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Caesars closer to building new convention center near Las Vegas Strip

Updated June 6, 2018 - 5:45 pm

Caesars Entertainment Corp. moved another step closer to building its new convention center.

The Clark County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved plans for the $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center to be built just east of the High Roller observation wheel on land currently used as a surface parking lot.

The company previously announced that it would break ground on the project later this month and is planning a 2020 completion.

In documents reviewed by commissioners, the project is described as covering 550,797 square feet with a 107,000-square-foot outdoor plaza on 29 acres and would be 115 feet tall.

“The proposed facility will be connected to the existing Las Vegas Monorail station and Linq Promenade by proposed pedestrian bridges,” documents say.

Access to the convention facility is being emphasized in the planning. Pedestrian ramps and bridges will connect conventioneers to the facility from the nearby Harrah’s, Flamingo and Linq properties as well as from the monorail station, which will be improved.

A dedicated area is being designed near the building for transportation network company drivers.

Representatives of Caesars told commissioners the project would provide 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs at the center once completed.

The facility will have two of the largest pillarless ballrooms ever built, each covering 108,000 square feet in addition to two 40,000-square-foot ballrooms. The flexible space can be subdivided into smaller meeting rooms as needed.

Karyn Steenkamp, vice president of design and construction for Caesars, told commissioners that a subterranean parking lot with 800 spaces would be built beneath the center and a 318-space surface lot is planned just south of the building.

The surface lot, she said, could double as outdoor exhibit space for some shows and events.

Despite that parking, the number of spaces is 4.4 percent, or 30 spaces, below the number required by code, but commissioners approved a waiver.

When the subterranean lot is built, Caesars plans to address a chronic flooding problem by widening a drainage channel that cuts through the area. During heavy rain, flooding has frequently submerged vehicles parked in the old Imperial Palace parking garage now used by guests at The Linq Hotel.

Karlos LaSane, vice president of government relations for Caesars, said the company would work to assure that small business and minority contractors would be hired for at least 20 percent of the work on the project.

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

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