78°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

MAGIC trade show continues to grow as Las Vegas convention staple

Let’s get one thing straight right off the top: MAGIC has nothing to do with illusions or sleight of hand.

Even though it’s somewhat magical that the 83-year-old trade show that now draws 85,000 people to Las Vegas twice a year and has been a Southern Nevada staple since 1989, it doesn’t include the likes of David Copperfield, Penn & Teller or Criss Angel.

“We hear that all the time,” said Chris Meyer, vice president of global business sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “If it’s MAGIC, it must be about magicians.”

The magic of MAGIC — an acronym for the Men’s Apparel Guild in California — is that it has been one of the steadiest conventions on the authority’s calendar for years. It’s also the largest apparel show staged in North America.

The fashion trade show that ends Thursday was on track to have more attendees than last year, but show officials said they wouldn’t be able to confirm that until after the show ends. At the end of the first official day of the show Tuesday, there was a 3.5 percent increase in attendance over last year’s February show.

On average, the Convention and Visitors Authority says MAGIC produces direct visitor spending of $71.9 million per show with a total economic impact of $121 million after indirect business sales.

The fact that MAGIC appears in Las Vegas twice a year is another reason it’s so valuable. The February show focuses on fashions for the upcoming fall and winter season while a similar show in August features what will be on store shelves in the following spring and summer seasons.

The convention that is wrapping up this week had 1.1 million square feet of displays nearly filling the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. There are similar fashion exhibits that are not affiliated with MAGIC at the Sands Expo and Convention Center with organizations taking advantage of Las Vegas being the center of the fashion universe for three days.

While the MAGIC name references the “Men’s Apparel Guild,” the show is much bigger than just men’s clothing.

Tony Calanca, executive vice president of exhibitions for UBM Advanstar, the company that produces MAGIC, used a typical department store as an analogy to what can be seen on the organization’s trade show floor.

“You’ll see a section for men’s apparel, but then you’ll also see women’s wear, children’s clothing, shoes, any number of other departments,” he said. “The MAGIC show floor mirrors what you’d see in department stores.”

MAGIC actually has 11 different “departments,” but also has “sourcing” sections featuring textile makers that display various materials used to produce clothing and shoe lines. Not only are brand-name clothing lines available to store buyers but clothing-line buyers can see and feel materials to produce future products.

Calanca said the the fashion industry is so fast-moving and fluid that is constantly poised for growth. Show producers don’t want to turn away business, which is why UBM Advanstar has aligned with other major Las Vegas trade show representatives to encourage the Convention and Visitors Authority to expand and upgrade its facilities.

“Bigger is better for us,” Calanca said, “and what we’d really like is to be in one location.”

There are other cities that could host MAGIC. Meyer said he sees competitors from Chicago and Orlando at the Convention Center all the time and he knows they aren’t there to check out the merchandise.

“We have a target on our backs,” Meyer said of Las Vegas. “There are lots of cities out there that would like to steal business away from us.”

For now, MAGIC has signed to lease space in Las Vegas through 2018 and like most major conventions, representatives are constantly looking to update agreements for several years in the future.

“We’re not in the business of trying to set a city’s infrastructure priorities,” Calanca said, “and surely a chunk of room tax revenue should go to infrastructure like roads and airports.”

Calanca was referring to future discussions about room tax revenue that could support a $2.3 billion convention center expansion and upgrade be used instead to help finance a $1.2 billion domed stadium proposal. A discussion about the two proposals is expected to occur at a Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meeting in March. Las Vegas Sands has pitched the idea of diverting funds to a proposed stadium project.

“We’re not going to complain about Las Vegas,” Calanca said. “We’re here because Vegas has been good for us.”

The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability corporation owned by the family of Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Nevada’s real estate industry blamed wrong enemy when bubble burst

State lawmakers approved a bill in 2015 — a decade after Las Vegas’ wild building spree — that raised barriers to pursuing lawsuits alleging shoddyconstruction. A measure now working its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature would wipe out or change provisions of that law.

CEOs get $800K pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Pay for CEOs at S&P 500 companies rose to a median of $12 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation, according to data analyzed by Equilar.