$76 Million Expo Center Planned for Downtown Las Vegas

Posted on: March 30, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2018, 11:50h.

Downtown Las Vegas is getting a brand new multi-million-dollar convention center. International Market Centers plans to build a $76 million, 350,000-square-foot expo center next to its World Market Center on Grand Central Parkway.

International Market Centers plans new expo center for downtown Las Vegas
The International Market Center in downtown Las Vegas, next to which the new convention center will be built. Developer International Market Centers believes it will generate $97 million in visitor spending in the downtown area each year. (Image: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman expressed her approval of the project, which promises a state-of-the art exhibition and meeting space that could help downtown lure some of the bigger conventions off the Strip.

The convention sector is big business for Las Vegas, which hosts around 22,000 conventions per year, attracting some 5 million conventioneers and trade show delegates, and generating economic impact worth billions.

$97 Million Boost for Downtown Business

Downtown lost the Cashman Center from its convention sector at the end of last year. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority turned the convention space over to the city because it was losing money on the venue, but the city lacked the staff to keep it running.

The International Market Project will be three times the size of the Cashman Center and developers believe it will generate $97 million in visitor spending downtown and $234 million in the Southern Nevada area.

“For us downtown, this is enormous,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s huge for the needs we have, it’s huge for what Cashman was offering. I’m very bullish.”

Regeneration for Symphony Park

Funding for the project would include $30 million in tax increment financing from the city. Las Vegas’ Economic and Urban Development Director Bill Arent acknowledged it was a big investment but one he believed will be a “catalyst and generate private investment downtown.”

“We think this will help to generate new hotel development and help our existing hotels,” he said. “…We have been working closely with International Market Centers for some time on this proposal and believe it will fill a need in the downtown area, especially with the closing of Cashman Center,” he added. “We look forward to presenting this proposal to the City Council.”

The expo center will be situated opposite Symphony Park, home to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which has long been earmarked for development and regeneration.

The new convention space could be just the economic trigger the area needs, along with a plan by D Casino owner Derek Stevens to build a hotel-casino on a Symphony Park plot.