Finally, things have moved forward for the Las Vegas Convention Center after tourism officials gave the green light for the recommendation for a $1.4 billion project. Plans to renovate and expand the Convention Center were analyzed and debated for months before the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee in a unanimous vote approved the proposal on Monday.
Under the recently backed recommendation, the works would be funded by a 0.5 percent county room tax increase and by capping the collection allowance of the local government from room tax revenues at $25 million per year. Additionally, an oversight panel made of seven members will be created to supervise the development of the project.
The panel was, in fact, a central issue for the committee responsible for considering the proposal because many described it as an unnecessary layer of government. One of the opponents was Carolyn Goodman, Las Vegas Mayor, and infrastructure committee member, who proposed appointing board members to be a responsibility of the convention authority rather than that of the governors, however, the proposal was not accepted.
According to the authority, the Las Vegas Convention Center needs expansion and renovation in order to meet the needs of trade show customers. Also, the project would make it competitive with other cities that try to attract more convention business. That was exactly what was named as the main reason for the purchase of the site of the former Riviera hotel for over $128 million back in 2015. The property is located just across Paradise Road from the Center.
Steve Hill, Committee Chairman and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, described the vote as “exciting.” He concluded that everyone was looking forward to the project that would help moving Las Vegas “into the future,” as reported by Vegas Inc.
Similarly, Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International and a committee member, called the project a critical part of the effort to keep the gaming hub a top destination both nationally and internationally.