Tourism is the lifeblood of the Las Vegas economy and conventions play a vital role in attracting visitors to our city. Las Vegas has been the world's No. 1 convention destination for 18 years running. That's not going to change anytime soon if the convention and visitors authority has its way. News 3's Jerry Brown has been looking into the future of Las Vegas-based conventions and on Tuesday the LVCVA unveiled its plans for the Las Vegas Global Business District.
LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority unveiled its plans Tuesday for the Las Vegas Global Business District, an overarching vision for the Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding area.
The Las Vegas Global Business District, according to the LVCVA, will create an international business destination by incorporating major renovations of the Las Vegas Convention Center, leveraging the World Trade Center designation and developing transportation connectivity through a centralized hub.
"I truly believe this is a transformative project. Las Vegas is known for defining moments that change the hospitality industry, and this project will be the next defining moment," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "This is more than a project, this is a vision that will launch Las Vegas forward ahead of the competition for decades to come."
The Las Vegas Global Business District addresses three key findings that emerged after conducting research and holding several focus groups with clients and stakeholders. The first focuses on renovating the Las Vegas Convention Center and creating a convention district campus.
This includes building additional exhibit space, meeting rooms and general session space; upgrading technology; adding new food and beverage outlets; and, creating a grand concourse connector with more lobby space.
Outside the convention center, plans call for outdoor public and gathering spaces and various design elements to enhance the neighborhood and establish a cohesive business center district. This will be the first major expansion of the 54-year-old Las Vegas Convention Center in more than a decade.
The second area of focus creates an international business center by leveraging and expanding the World Trade Center designation. The designation provides the LVCVA with the ability to market Las Vegas to business travelers internationally under the World Trade Center brand. By creating a dedicated World Trade Center facility, the LVCVA plans to expand international business opportunities and increase market share by attracting more meetings and conventions to the destination.
In 2011, the Las Vegas Convention Center was designated as an official World Trade Center site through an agreement between the LVCVA and the Consumer Electronics Association.
The third key element creates a centralized transportation hub that will improve connectivity in the resort corridor and improve the overall customer experience. The LVCVA is working with local transportation stakeholders to define a long-term strategy to accommodate the movement of people as Las Vegas projects to host approximately 44 million annual visitors, and as many as seven million convention delegates over the next 10 years.
Plans call for the Las Vegas Global Business District to be developed in phases over several years. The first phase, over the next two years, will include programming and design, the development of overall budget, improvements to the current space at the Las Vegas Convention Center and land acquisition.
The LVCVA plans to issue up to $150 million of commercial paper to fund phase one elements.