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Six Top Trade Shows Sign Long-Term Contracts to Stay In Las Vegas; Sands Expo and Venetian Congress Center Secure Major Trade Shows to Five-Year Contracts.

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 25, 1999--

The drawing power of the privately owned Sands Expo and Convention Center and the newly opened Venetian Congress Center, combined with the popularity of Las Vegas as a trade show site, is apparently too good to pass up for six popular trade shows.

The Western Shoe Associates (Spring and Fall shows); the Jewelers' Circular-Keystone (JCK) Show; Automotive Parts & Accessories Association/Automotive Service Industry Association/Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (APAA/ASIA/MEMA); and The Men's Apparel Guild of California (MAGIC, Spring and Fall shows) -- six leading trade shows that have called Las Vegas their home in recent years -- have signed five-year contracts to keep their trade shows in Las Vegas and exhibit at The Sands Expo and The Venetian Congress Center, a fully integrated convention campus with 1.7 million square feet of exhibition and meeting space.

The signings signal big business for Las Vegas, which will continue to benefit economically from the respective shows.

In addition, the new contracts alleviate the concern expressed by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) that these particular shows would leave town if the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) was not expanded.

According to executives from the LVCVA, these particular trade shows, which represented the failed "Consortium," threatened to take their shows to other cities if the LVCC did not receive a tax-subsidized bond for expansion.

However, according to an April 26, 1999, study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the "Consortium" proposal would have represented a significant tax-subsidized cash cost to the LVCVA of approximately $22.4 million.

"Our booking of these shows obviates the need of these tax subsidies. As a private, for-profit exhibit facility operating without the benefit of tax subsidies, we are delighted to deliver economic advantages to this community," said William P. Weidner, president and COO of Las Vegas Sands Inc.

"If the Sands Expo and Convention Center were not here, these shows would either be forced to downsize, thus reducing their economic benefits for the community, or to build expensive temporary facilities. Alternatively, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority would have to expand its Las Vegas Convention Center at taxpayers' expense to accommodate these shows.

"As it is now, The Sands Expo and The Venetian Congress Center can help the city to accommodate these shows and bring their economic impact to benefit the community while paying taxes rather than consuming tax subsidies," Weidner added.

The four trade shows amount to six show dates per year with MAGIC and the Western Shoe Show exhibiting two times per year. When combined, the six show dates bring an estimated 311,000 attendees to Las Vegas, which amounts to approximately $403 million in nongaming revenue (according to the 1998 LVCVA Las Vegas Visitor Profile).

The Price Waterhouse Coopers study goes on to say, Las Vegas offers the most hotel rooms, lowest air service cost, lowest destination cost (lodging, meals and auto rental) and the most exhibition space of any city in the United States.

"We have also observed how the popularity of Las Vegas as a destination increases show attendance -- the critical factor for show management," said Weidner.

"Once a show experiences the advantages of the city, it is unlikely to go elsewhere. Similarly, once an exhibitor at The Sands Expo Convention Center has experienced the convenience of being attached to The Venetian complex right on the Strip, the value of the Sands/Venetian complex as a meeting site is enhanced immeasurably," Weidner added.

"While it is true that show managers pay a higher price for space in a for-profit, tax-paying convention center, Las Vegas' compelling combination of the most trade show space of any city (LVCC and Sands Expo combined equals almost 3 million square feet), the lowest airfare and destination cost in the country, and the popularity of Las Vegas to boost show attendance makes it a trade show mecca.

"It is no wonder Las Vegas hosts over 25% of the largest trade shows, by far outstripping second place Chicago with less than 18%," said Weidner.

"We couldn't be more happy with the multiple signings of these top trade shows. It is indeed a tribute to the convenience and superior facilities of the combined Sand's Expo and The Venetian that these shows have committed to our buildings," said Jeff Beckelman, vice president of Sales and Marketing at The Sands Expo and Convention Center/The Venetian Congress Center.

The announcement by The Sand's Expo and The Venetian Congress Center came on the heels of signing the Super Show, the world's largest sporting goods trading show. These combined trade shows at the world's largest hotel convention complex have made the property a preferred destination center for exhibitors throughout the country.

"We have created the ultimate trade show environment. With our spacious exhibitor facilities and beautifully decorated ballroom and meeting rooms, trade show participants now have their own designer trade show venue," said Beckelman.

"This coupled with The Grand Canal Shoppes, fine dining restaurants, entertainment venues and deluxe business-friendly accommodations has made The Venetian together with The Sand's Expo a destination within a destination for exhibitors," Beckelman added.

The 1.15 million square foot Sands Expo and Convention Center is the largest privately owned and operated convention center in the United States and plays host to some of the world's largest and most prestigious trade shows, conventions and meetings.

With its direct connection to the 500,000 square foot Venetian Congress Center, a state-of-the-art meeting and exhibition facility featuring an 85,000 square foot, column-free ballroom, the Sands Expo provides trade show and convention attendees with convenient access to The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino's 3,036 luxury suites, 15 world-class restaurants, 65 retail stores set along a canal inside The Grand Canal Shoppes, and a 120,000 square foot gaming floor.

More information on The Venetian can be obtained through its Web site:
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 25, 1999
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