by Michael J. Shapiro | February 27, 2013

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority unveiled its plans Tuesday for a proposed Global Business District, essentially a renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center and redesign of the surrounding neighborhood. The multiphase project, to be developed over several years, consists of three focal areas. The first is a major renovation of the convention center, the first in more than a decade, to create a convention district campus. That calls for building additional exhibit space, meeting rooms and general session space; upgrading the venue technology; adding new food and beverage outlets, and building a grand concourse connector with more lobby space. Outside the building itself, public gathering spaces will be established. The project's second area of focus is the leverage and expansion of the World Trade Center designation received by the convention center in 2011. The LVCVA intends to draw more international business as a result, and increase global market share by marketing the facility as a World Trade Center. Lastly, the project calls for improving transportation infrastructure in the resort corridor. The authority will work with local transportation stakeholders on a long-term strategy to more efficiently move visitors through the area, particularly as visitation numbers are projected to keep rising: to 44 million annual visitors and as many as seven million convention attendees over the next 10 years.

The first phase of development, projected to play out over the next two years, is slated to include programming and design, budget development, improvements to current convention center space and land acquisition. The LVCVA plans to invest as much as $150 million to fund phase one.