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Top of the mark: Las Vegas has 3 of top 10 convention centers

Updated September 19, 2023 - 9:33 pm

Las Vegas, a city with countless conventions and trade shows, has been recognized nationally for having top-of-the-line convention and meeting spaces.

The Wall Street Journal published a ranking of the top 30 convention centers in the U.S., and three from Las Vegas were in the top 10. The Las Vegas Convention Center grabbed the top spot and the other two convention centers that made the top 10 were the Venetian Convention and Expo Center, which ranked third, and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which ranked seventh.

The Las Vegas Convention Center was able to grab the top spot due to its high number of meeting rooms, abundant space — it has 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space which is second only to the McCormick Place in Chicago — as well as its proximity to the airport and entertainment options. All of which are important for a convention center to stand out.

“What makes for a successful convention? Road warriors say a venue that facilitates networking and deal making is essential,” the article stated.

The Wall Street Journal’s methodology for the list ranked convention centers across 12 categories related to venue space, amenities and convenience as well as the city and area surrounding a center. The spaces, amenities and convenience scores made up 70 percent of the overall score and included the total space, exhibit space and meeting rooms of a center as well as the time it takes to drive to the airport, get to the nearest dry cleaner and if there is any outdoor space or on-site ATMs.

The city and surroundings categories made up 30 percent of the overall score and looked at density of restaurants and entertainment venues relative to the local population of an area, walkability of the area around a convention center, average meal cost, availability of hotel rooms and number of “pleasant days” — where the average temperature was between 55 and 85 degrees — in each city in 2022.

The Las Vegas Convention Center capitalizes on its top spot by being the main venue for world-renowned conventions like the tech-focused CES, which recently drew over 115,000 attendees, and the automotive-focused Specialty Equipment Market Association show, which recently drew over 135,000 attendees.

From the start of this year to July there have been about 3.5 million convention visitors which is a 25.1 percent increase from the same period in 2022.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was “honored” by the rankings, according to Steve Hill, the LVCVA president and CEO.

“Thanks to our resorts offering unparalleled experiences, amenities, and customer service, Las Vegas has earned its reputation as the premier meetings and convention destination,” Hill said in an emailed statement. “That success has enabled Las Vegas to continue to invest and grow into 15 million square feet of meetings and convention space throughout Southern Nevada. As we continue to improve the Convention Center experience with our $600 million renovation, we are grateful to our building customers who continue to choose Las Vegas.”

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on Twitter.

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