A $59.8 million design deal for the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors.
The contract, with Atlanta-based TVS Design, includes a $51.8 million contract and $8 million for contingency expenses.
The groundbreaking for the expansion portion of the $1.4 billion project has been scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Jan. 8, just ahead of the opening of the 2018 CES trade show.
CES will be the first show to use the new 600,000-square-foot exhibit hall, which would be built in an area currently used as a parking lot at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive, when the new building opens in 2021.
Approval of the contract was never in doubt. TVS Design will work with a team of four Las Vegas designers and architects.The four local companies are TSK Architects, Simpson Coulter Studio, Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects and KME Architects.
Cost below estimate
TVS will engage in a contract that LVCVA officials had estimated would cost $60 million to $77 million, based on the industry standard 7 percent to 9 percent of the expansion portion of the project, estimated at $860 million.
Robert Svedberg, principal for TVS, appeared at the meeting and thanked board members for their confidence in the design team.
In other business Tuesday, the board voted to modify the “C-suite” executive level staffing reorganization by adding a new position, renaming the title of an existing position and adding a responsibility to another.
The action will add a chief marketing officer to the group of executives reporting to CEO Rossi Ralenkotter, changes the chief human resources officer title to “chief people officer” and adds the title of president to the chief operating officer position. Ralenkotter has yet to hire a chief operating officer. About 10 people have interviewed for the position, including Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, who has indicated he will leave that position in January.
Ralenkotter said with greater competition for visitors from other cities and the need to market sports and special events internationally, the agency will need a top-level marketing executive. The new position will pay in the range of $171,900 and $305,100 a year.
‘People and Possibilities’
The title change to chief people officer is part of the LVCVA’s efforts to rebrand the Human Resources Department into the “People and Possibilities Department” to get employees further engaged in the organization’s mission.
Board member Carolyn Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas, cast the only vote against the restructuring because she was concerned about the prospect of making the president and chief operating officer the heir-apparent to Ralenkotter when he retires. Ralenkotter said the board would retain the right to hire his replacement from a pool of applicants and that the president and chief operating officer would not necessarily succeed him.
The board also agreed to establish a marketing committee comprised of at least two elected officials and two resort executives from the board. The new committee will evaluate advertising, marketing and advocacy positions the LVCVA takes.
The meeting was the last one for board member Kristen McMillan, CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. Her successor at the chamber, Mary Beth Sewald, will succeed her on the board.
Big League Weekend
The LVCVA board on Tuesday approved spending $300,000 to stage Big League Weekend, annual spring training games that bring Major League Baseball to Las Vegas, on March 17-18.
This year’s games are a rematch of the 2016 World Series — the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians.
The LVCVA expects to recoup $117,500 from ticket and concession sales with its 15 percent cut of ticket sales from the Las Vegas 51s.
About 6,200 out-of-town visitors are expected to be drawn to the game, which will be broadcast in Chicago and Cleveland, producing $1.4 million in media value.