The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is considering
lengthening the timeline for its $737 million renovation of the Las
Vegas Convention Center by two years, completing work in 2012
instead of 2010. A spokesperson for the CVA said officials don't
want the renovation to disrupt groups already booked at the center;
lengthening the schedule would allow new meeting space to be
created before the center shuts existing spaces for renovation.
Plans call for a new lobby to connect the North, South and Central
halls and new meeting rooms in the South hall. The CVA board of
directors will vote on the final schematic design in May or June,
the spokesperson said, at which time a schedule will be set.
Construction still is expected to begin in summer 2008.
Opening tomorrow is The Heldrich, a $120 million mixed-use
facility in New Brunswick, N.J. The 248-room property offers a
25,000-square-foot conference center approved by the International
Association of Conference Centers; Christopher's Restaurant &
Bar; and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, an
arm of Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning
and Public Policy. The Heldrich is managed by Benchmark
Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center has been
declared safe by several independent engineers who conducted
inspections following the collapse of a section of concrete on the
center's second floor. The firms did, however, recommend that work
be finished on the facility before its scheduled reopening on March
9. Crews currently are working to repair the slab of concrete that
collapsed, as well as retrofitting several beams along the main
expansion joint to prevent another failure.
Richard Branson, founder of the rapidly expanding Virgin empire,
has purchased a second British Virgin Island, Moskito Island, to
convert it to a luxury eco-resort. His other island, Necker Island,
is used as a private getaway for small, exclusive groups; the new
120-acre project will be a larger resort with Balinese-style
accommodations. The resort will be completely carbon-neutral.