LAS VEGAS —With the Las Vegas Winter Market in full swing last week,International Market Centers (IMC), owned by New York-based investment firm The Blackstone Group, broke ground on a new 315,000-square-foot (SF) exhibition center. The Expo at World Market Center (WMC) Las Vegas, which will offer 194,785 gross SF of exhibit space divisible into two halls, is scheduled to open in summer 2020 in time for the semi-annual marketplace that includes 4,000 gift and home furnishings offerings.
“With the addition of this new facility, Las Vegas now offers the exhibition industry a total of 4,214,047 gross square feet of exhibit hall space at four facilities — the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sands Expo, Mandalay Bay and The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas,” said Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who noted the exhibition industry generated $58.8 billion in economic benefit to Southern Nevada in 2017, according to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
“IMC is making a $90 million investment in the creation of The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, a new state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility,” said IMC CEO Robert Maricich. “We’re delighted to cooperate with the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada to bring this new exhibition venue to Las Vegas.”
Maricich told Trade Show Executive: “Once it is operational, a portion of our taxes will be rebated in a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) deal that is valued at $30 million over 15 years.”
The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas will feature lobby and registration areas, on-site shuttle bus depot, attached parking garage and two grab-and-go food service areas.
The Expo at Las Vegas Market will be the new permanent venue for the temporary gift and home décor exhibits at IMC’s Las Vegas Market. “Those events are currently held in our Pavilions, the white tent structures north of our current campus,” Maricich said. “We will turn those 21 acres into parking and have it available for future development.”
In September 2017, The Blackstone Group, known for its real estate holdings, acquired IMC, which includes the 5.4 million-square-foot World Market Center and the 6.8 million square feet of showroom space in High Point, NC. In May 2018, IMC acquired AmericasMart in Atlanta.
“Outside of our two large events, we will run the Expo as a trade show facility and rent out the space like any other convention center,” Maricich said. “We have built sales and event management teams, and we have the operational expertise to manage the Expo independent of our permanent facilities the 48 weeks when the Las Vegas Market is not going on. We do occasionally hold shows in the Pavilions, but it is not extensively utilized outside our of our markets.”
The World Market Center Las Vegas offers 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and 11,656 square feet of meeting space, according to Trade Show Executive’s The World’s Top Convention Centers 2018.
Reach Robert Maricich at (702) 599-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.