LVCVA Ends 15-year Partnership with Smart City Networks; Chooses Cox Nevada Telecom

DANICA TORMOHLEN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE

Las Vegas, NV – The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) voted this week to award the contract for telecommunications services at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Cashman Center to Cox Nevada Telecom, ending a 15-year partnership with Smart City Networks. Beginning September 29, Cox will operate, manage and maintain the telecom network and services for all trade shows at the LVCC. Show organizers and exhibitors shouldn’t see price increases, as Cox will provide telecom services at the current established rates.

How will show organizers react to the change and what impact will it have on their shows? Trade Show Executive is following this angle and will provide an update.

The new seven-year contract with Cox includes an optional three-year extension. The LVCVA will receive 46% of the gross revenue for telecom at the centers, and at least 3% of gross revenues will be placed in a fund for future technology upgrades. The contract is estimated to generate $5 million in revenue, according to the LVCVA board of directors meeting minutes.

As part of the agreement, Cox will invest $9.5 million in infrastructure for a vast expansion of WiFi, as well as direct connections from the LVCC and Cashman to a citywide and nationwide fiber optic network. In addition, Cox will coordinate with wireless carriers to install a cellular distributed antenna system (DAS) that will provide high-capacity voice and data cellular services for trade shows. The estimated capital investment is $12.5 million.

The LVCVA had not bid out the services for 15 years. The RFP process began in January 2012, and three providers were identified. In January, Smart City, Cox and AT&T were asked to submit RFPs. A team of five evaluators independently scored the RFP responses, and Cox received the highest score.

Smart City provides telecom services for more than 35 convention and meeting venues in the U.S. Smart City could not be reached for comment.

Cox will sub-contract with showNets LLC, a trade show internet services provider based in Scottsdale, AZ, to provide on-site services for show management, exhibitors and attendees. “Their portfolio reflected a history of proven convention and large trade show experience in markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as events with a high level of technical expertise,” according to the LVCVA board.

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