Should Comic Con move to Las Vegas?

Even the cheeriest Las Vegas booster couldn’t have summed up San Diego’s Comic Con better than Ellen Goldsmith-Vein.

“It’s the Las Vegas of conventions for this type of material,” Goldsmith-Vein, owner of the Gotham Group, an animation company, who’s been to 18 Comic Cons, told the New York Daily News this week. “It’s an opportunity for fans to meet artists and buy artwork and see new stuff that’s coming out.”

Now, if only Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials could convince Comic Con organizers that Las Vegas is the best place to hold the so-called “Las Vegas of conventions.”

The event attracts as many as 125,000 comic book and animation fans and is billed as the largest pop culture event in the country.

It’s grown so large the San Diego Convention Center has difficulty accommodating all the companies that wish to exhibit at the event and hotel rooms in the Southern California city are booked solid, leaving hotel owners free to raise rates exponentially.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokesman Jeremy Handel says the authority has had preliminary talks with Comic Con officials about moving the event to Las Vegas, which has enough convention space to accommodate it and make room for growth as well as cheaper hotel rooms and better air service.

But Comic Con is booked in San Diego through 2012.

“We don’t like to go in and infringe on other people’s leases when they are in the middle of doing business,” says Chris Meyer, vice president of convention sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Variety during last year’s event.

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