- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) on Tuesday selected an Atlanta-based design team for the $1.4 billion overhaul of the Las Vegas Convention Center, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- TVS Design worked with local firms to develop the convention center's new look, which includes an $860 million expansion phase followed by a renovation phase that will wrap up in 2023. The expansion portion, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021, will see the addition of 1.4 million square feet of new space with a 600,000-square-foot exhibition hall at its core.
- The TVS agreement, which officials estimate will be between 7% and 9% of the construction contract, must still win full board approval. The LVCVA also paid the two runners-up $250,000 each for the rights to their designs, although it is unclear if TVS will use them.
In June, the LVCVA gave its authorization for the project to move forward. During the construction phase alone, the convention center is expected to generate 14,000 jobs and provide a $1.4 billion economic boost to the city.
Las Vegas joins other U.S. cities in trying to draw in more convention business. According to a Meetings and Conventions survey, the results of which were published Sept.1, meeting planners' average annual budgets increased from approximately $1.2 million in 2015 to nearly $1.4 million in 2016, with 38% reporting spending power of $1 million or more. In Las Vegas alone, the LVCVA reported that visitors spent $35.5 billion in 2016, 14.7% of which represented convention spending, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Key to attracting that lucrative convention and trade show business, however, is ensuring that there is plenty of amenity-rich hotel space nearby. For tourist-heavy areas of the country like Las Vegas and New York, that's not an issue, but some cities have had to push hard to gain that advantage.
David Anderson, regional vice president of management company Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, told Construction Dive earlier this year that once the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL, was able to secure a 400-room Hilton next door, it saw a dramatic increase in its bookings.
Dan Mehls, vice president and general manager of Mortenson Construction’s Portland, OR, office, said hotels were drivers of profit for convention centers, which is why the company is building a 600-room Hyatt Regency across the street from the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. A survey of national meeting planners found that 79% were more likely to book conventions at the Oregon Convention Center if there was a full-service hotel like the Hyatt Regency within walking distance.