WMC to get bigger
LAS VEGAS – International Market Centers (IMC), the owners and operators of the World Market Center, which is best known as the home as the twice yearly Las Vegas Market, has announced a partnership with the City of Las Vegas that will see it construct a new 350,000 square foot Expo Center on its campus here.
In the announcement, IMC noted the World Market Center – with its five million square feet of showrooms for the furniture, mattress, furnishings and giftware industries – is situated on nearly 60 acres of land in the heart of Las Vegas and has an approximate occupancy rate of 92%.
The new Expo Center will provide state-of-the-art exhibition and meeting space in the downtown area for corporate and private events, meetings and tradeshows, as well as service the Las Vegas Market furniture, gift and home décor trade events that attract roughly 100,000 attendees annually.
“The City of Las Vegas has been a great host and partner to the World Market Center Las Vegas since its opening in 2005. This significant new development will greatly benefit the City of Las Vegas and IMC, and we are grateful for their continued support of our business and campus,” IMC chief executive officer Robert J. Maricich said in a statement.
The cost of the Expo Center will be approximately $76 million of which the City of Las Vegas will contribute $30 million through a TIF (tax increment financing) note. Construction is slated to begin in the next 12 to 18 months and will take approximately 18 months to complete.
The facility, which will be architecturally consistent with and connected to several of the existing WMC structures, is in the final stages of design. The plans include exposition space, ample meeting/office space, and allocation of space for all back-of-house and administrative functions needed to run larger scale conventions and trade shows.
“I am beyond thrilled that a new expo center is under development in downtown Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman added. “This will create new jobs and bring even more people to our community. Construction can’t happen soon enough!”
As the Expo Center reaches peak occupancy, it is expected to have significant impact on downtown Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada economy. The estimated spending within downtown equates to US$97 million in annual visitor spending, US$28 million in annual salaries and wages, and 666 recurring employment opportunities.
On a broader scale, the estimated annual economic impact on Southern Nevada is US$234 million in total economic output, US$66 million in total salaries and wages, and 1,600 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced). Overall, convention attendees of the new facility are expected to command in excess of 380,000 room nights in Southern Nevada, of which an estimated 161,000 would be within the downtown area.
“This new Expo Center will address demand for modern convention, trade show and meeting space that is currently limited in the downtown area, particularly following the closing of the Cashman Center’s facility,” said Maricich.
Currently, there is approximately 200,000 square feet of available conference and temporary exhibition space in downtown Las Vegas in several locations, but the largest single venue can only accommodate 30,000 to 40,000 square feet.
International Market Centers was acquired by Blackstone and Fireside Investments in September 2017. In total, the company owns and operates 12.2 million square feet of exhibition and showroom space in High Point, North Carolina Las Vegas.
The Summer 2018 edition of the Las Vegas Market will be held from 29 July to 02 August.