weather icon Clear

County OKs bonds for Las Vegas Convention Center expansion

Updated February 20, 2018 - 7:15 pm

Clark County will issue as much as $400 million in bonds over the next two years to help pay for the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Before voting unanimously Tuesday to move forward with the loan, county commissioners underscored the importance of the $1.4 billion project during a time when other U.S. cities are increasing efforts to attract convention tourism.

“This isn’t a want. It’s a need to keep us competitive,” commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. “We need to stay out in front of Orlando, New York and Chicago, and this is what’s necessary to do that.”

Commissioner Jim Gibson said the county’s commitment of up to $200 million this year and $200 million in 2019 would be well spent.

“I don’t think there’s a project that’s been more studied or more justified by the data than this project,” he said.

The county hotel room tax rate was increased 0.5 percentage points on March 1, with revenue dedicated to retiring the bonds.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CFO Ed Finger said he was “absolutely” sure that room tax revenue, which has dipped below budgeted projections since the Oct. 1 mass shooting, was secure enough to back the bonds.

“We have very early January numbers that suggest January is going to be modestly up,” he said.

Rossi Ralenkotter, the convention authority’s president and CEO, said the project’s general contractor should be announced at the LVCVA board’s March 13 meeting.

Finger touted estimates indicating the project will create more than 14,000 construction jobs and 7,000 permanent jobs.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who represents the area where the convention center is located, told Finger and Ralenkotter that the authority should fill the new jobs with people living nearby.

“We did a job fair at Boulevard Mall … this November, and about 800 people from the immediate neighborhood showed up,” she said. “And that’s all from the apartments around you, so I’d like to do whatever we can to do outreach there.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - VIDEO
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - VIDEO
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)