Companies investing in Las Vegas convention business

Construction crews can’t get that $1.4 billion convention center expansion done soon enough.

It’s clear that the meetings, trade show and convention business is essential to keeping Las Vegas tourism on track in the years ahead.

The visionaries are seeing it.

Steve Wynn is dedicating a good portion of his Paradise Park development to new convention space.

MGM Resorts International already expanded the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and is upgrading facilities at the MGM Grand Conference Center as well as converting a Cirque du Soleil theater at Aria to a meetings facility. MGM has always been bullish on the meetings industry.

Caesars Entertainment is eyeing a convention facility on an existing parking lot east of The Linq Hotel.

Even Golden Entertainment, the city’s dominant tavern provider, which recently acquired the Stratosphere, is looking at adding convention and meeting space at the property.

New evidence showing the importance of meetings and conventions emerged last month when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released its November visitation statistics.

The gray cloud of a sixth consecutive month of lower visitation numbers and the realization that Las Vegas isn’t going to break 2016’s record volume of 42.9 million people hid a big silver lining: In 11 months, Las Vegas already has surpassed 2016’s record 6.3 million convention visitors. Whatever number of conventioneers that came in December — it’s bound to be the smallest monthly total of the year because of the holiday season — is going to pad the city’s convention record set in 2017.

Some of that record convention turnout is a result of the show rotation phenomenon, shows coming to Las Vegas this year when they were someplace else last year, and some of it was because of 2017 being a ConExpo-Con/Ag year. That once-every-three-years show brought an estimated 130,000 people to town in March.

But there could have been more if there had been more space at key times of the year. That’s why Wynn, MGM, Caesars and Las Vegas Sands invest in convention facilities and why the LVCVA went through the painful process of lobbying lawmakers at a special legislative session to secure the means to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The two major infrastructure projects that went through that process — the Convention Center expansion and renovation and the planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium — are both needed to expand Southern Nevada’s tourism economy.

The stadium project is far sexier — and controversial because it involves the NFL and the Oakland Raiders.

But the Convention Center is every bit as important as the stadium, not only to boost meeting and conventioneer volume but to upgrade facilities to prevent the Chicagos, Orlandos and San Diegos of the world from stealing trade show business from Las Vegas.

The stadium groundbreaking event in November was a big day for Las Vegas. Most people don’t even realize that the symbolic groundbreaking for the Convention Center expansion is Monday.

One of the reasons for the timing is that it’s just ahead of Tuesday’s opening of CES, Southern Nevada’s biggest convention, and the show’s owner, the Consumer Technology Association, has been instrumental in making the case for legislators to approve financing for the project.

As the estimated 180,000 conventioneers gather Tuesday for CES, the LVCVA board of directors will be dotting I’s and crossing T’s on a general obligation bond issue resolution to move ahead on that project.

In 2021, CES will be the first to use the new 600,000-square-foot hall.

Crews can’t get it done soon enough.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like