An $890 million planned Las Vegas Convention Center renovation that was once deemed to be vital for the Las Vegas tourism industry and economy is very likely to be put on official hold.
On Thursday, the LVCVA said they would seek to suspend the project at least to the middle of 2010.
LVCVA chairman and Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman called the delay practical, sighting the declining room tax revenue in Clark County, the authority’s primary income source, and other economic declines.
The original convention center expansion proposal called for dramatic upgrades to the Las Vegas Convention Center’s façade and common spaces. It would have increased the gross square footage from 3.2 million square feet to 3.8 million square feet that would have increased critical high demand convention areas including available meeting spaces, restaurants, food service, and taxi spaces.
Jeremy Aguero of the economics research firm Applied Analysis said the suspension is an unfortunate reflection of the state of the economy. In 2007, he prepared a report that said without improvements to the convention center, Las Vegas would lose $5 billion in convention-related economic activity.
Las Vegas is the nation’s top location for trade shows and conventions. It hosts 44 of the nation’s top 200 conventions and tradeshows, according to Tradeshow Week magazine. Orlando is a distant second with 24.
Goodman says he’s hopeful that work on the convention center renovation can resume in 2010.