Roundup: Another Banner Year for Las Vegas Events
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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) just announced that 2016 was another record-setting year for convention visitation, capping a year of major new conference space and hotel developments.
The city welcomed 6.3 million business travelers in 2016, part of an overall tourism record of 42.9 million visitors — the third straight year of visitation growth for the destination.
The strong numbers were driven in part by a series of big hotel developments in the city over the course of 2016. The 289-room W Las Vegas opened in December at the north end of the Strip, giving planners the option to book guests in a boutique-style hotel with 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The attached SLS Las Vegas also has an additional 80,000 square feet of flexible space, along with a number of F&B and nightlife venues.
Other major hotel developments include the December opening of the 203-room Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, a property that targets Chinese travelers with a 27,500 square foot casino, five restaurants, two main bars and a 4,500 square foot spa. Harrah’s Las Vegas also opened a new tower, the Valley Tower, with two 1,360 square foot Vice Presidential Suites that can be expanded for larger events by connecting them to a room with two queen beds.
In conference space news, in August IPEC Las Vegas rebranded as the Conference Center of Las Vegas, a move the venue said was meant to highlight its status as the only free-standing conference an special events center in Las Vegas. The Center’s 20,000 square feet of space includes a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and 48 onsite guest rooms.
Looking ahead, the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) continues to move forward. The LVCC just opened a new outdoor parking and exhibition space the day before CES, the 20-acre outdoor Diamond Lot exhibit area. Over the next few years, the $1.4 billion plan will add an additional 1.4 million square feet of convention space, renovate the existing 3.2 million square foot facility, and add a new connector to allow all exhibit halls to be accessed internally. Once complete, the combined LVCC and outdoor space will be known as the Las Vegas Convention Center District.
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