Las Vegas Convention Center Increasing Rent, Rate Bump to Generate $5M Annually

Posted on: September 14, 2023, 10:57h. 

Last updated on: September 14, 2023, 06:17h.

Event organizers at the Las Vegas Convention Center will soon need to pay higher rents to host their exhibitions at the 2.5 million-square-foot facility just a block east of the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Convention Center LVCVA
Attendees roam the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which owns and manages the Convention Center, is increasing rates for event organizers beginning in 2026. (Image: The Wall Street Journal)

The Las Vegas Convention Center is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). The state agency was founded through legislation passed in 1955 by the Nevada Legislature.

The LVCVA is a destination marketing organization that advertises Las Vegas as a premier locale for large-scale conventions. The agency derives the bulk of its revenues from a nightly hotel room occupancy tax levied on rooms inside Clark County but also generates income by operating the Convention Center.

A recent report commissioned by the LVCVA concluded that the agency has not adequately increased rates to keep up with inflation. LVCVA Chair Steve Hill said as such during an August meeting, citing the fact that the LVCVA “has not had any rate increases in more than five years.”

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the LVCVA generated facility use income of roughly $63.6 million — just a sliver of the agency’s $463.4 million budget.

Rate Increases

During the LVCVA’s Tuesday meeting, commissioners approved increasing rent rates at the Las Vegas Convention Center beginning Jan. 1, 2026.

At that time, the facility’s rent will increase from 35 cents per square foot per day to 36 cents. The rate will increase an additional penny each year through 2030 to take the rate to 40 cents a foot by 2030.

The LVCVA estimates that the slight increases will generate the agency more than $5 million a year in additional revenue. The rent report said even after the increases, Las Vegas’ primary convention facility will still offer rates below the national average for premier convention rooms.

LVCVA commissioners have tasked its staff with contacting the Las Vegas Convention Center’s annual exhibitors to notify them of the forthcoming rent increases.

Convention Center Updates

The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the world’s largest convention spaces. The complex’s West Hall was completed in late 2020 at a cost of $1 billion. The West Hall, located closest to the Strip on what was formerly the Riviera property, added approximately 1.4 million square feet of convention space.

The Las Vegas Convention Center campus’s older areas- the North, Central, and South halls- are amid a $600 million renovation to modernize and refresh the facilities. The project includes a new parking lot outside of Central Hall, complete with a Vegas Loop station.

The overhaul includes new technology such as interactive displays, digital pylon signs, wayfinding boards, and information kiosks. An expansive Grand Lobby between the North and Central halls is also in the works.

The West Hall left some vacant land that was previously the Riv. The LVCVA is in the process of selling those approximately 10 acres for $125 million. The buyers are real estate developers Brett Torino and Paul Kanavos, who have not yet disclosed their intentions for the property.

Torino and Kanavos previously teamed up for a shopping and dining center called Harmon Corner. The three-story plaza includes such tenants as Walgreens, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Café, Panda Express, and Sugar Factory.

Torino and Kanavos are also amid a retail development called 63, a four-story mall next to The Shops at Crystals in the CityCenter complex.