Aimed to strengthen its position as a leader in the meetings and convention industry, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino announced plans to expand its convention center. Based on demand for additional space, the resort will add new exhibit space, underground parking and increase overall square footage. Mandalay Bay is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International.
Plans include the addition of more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 1.7 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center, as well as underground parking and more carpeted ballroom space. The new spaces will allow Mandalay Bay to grow current shows, pursue new and larger corporate partners and achieve greater utilization of the entire facility.
Upon completion, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will have more than two million total square feet and 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space. This elevates its ranking in North America from number seven to number five in total square feet and from number 11 to number five in square feet of exhibit space.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late fall 2014 with new exhibit space available in August 2015 and anticipated completion of all spaces in January 2016. The project is estimated to cost approximately $66 million. With a 70,000-square-foot ballroom that is divisible by five, the new space will allow for maximum flexibility and more break-out areas for corporate groups. The bandwidth of the convention center's technology also will increase to accommodate more attendees and to allow advanced presentations.
MGM Resorts International has made a commitment to build all new facilities to LEED Gold standards or better, and the convention center expansion will meet those standards. Mandalay Bay and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center hold Five Key ratings from the Green Key Eco-Rating and Meetings Programs. In addition, TripAdvisor awarded the resort Gold in its GreenLeaders Program. Mandalay Bay integrates environmentally responsible practices into its operations including the recycling of more than 80 percent of all convention materials.
The expanded Convention Center at Mandalay Bay will incorporate an additional rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) array making it the largest convention center array in the world. The size of the array is approximately 1.9MWdc with an approximate annual production of 3.4M kilowatt hours. The previously announced 6.2MWdc solar PV array on the current convention center is slated for completion in August; the combined array will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,300 homes.