More than $15B in tourism development taking place in Southern Nevada Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 12, 2019 at 12:07 am Southern Nevada’s tourism market is in the midst of its largest construction and expansion swing in more than a decade, with some $15 billion in development projects under way, according to a report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. More than $10.1 billion in tourism related development is expected to open by the end of next year, including two hotel-casinos, an expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and a 65,000-seat domed football stadium in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip that will be home to the National Football League’s relocated Las Vegas Raiders. Derek Stevens at the Circa site in April (Photo by Howard Stutz) LVCVA Vice President of Research Kevin Bagger said development slowed when the recession hit around 2009. The market kicked off a nearly two decade-long period expansion in 1989 when The Mirage opened – the Strip’s first all-new resort in 15 years. “The destination enjoyed sustained explosive growth from the opening of the Mirage through the Great Recession with spikes in room openings along the way, so it’s hard to isolate one period of tourism investment when so many projects were built during that timeframe,” Bagger said. The Strip’s last all-new mega resort opened in 2010, when The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was unveiled. However, two other Strip resort developments – Boyd Gaming Corp.’s Echelon project and the Fontainebleau – halted construction more than 10 years ago. Boyd sold Echelon to Malaysia-based Genting Berhad in March 2013; Genting is now constructing the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas on the site. The integrated resort is expected to open at the end of next year. A New York developer acquired the unfinished Fontainebleau last year and plans to finish and rename the development as The Drew, with an opening projected for sometime in 2022. Bagger said the market saw pockets of growth during the recession. Palazzo, Encore and M Resort opened while other resorts and smaller non-gaming properties in suburban parts of the Las Vegas Valley added hotel rooms, which drove the market’s room inventory to an all-time high of 150,593 rooms and suites in 2013. The closing of the Riviera in 2015, along with other room reductions, led to a decline of more than 1,000 total rooms by the end of last year. However, the opening of the 3,400-room Resorts World and the 777-room Circa Las Vegas in downtown Las Vegas, backed by a parade of smaller hotel projects, will add an additional 5,456 rooms to the market by end of 2020. The privately held Circa, which is being built by D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casino operator Derek Stevens, is downtown’s first all-new property since 1980. Las Vegas will also see almost 3.5 million square feet of new convention and meeting space added to the market, including more than 2.3 million square feet by the end of 2020. Leading the way is the $935 million expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which will take over a site on the Las Vegas Strip that once housed the Riviera with a new 750,000-square-foot facility. Caesars Entertainment is expected to open its $375 million Caesars Forum Conference Center behind the Linq Promenade next spring, adding 550,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. Wynn Las Vegas is spending $425 million on 430,000 square feet of new meeting and convention space Resorts World Las Vegas will include 300,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Las Vegas hosted a record 6.6 million convention and meeting delegates in 2017, a figure LVCVA officials hope to surpass when the new developments open. Meanwhile, Las Vegas Stadium is on track to host its first football game by next fall. The $1.84 billion project will be home to UNLV’s football team as well as the Raiders, who are playing their last season in Oakland this year. The stadium is also expected to house other sporting events, including a college football bowl game, as well as concerts and entertainment attractions. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.