The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority will spend $150 million over the next two years as it lays the groundwork for a massive $2.5-billion expansion of its tradeshow and convention facilities.
The plan described to the authority board yesterday by LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Rallenkotter is much more ambitious than the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion proposed eight years ago which was then shelved because of the economic recession.
“This is more than a project,” says Rallenkotter. “This is a vision that will launch Las Vegas ahead of the competition for decades to come.”
While specific plans are still vague, the LVCVA anticipates spending $2.5 billion over as much as a decade on what it is calling the Las Vegas Global Business District.
The first phase will focus on the existing convention center and create a convention district campus that will include:
• additional exhibit space, meeting rooms and general session space
• upgraded and enhanced technology
• additional food and beverage outlets
• a grand concourse with more lobby space connecting all the exhibit halls.
The second focus will be on the development of a World Trade Center facility that will serve what is hoped to be increased international business activity. In an effort to attract more international visitors to tradeshows and meetings in Las Vegas, the convention center was designated an official World Trade Center two years ago.
According to the LVCVA, while international visitors currently make up 16 percent of the city’s total visitation, the goal is to increase that to 30 percent in 10 years.
Finally, the third phase will create a centralized transportation hub that will make travel easier and quicker between the convention center, the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and other resorts and hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and elsewhere in the city.
“This is a transformative project,” Ralenkotter says. “This project will be the next defining moment.”