Major improvements are in the works for the Las Vegas Convention Center, some starting in the next few months. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors unanimously approved the first phase for the $2.5 billion development of the Las Vegas Global Business District that will include an improved campus of the Las Vegas Convention Center, a World Trade Center building and a multimodal transportation hub.
“We’ve been the No. 1 trade show destination for the past 18 years and intent to stay that way, but we need to move forward to do that,” said LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter.
He added, “A lot has changed for Las Vegas, and we need to make some bold moves. It’s not just about the destination. It’s about the customer experience.”
During the first phase of this eight- to 10-year project, LVCVA plans to enter into the RFQ process for the Las Vegas Business District, as well as to work on improvements to the existing space at the LVCC, finalize the budget and look into potential land acquisitions.
For the 54-year-old Las Vegas Convention Center, the first phase includes renovating meeting space, technology upgrades, general session and press facilities and new food and beverage points of sale.
To accommodate collocating shows, it is proposed to create a new public entrance from Joe Brown Drive. A little further down the line, are additional exhibit space, a grand concourse that connects all three buildings and new architectural elements that would bring the iconic Vegas feel to the convention center campus.
In 2011, LVCC received an official World Trade Center site designation through an agreement with the Consumer Electronics Association.
The second phase of LVCVA’s project calls for leveraging this designation to build a dedicated World Trade Center facility that would serve as a base of operations for Fortune 500 companies that already participate in such trade centers around the world, as well as attract other global businesses.
The third key element is the creation of a centralized transportation hub that would improve passenger flow among the resorts, effectively connecting LVCC to trade show and convention facilities at the Sands Expo & Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
LVCVA is working with local transportation stakeholders, including the Monorail, Regional Transportation Commission, taxi companies’ representatives and others to come up with a long-term strategy.
The LVCVA plans to issue up to $150 million of commercial paper to fund phase-one elements.
Las Vegas currently features more than 10.6 million square feet of exhibit and convention space, with the Las Vegas Convention Center offering about 2.2 million. Las Vegas is projected to welcome 40-plus million visitors in 2013.