UNLVNow project hinges on proposed legislation

The passage of a piece of legislation will be the trigger that would allow officials to move forward with the UNLVNow project, officials said Friday.

“The next 18 months is going to be a critical period to step back and define what this project will be,” said Don Snyder, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ point man on the project, to the state Board of Regents on Friday.

The board received a project update during a special meeting at UNLV.

Assembly Bill 335 would create a campus tax district and improvement “authority,” similar to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The bill would create a revenue mechanism to help fund university costs for the UNLVNow project, which would create a mega-events center on campus.

If it passes, regents would have until Aug. 31 to appoint four members to the new authority, and a full nine-member board would have to be in place by Oct. 1.

At that point, officials would determine what the facility would need to have to support the university and the resort industry, Snyder said.

The next step would be obtaining an estimate of how much the facility would cost and how it would be funded, he continued.

There could be adjustments in the project’s size and internal changes, Snyder said.

The revenue generated by the mechanism created by AB335, wouldn’t be enough for the project, said Gerry Bomotti, senior vice president for finance and business at UNLV. Alternative funding sources would be needed.

The regents also endorsed a proposed $59.2 million project to renovate the Thomas & Mack Center.

Contact Yesenia Amaro at yamaro@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0440.