Vegas plans to stay ahead

The Las Vegas Convention Centre is set for a US$1.4 billion expansion and renovation in a bid to “remain the No.1 trade show destination in North America”.

While there have been upgrades over the years to meet basic technology needs, the Las Vegas Convention Centre outlined in a report that it was “time to do more than just keep up”.

Las Vegas Strip. Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau

“We need to make the entire facility ready for the future. Other cities are already doing this. Las Vegas needs to continue being a leader in the industry,” it said.

Once complete, the revamped convention centre will offer 56,000m2 of new exhibition space including corresponding meeting rooms, pre-function space, and service and support areas.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) estimates the project will bring in US$810 million in potential economic impact and attract 610,000 new convention attendees per year.

“Conventions are an essential pillar of the Las Vegas economy,” LVCVA said.

“These events drew nearly 5.9 million visitors in 2015 and expanding the Las Vegas Convention Centre promises to draw millions more.”

The LVCVA said the budget was in line with what other US cities were spending.

“In fact, a comparison with cities like Pittsburgh, San Diego, Kansas City, Chicago and Nashville shows that the LV project comes in below the hard cost average.”

Cities such as Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Orlando have invested between US$1 billion and US$1.5 billion to upgrade their convention facilities to compete with Las Vegas, LVCVA claimed.

Closer to home, Brand USA’s chief strategy and communications officer Anne Madison told travelBulletin America was experiencing strong growth from Australasia.

“Currently, Brand USA is directing leads for MICE business on an opportunistic basis to US partners and promoting MICE travel in the USA through our participation at key tradeshows like IMEX.”

“We are in the initial stages of developing a comprehensive MICE plan to further support out partners in this area and expect to announce our approach later this year,” she said.