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January 3, 2018

Convention Space News: Top News From Vegas, ICC Sydney

Convention centers in Las Vegas, Connecticut and Australia made headlines this week.

Photo by Ron Lane/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Caesars Completes Harrah’s Sale as Convention Center Moves Forward

Caesars Entertainment Corporation reports that it has completed its deal to sell Harrah’s Las Vegas and acquire land to develop a new Las Vegas convention center. 

The deal, which was announced in late November, involved an agreement by Caesars to sell and leaseback the real estate assets associated with Harrah’s to VICI Properties, and to acquire adjacent land from VICI to develop the convention center. Caesars received $1.14 billion in cash in return for the Harrah’s assets and acquired 18.4 acres of land as part of the convention center agreement. 

In a written release Caesars President and CEO Mark Frissora said that the proceeds of the Harrah’s sale would partially fund the acquisition of Centaur Holdings, LLC, adding properties in Indiana to the Caesars network, as well as develop the convention center. 

Plans for the convention center call for 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including what’s being billed as the largest column-free ballroom in the United States. The venue will also offer planners a number of tech amenities, as well as the flexibility to accommodate meetings of many different sizes. The conference space is expected to accommodate more than 10,000 attendees and include an outdoor plaza, which can be used for a variety of events. 

Following the sale Caesars will continue to operate Harrah’s Las Vegas, including its gaming, hotel operations and all other amenities. The property will remain a part of the Caesars Entertainment network under the Harrah’s brand. It will also continue to participate in the Total Rewards loyalty network and maintain access to Caesar’s centralized services. 

ICC Sydney Marks One Year Anniversary

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) celebrated its first anniversary December 20, marking one year since the new conference and event venue officially opened to the public.

Three years in the making, the A$1.5 billion development, which comprises a convention center, theatre and 35,000sqm of exhibition space, is a key component of the NSW Government’s recent suite of infrastructure projects.

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello said the NSW Government is proud to see its vision for the venue come to life.

“ICC Sydney is not just an iconic destination that our beautiful, international city requires, it is also a flagship of the NSW Government to deliver world class events to our great city. The ICC Sydney team have done an outstanding job in delivering a high number of first class events in such a short period of time.”

Since opening December 20, 2016, ICC Sydney has delivered 700 events, grown its team to 1,700 employees and welcomed 1.25 million delegates, visitors and attendees.

CEO of ICC Sydney, Geoff Donaghy said that in just 12 months ICC Sydney has enriched the city’s financial and knowledge economies.

“We set out to open a world class venue, in a world class location with a world class team and I’m confident to say we have achieved this. Our presence has been felt on a global scale and we are well on track to contribute at least A$5 billion to the local economy in the next 25 years.”

Donaghy said that some key highlights from 2017 include hosting the 10th World Chambers Congress in Sydney for the first time, bringing the REED Gift Fairs back to the heart of the city after three years with a 23 percent increase in attendance, and welcoming 4,500 delegates from 128 countries to Sydney for the International Bar Association Annual Conference.

“As a result of putting innovation at the heart of our organization, ICC Sydney has received strong praise and recognition for a raft of industry leading initiatives. We were the first conference venue in Australia to introduce a virtual reality headset, our consortium achieved LEED Gold status for our all encompassing approach to sustainability, and we have delivered a raft of socio-economic benefits across the State through our unique Feeding Your Performance culinary philosophy.”

Looking ahead to 2018, ICC Sydney is preparing to launch its unique multi-streamed Legacy Program in January. Spanning four streams including Innovators, Generation Next, Aboriginal Australia and Sustainability, the approach has been designed to connect the world’s brightest minds, industry leaders and delegates across a diverse cross-section of Sydney’s vibrant community with impactful end-to-end experiences.

“With 1,200 events secured until 2026, including the likes of major national and international symposiums such as Sibos 2018 in October, the 2018 World Congress of Accountants in November, COSPAR 2020 - dubbed the space Olympics - and the 18th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics (MedInfo 2021), the future for Sydney is looking bright.

“As we look to the new year, we remain focused on ensuring that everything we do consistently reaches a world class standard, and that we help foster powerful long term economic, cultural and environmental benefits for our clients, partners and visitors which are felt long after their events take place at ICC Sydney,” Donaghy said.

mohegan sun

Mohegan Sun Signs Boat Show for New Expo Center

It was announced today from The Cabaret Theatre inside Mohegan Sun, that the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) signed the first year’s contract of a three year agreement with Mohegan Sun, to host their annual boat show in the all-new Expo Center, which is approaching its final stages of construction at the resort located in Mystic Country, CT. CMTA’s first show at Mohegan Sun will be January of 2019.

With Mohegan Sun’s major convention space expansion, totaling 250,000 square-feet and to include within that, a 125,000 square-foot Expo Center, 20,000 square-foot Earth Ballroom, 15 meeting rooms and 20,000 square-feet earmarked for new dining or entertainment space, CMTA joins Barrett-Jackson & United Natural Foods as partners already planning shows in The Mohegan Sun Expo Center. The expansion is on schedule, with an open date expected for summer 2018.

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association’s trade show is set to begin in January of 2019, and this event will be CMTA’s 50th annual boat show. CMTA Chairman, Ron Helbig, CMTA Executive Director, Kathleen Burns and CMTA Dir. & Show Committee Chair, Phil Gaudreau, among many others, all celebrated the signing along with Mohegan Sun leaders on the morning of December 21st, which included Mohegan Tribal Chairman, Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown, Assistant General Manager of Mohegan Sun, Jeff Hamilton, VP of Expo & Convention Sales of Mohegan Sun, John Washko.

For more information on Mohegan Sun’s meetings & conventions and the new Expo Center, visit: mohegansun.com/meetings

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