New details available on Las Vegas' $2.3B convention center

The Las Vegas Convention Center is on the books for a $2.3-billion update and expansion, a four-phase plan that started with the $182.5-million acquisition of the Riviera.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee got its first look at the plans for the property, and the committee is now reviewing the possibility of a stadium venue for the location as well as transportation and mass transit improvements. 

After demolishing the Riviera and turning the grounds into an outdoor exhibit space, expected to be completed before March 2017, the plan will move forward with the construction of an $860-million exhibition hall with 1.4 million square feet of space. The location will include meeting rooms, service areas, prefunction areas and circulation space. The hall itself will reach up to 600,000 square feet, and will be completed by the end of 2020.

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Renovations will also come to 3.8 million square feet of existing convention areas, at a cost of $540 million. The update will run from 2020 to 2022, and will retouch existing exhibit halls and meeting rooms, and will add new meeting rooms and a public lobby on the facility's east side.

There is yet a fourth phase of the plan that is of yet unscheduled, unfunded and without detail. It is expected to take place on the existing Riviera site.

According to Vegas Inc., the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said that these investments are necessary for Las Vegas to meet the demand for more space and remain competitive with other cities for events business. However, the additions raise some concerns in regard to traffic and pedestrian flow.

To remedy this, World Casino News reported that the city is planning improvements to the pedestrian experience such as new lighting, signage and taxi stands. Las Vegas has invested $47 million in such improvements in the past seven years, and plans an additional $177 million over the next five years. A busker ordinance is already in place to improve pedestrian flow in Fremont Street.