Las Vegas Visitors Authority Approves Record $398M Budget

Posted on: May 25, 2022, 10:11h. 

Last updated on: May 25, 2022, 10:23h.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) this week approved a $398 million budget for its 2022-23 fiscal year. It’s the largest spending plan in the history of the Nevada government agency that was formed back in 1955.

Las Vegas Convention Center LVCVA visitors authority
The exterior of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall and West Station on the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which owns and runs the Convention Center, has a budget of nearly $400 million for its 2022-23 fiscal year. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The LVCVA is tasked with promoting the destination for leisure and business. The agency has two essential missions — marketing Las Vegas for tourism and conventions, and managing its Las Vegas Convention Center.

After two years of budget retractions, as the agency reined in spending amid the pandemic, the LVCVA board of directors unanimously signed off on its richest budget ever.

[The budget is] a return to normal-sized financial activity for the LVCVA,” LVCVA Chief Financial Officer Ed Finger said of the plan.

The $398 million LVCVA war chest includes $94 million for advertising buys and another $27.5 million that will be used to specifically market special events like the 2024 Super Bowl and F1.

“What this budget reflects is the reality that we need to continue to fight to hold our place and to advance ourselves,” said Clark County Commissioner and LVCVA Board Secretary Jim Gibson. “We need to remember that we’re not the only destination that is fighting hard to come back and exceed prior performances.

“I think this budget manages us in a way that does just that for ourselves,” Gibson concluded.

Convention Hall Renovations

The LVCVA completed its latest Convention Center expansion — the 14th in the storied exhibition facility’s history — last year. The nearly $1 billion West Hall opened in June of 2021 with the World of Concrete gathering.

The Convention Center, however, is not finished, as LVCVA officials want to renovate and bring the older sections up to date with the glitzy West Hall.

First announced in 2018 in conjunction with the West Hall expansion, the agency has committed to investing $425 million to renovate the North, Central, and South exhibition halls. The 2022-23 LVCVA budget includes $75 million in capital for the renovations, which are scheduled to begin in 2024.

The 2022-23 LVCVA budget is 14% more than the $349 million budget the Las Vegas visitors authority budgeted for its 2019 pre-pandemic fiscal year.

Funding Sources

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is primarily funded by way of hotel occupancy taxes.

The visitor-paid tax is levied on all hotels, motels, and other lodgings in Clark County, and its incorporated cities of Las Vegas, Boulder, Henderson, Mesquite, and North Las Vegas. Rooms on the unincorporated Strip are also subject to the overnight occupancy tax, which varies by jurisdiction up to 14%.

The room tax, however, does not fully go to the LVCVA. In fact, only 34% of it does. The remaining hotel occupancy tax revenue goes to an array of beneficiaries and programs, including public education, the local towns where the tax is generated, Clark County transportation projects, and the Clark County School District.

The LVCVA projects it will receive $306.2 million in room tax revenue during the 2022-23 fiscal year. The remaining funding is derived from revenue generated by the Convention Center.