More convention and meeting space is coming to the Strip and we don’t meet just the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center; The MGM Grand has broken ground on an expansion to its Convention Center which will add 250,000 square feet of space to give it more than 850,000 square feet at the resort in total. The expansion will give MGM Resorts more than 4 million square feet of convention and meeting space at its Las Vegas resorts. Included in this total is 2 million square feet at the Mandalay Bay which has been greatly expanded as well as the recent expansion at Aria. The area being used for the MGM Grand expansion is near the resorts parking garage at Koval Lane and Tropicana Avenue and will also see the large circular driveway to the current convention center being replaced by the new expansion.
The upcoming coming closure of the Riviera on May 4th means the loss of 2,100 of the least expensive hotel rooms on the Strip to the Las Vegas visitor. The hotel will make way for the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center which is part of the $2.3 billion Global Business District expansion by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority of the facility. The new convention center space will help Las Vegas better compete with cities such as Los Angeles and Anaheim in the race to get the biggest conventions. The LVCVA has said at present they miss out on holding approximately 30 conventions each year that have to be turned away because of not enough space with the current facilities; so snagging these conventions would be a boom for Las Vegas. The convention center expansion is projected to increase the number of visitors to Las Vegas from the current 41 million a year to a projected 44 million which will be good for the local resorts and businesses. The exact date for the demolition of the Riviera hasn’t been announced yet but its likely to begin in June most likely in the late night hours when traffic is lightest on the Strip.
In last Fridays board meeting of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority the members present voted unanimously to purchase the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Strip and close it to redevelop the land. The purchase price for the Riviera is $182.5 million with the property due to close May 4th with the redevelopment of this and other nearby land purchased expected to take between five to eight years to complete. The above picture from the LVCVA shows what the replacement building on the Riviera site will most likely look like as part of the $2.3 billion expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center which wants expansion to compete with other convention centers such as Anaheim and Los Angeles. Its sad to see the iconic Riviera close but its has been neglected for a long time but the income an expanded convention center will bring is good for the Las Vegas economy overall.