This Just In

Las Vegas CVA Approves Convention Center Expansion and Renovation

RENEE DIIULIO, SENIOR EDITOR

Las Vegas – With an eye toward keeping Las Vegas highly competitive, the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) approved plans to expand and renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center at its board meeting yesterday, January 11th. The main focus of the project  is to increase meeting space in the LVCC,  however, there will be some additional exhibit space as a result of reconfiguration.

Renderings are expected in March, at which point financing packages will be specified for the estimated $400 MIL project. Chris Meyer, Director of Convention Center Sales at the LVCVA, expects that costs will be paid out of pocket.

What the convention center currently needs is meeting space. At the present time, general sessions and large meetings must be set up in one of  LVCC’s exhibit halls, says Meyer. By increasing the amount of meeting space available, the city will be able to attract more groups. . “The center’s clients will be invited to participate in the design to make sure the facility meets their needs,” he says.

Although more details will be evident once final renderings are approved, the project will also reconfigure some existing space and provide climate-controlled access to the monorail. The redesign may result in a small amount of additional exhibit space, but the goal is to give the center “congruency,” says Meyer.

Convention-goers make up 15% of the total visitor volume to Las Vegas. The LVCVA aims to increase that share to 20%. It also seeks to increase total visitors to 43 MIL annually by 2009. Currently, the city draws about 37.5 MIL.

Aggressive marketing efforts are expected to help achieve these goals. The campaign, “What happens here, stays here,” continues to have a positive influence on bringing people to the city. The ad campaign generated a lot of attention and accolades,  and earned a “Grand Marketer of the Year Award” from Brandweek magazine for  Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA President & CEO,  and Billy  Vassiliadis, CEO of R&R Partners. .” (For more details, go to www.tradeshowexecutive.com/TheVault.asp and click on October 19,  “LVCVA’s Rossi Ralenkotter  and R&R  Partners’ Billy Vassiliadis Cannonized by Brandweek Magazine.”)

LVCVA will also expand its international marketing efforts. “Las Vegas is answering the challenge,” says Meyer. “We want to stay number one.”

Reach Chris Meyer, Director of Convention Center Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), at (702) 892-0711 or cmeyer@lvcva.com.