- The expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is almost complete, according to the LVCVA.
- The agency announced plans to expand its Convention Center in 2018 at an original budget of $860 million, which later ballooned to $980 million.
- LVCVA Chief Operating Officer expects the project to be complete in December.
- The project is coming to completion at a time when COVID-19 has negatively impacted convention business, something that Las Vegas heavily relies on.
- Currently, the state allows a maximum of 250 people in indoor gatherings.
The $980 million expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is 97% complete, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Plans to expand the center were announced in 2018 with an original budget of $860 million. However, the cost rose by more than $120 million.
The expansion of the West Hall adds 600,000 square feet of exhibition space, including a 14,000-square-foot outdoor terrace with views of the Las Vegas Strip.
Brian Yost, the LVCVA Chief Operating Officer, told the directors that construction is about to be complete. He said almost four-million man-hours on the site have been completed, and the project could be fully finished by next month.
West Hall is located at the former site of the famous Riviera. The LVCVA purchased the Strip casino resort in February 2015 for $182.5 million. The government agency tore down the property in two separate implosions in the summer of 2016.
When the LVCVA undertook to expand its Convention Center and invest nearly $1 billion into the project, no one could have known that COVID-19 would strike. While Las Vegas’ economy depends heavily on convention business, the LVCVA hasn’t reported a single convention-goer in seven months.
According to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, indoor gatherings should be limited to 250 people. Although he has made exceptions for larger venues, they must maintain less than 10% of their overall fire code capacity.
“The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) West Hall expansion is a vital investment by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to help solidify our position as the country’s No. 1 trade show destination. The LVCVA will reinvent the LVCC as a state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest technology,” the agency maintains on its website.
Situated northwest of the main Convention Center, West Hall is linked via the Loop, an underground transit system. Tesla Model 3 or Model X vehicles transport passengers underneath the 200-acre convention campus at speeds of up to 35 mph.
America is witnessing a fall uptick in new coronavirus cases, just as several science and medical experts predicted. More than 700 guests to Las Vegas have contracted the virus since casinos reopened in June, according to a revelation this week.
This week, Sisolak encouraged Nevadans to avoid all unnecessary travel, though he said Silver State remains open for business, including tourism.
The governor admitted that navigating this pandemic and protecting one’s job is very challenging, but “the only way we can get to the other side is for all of us to fight this horrible virus together.”