Las Vegas Hopeful that Conventions Will Create Recovery
Officials in Las Vegas are hopeful that with the first convention planned, more businesses will come back, and an economic recovery will begin.
When one thinks of Las Vegas, the glitzy lights of casinos, sounds of slot machines, and music from entertainment comes to mind. We all think that Sin City is run by entertainment, but actually, it is conventions that help the city stay afloat. Conventions and meetings are a major way that casinos in the city are able to earn revenues. Without this option for more than a year now, the city is struggling to gain any ground with its economic recovery.
Thankfully, a new convention has been booked. The World of Concrete will host a convention later on this year and officials in Las Vegas are hoping that this will be the start of the recovery process. If the event is successful, more companies should start to host events in the city, which would bring in much-needed revenues.
World of Concrete announced this week that it was just approved by the state Department of Business and Industry to host a convention from June 8-10. The event will take place at the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as the newly created West Hall.
The West Hall was finished up in January with $989 million spent on its construction. The event will be the first convention to take place in the space. The hall is quite large, at 1.4 million square feet.
The World of Concrete convention usually bring around 60,000 people or more to Las Vegas each year. This time around, it is unclear as to how many people will attend. A third-party research company was hired by Informa Markets, the host of the convention, to get an idea of what type of numbers to expect.
It was important to feel out the level of comfort for the upcoming show among past attendees. Results of the survey showed that around 80% felt comfortable enough to attend this year.
Indoor Gathering Changes
A year ago, Governor Sisolak ordered all large indoor gatherings to cease operations. This was a hard hit to the casino industry. The conventions are what keeps hotel rooms booked and casinos busy during mid-week.
Visitors to meetings and conventions spend money on long hotel stays as well as dining, drinks, and other entertainment. They also spend time on the gaming floor, which means more overall spending in the city.
Last year, just over 19 million people visited Las Vegas. This was a significant drop from the more than 42 million that came in 2019. This decrease was due to the COVID-19 pandemic of course but connected to the lack of conventions as well.
Now, with the lower positive case counts and more vaccinations being administered, there is hope that the convention scene can continue. There is a pent-up demand for travel, so once it starts, officials are hoping that the flood gates will open.
Along with World of Concrete, Informa Markets has plans to host several other conventions in Las Vegas this year. This includes WasteExpo, Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, MAGIC Fall, Licensing Expo, and many more.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has worked hard to create marketing campaigns to bring visitors back as well as businesses to the convention circuit. One of the first campaigns is titled Fast Forward. It focuses on the convention industry and a commercial for the campaign will launch next month.
It will be interesting to see if the convention space can be filled once again with regular events. If so, the recovery for Las Vegas would see much more movement than it has over the past few months with minimal casino operations and additional services.