Las Vegas Convention Center District Takes Big Step Forward

TSE STAFF
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Las Vegas, NV – The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) unanimously approved financing and oversight for $1.4 billion in improvements to the Las Vegas Convention Center District. The oversight will be provided by a seven-member committee of officials who live in Clark County.

The funding will primarily cover costs for Phase Two and Phase Three of the extensive convention center expansion and renovation, including a new exhibit hall building.

In Phase Two, $860 million will cover 600,000 sf of new exhibit space, new meeting rooms, pre-function space, service and loading docks for the new space, and the demolition of the Riviera Hotel (which was done in June). In all, it will add 1.44 million sf of space.

In Phase Three, $540 million will go toward upgrades at existing exhibit halls, meeting rooms, lobbies and other related areas, upgraded technology, food services, and back-of-house systems, new meeting rooms and connector halls, and an East Lobby.

To help generate the funds, SNTIC voted to increase the transient occupancy tax by 0.5% (on gross receipts) in Clark County with proceeds from the additional tax pledged to the project. The increase would expire when all financing for the project is paid off, or in 33 years, whichever comes first, unless it is extended by the state legislature. In addition, the funds cannot be used to guarantee bonds previously issued, fund any maintenance activity, or be used for projects other than those specified.

A proposed Phase Four would include the additional expansion of exhibit space, a transportation center, a campus media center, and a parking structure. The funding source and schedule for that phase have yet to be determined.

The Tourism Infrastructure Committee was created last year by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to prioritize tourism improvement projects in Southern Nevada and explore funding options for new tourism initiatives. Rossi Ralenkotter, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, sits on SNTIC’s non-voting Technical Advisory Committee and played a role in securing the funds.

“For nearly a year, we have been working with members of SNTIC, our clients and community leaders to express the importance of the expansion and renovation to the future of our convention industry and our local economy,” Ralenkotter told Trade Show Executive. “We are happy to be moving forward and we appreciate the support of the members of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee,” he said.

The expansion projects are expected to have a $3.1 billion construction impact, bringing as many as 6,000 permanent jobs to Las Vegas along with up to 480,000 new visitors. The expansions also have the potential to bring as many as 69 additional trade shows to the city over 10 years and help maintain the city’s No. 1 ranking of trade show destinations. Las Vegas hosted 18 of TSE’s Fastest 50 shows held in 2015, 23 of TSE’s Next 50, and 34 of Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 in 2014.

Reach Rossi Ralenkotter at (702) 892-0711 or president@lvcva.com