Las Vegas market cracks list of top ’06 trade shows

A downtown Las Vegas furniture market made a big splash on the national trade show scene by landing among America’s top shows in 2006.

The January 2006 Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center ranked No. 41 in the Tradeshow Week 200, an annual ranking of the nation’s top trade shows.

It was the highest ranking ever by a trade show making its first appearance on the list, according to Tradeshow Week, the magazine that publishes the list.

The most recent market in January attracted about 45,000 traders and about 1,000 companies exhibiting in 469,600 square feet, the magazine reported.

“This distinction is consistent with our plans from the outset to launch the largest trade show event for the industry,” World Market Center CEO Harvey Dondero said.

Opened in 2005, the World Market Center is a hub for furniture trading in the Western United States. It competes with the High Point Market in North Carolina, a historic furniture trading post that dates back to 1889. High Point boasts 12 million square feet in 188 buildings.

The Las Vegas center so far includes 2.9 million square feet of space, much of it reserved for permanent storage, and holds two annual markets for professional traders.

There are plans to expand the center to 12 million square feet by 2013, which would make Las Vegas a global epicenter for the $120 billion furniture industry.

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