and dynamic environment that enables emerging student talent, technology partners and the community to work together.
Caesars strives to provide the best possible guest experience, as technology evolves its exciting that these types of advancements could be conceived and perfected at Black Fire”, commented Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio.
The list of partners and sponsors of this pioneering center include Nutanix, LG, Aruba/ HPE, Interblock, Panasonic, Peerless-AV, Respawn, Allied Communications, Intel, Palo Alto Networks, Toto, Zoom, Breadwear, Losant, Minervaworks, and DreamlandXR.
What benefits await potential partners?
Being a part of something with such a vision is satisfaction by itself. However, big companies do need something more grounded and payable to enter into a partnership. Still, the long list of brands who have hurried up to take their “piece of the cake” suggests that this model can bring many benefits.
Black Fire Innovation is pointing out some of them in its official web presentation:
- Innovate side-by-side with R-1 research university and industry leaders
- Accelerate product development life cycles by piloting solutions in a replica resort and casino equipped with an esports arena, fully-functioning guestrooms, virtual reality lab, plus race and sports betting
- Leverage promising, emerging talent and researchers from UNLV who will be running classes, seminars, and hands-on projects
- Establish a regional home base in the heart of the action with options for private offices and other amenities
A Real-World Experience in a Controlled Environment
The first-of-its-kind facility is envisioned as one place where all the elements necessary for the smooth operating of gaming, entertainment, and hospitality sector are joined together. In the end, they will have to work together eventually, why not providing them with real-world experience from the start?
A brilliant concept that enables students to see how the theory works in practice and how they can use their knowledge to improve themselves and the industry they are working in.
By the words of Zachary Miles, associate vice president for economic development at UNLV, this is a venue where students, innovators, tech companies, and the hospitality industry can come together, collaborate and create something remarkable.
He also shared its belief that the Building One of the UNLV Tech Park is just a start of other similar venues full of tech companies that will put Las Vegas on the map as a global technology center.
As its crown jewel…
… Black Fire Innovation represents a unique place with a massive potential to change the world of gambling, hospitality, and entertainment from its core and help it reach a new level of progress.