How MAGIC landed in Las Vegas was a pretty good trick

MAGIC has nothing to do with sleight of hand or illusion, but how the massive fashion convention got to Las Vegas was a pretty good trick.

The event, whose name is an acronym for Men’s Apparel Guild in California, was, not surprisingly, a California-based show that met regularly at the Los Angeles Convention Center beginning in 1933.

“In L.A., we had these big pavilions up at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and we left them up for years,” said Tony Calanca, executive vice president of exhibitions for UBM Advanstar, producers of the trade show. “Everybody even called them the MAGIC tents.”


A decision was reached in 1989 to modify the space where the tents were placed, and a temporary move to Las Vegas was agreed upon.

When MAGIC officials discovered what Las Vegas had to offer, a decision was made to move the show permanently.

“We love Las Vegas. I think most of our people enjoy coming here,” Calanca said.

As a result of MAGIC leaving Los Angeles behind, the show has become the poster child for building a strategy that keeps the city’s convention calendar intact while the LVCVA builds a new exhibit hall on the Las Vegas Convention Center campus.

The LVCVA staff is working to accommodate the city’s major shows during the $1.4 billion construction of the new hall, 100,000 square feet of new meeting rooms and the refurbishment of existing facilities.


Calanca was one of the major show clients who worked with the LVCVA on developing plans for several years of upcoming construction.

He has said that the biggest issue MAGIC attendees have had over the years is the necessity of spreading the show over multiple convention venues. The new 600,000-square-foot hall that will be built should help fix that, but it’s not expected to be ready until 2021.

“Las Vegas does it better than pretty much anybody we work with in the states, but still, this has become an issue,” Calanca said last year when planning began. “The biggest complaint I get is ‘Can’t you get us into one building?’”

Fixing that complaint is a challenge because, as the fashion industry has grown, so has the show.


MAGIC is one of the rare trade shows that occurs twice a year, in February and August, enabling the $1-trillion-a-year industry to focus on seasonal fashions at the different events.

Over the years, MAGIC has diversified with a variety of lines. It’s no longer all about men’s fashions. Now, the show includes subcategories for women’s fashions, children’s clothing, shoes and other specialty products.

There are 13 separate categories within MAGIC, including FN Platform, an international showcase for shoes; WWDMAGIC, for women’s apparel and accessories; The Tents, a platform for luxury and designer clothing for men and dual-gender labels; and Curve Las Vegas, for lingerie and swimwear and several other forums.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates that, based on the anticipated 85,000 attendance this week, the show should generate $79.3 million in direct visitor spending during the three-day event that begins Tuesday.

“The fact that we’re twice a year, that puts us up with the big guys, like CES” and the National Association of Broadcasters, Calanca said. “And we’ve heard that our industry is the type of guest the resort industry likes.”

Calanca said the people who attend MAGIC are entrepreneurs who are good casino customers.

While most of the convention’s action will be centered at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, parties and special events occur all over the city for MAGIC.


And, because those special events occur in clubs and restaurants in various locations, the city’s transportation industry likes MAGIC, too. Anecdotally, taxi drivers say they look forward to MAGIC’s twice-annual arrivals.

“They’re all professionals, and they’re always bouncing around from place to place,” said Joe Gottlieb, a former cab driver who recently turned in his taxi for a truck-driving gig. “They’re from L.A. and New York, so they need to get around town and usually don’t have their own cars.”

Calanca said preregistration for the show is up slightly, but he acknowledged that the industry is experiencing some turmoil as “bricks and mortar is being taken over by clicks and mortar.”

Still, he remains bullish on the direction of the industry, the show and its place in Las Vegas.

That MAGIC is an international event bodes well for Las Vegas, Calanca said, and there’s been little fallout resulting from the announced travel ban involving seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“Las Vegas is good for our business, and I expect we’ll be in Las Vegas because of that,” Calanca said.

“Las Vegas has lots of airlift, fabulous hotel rooms, great visitor infrastructure and more master sommeliers than just about anywhere.

“The wheels of commerce will be turning.”

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

Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like