Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce moves to Smith Center

The vagabond Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce finally has a place to call home.

In a small celebration, chamber executives cut a ribbon for the opening of the 5,000-member business organization’s new home in the Boman Pavilion of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Chamber President and CEO Kristin McMillan said taking up residence in downtown Las Vegas will be a huge benefit to the largest business organization in Nevada because it is close to local government offices and provides a gathering spot in the heart of commerce, entrepreneurship, technology and culture.

“We feel we can expand our role in the community and expand our partnerships here,” McMillan said in an interview. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get our message out and roll out some new benefits and resources for 2015.”

The chamber is occupying about 4,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Boman Pavilion, home of The Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz venue and the Troesh Studio Theater. The entrance is on the west side of the building, just north of the Discovery Children’s Museum.

The ground floor is envisioned as a place for chamber members to meet and collaborate with an expandable board and conference room with glass walls that can open for large events. It has a relaxing setting for small meetings or social events, and it has Wi-Fi access and computer terminals.

There are dedicated parking spaces for chamber business in the lot just west of the building.

The chamber’s executive offices are on the fifth floor of the building and occupy about 11,000 square feet.

“We brought staff members over before we moved in and you’ve never seen such a cheerful group,” McMillan said.

Before the move, the chamber was in an office at Sunset Road and Durango Drive in the southwest valley, moving there in May after it subleased space it once occupied in Town Square to SolarCity.

Now the chamber, which often takes public policy stances on behalf of its member businesses, is just across the railroad tracks from City Hall and down the block from the Clark County Government Center and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada offices. It’s also close to the Southern Nevada Water Authority offices and the state’s Sawyer Building government offices.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman led the welcoming party of council representatives at Monday’s ribbon-cutting.

Also greeting the chamber contingent was Smith Center CEO Myron Martin, who met with McMillan to negotiate leasing the space. The chamber isn’t disclosing terms of the deal.

“Our connection with The Smith Center was important to us because it puts us in close proximity to arts and culture and it’s a symbol for creativity, which is a lot of what we’re about,” McMillan said.

The chamber’s arrangement with The Smith Center will enable it to schedule functions in other parts of the acclaimed performance hall.

“The bottom line for us is that it is our mission to create jobs and improve the economy and we feel we need to create the best environment possible for businesses to expand,” McMillan said.

McMillan said the chamber would plan a more elaborate public opening once workers get settled and after the November elections.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

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