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FAC BLOG
Las Vegas Convention Center Celebrates Half-Century

Monday, 13 April 2009 17:25

                                              

Happy Birthday Las Vegas Convention Center. On April 12, 1959, the venue opened its doors and welcomed a new audience to the resort destination – convention visitors. Has it only been 50 years one is the usual response but for this venue, which has arguably changed the convention, trade show, entertainment and meetings industries  more than any other facility, the real question is, has it only been a half-century? The original center featured 90,000 square feet of exhibit space and 18 meeting rooms, but the marquee feature was the 20,340-square-foot rotunda on the front of the building.  Today, the facility has grown to a 3.2 million-square-foot building with nearly 2 million square feet of exhibit space and more than 140 meeting rooms. Today, the Las Vegas Convention Center hosts approximately 100 trade shows that attract 1.5 million visitors and generate more than $2 billion annually for the Southern Nevada economy. Las Vegas has been the No. 1 trade show destination in North America for 14 consecutive years. “Southern Nevada leaders and the state legislature recognized an opportunity to attract a new visitor segment to boost mid-week and off season visitation,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention Center. “Their vision helped Las Vegas become the top meetings and convention destination it is today.” 
 
May 18th, 1957, The moment of conception, so to speak. Groundbreaking ceremony for the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Present at the birth—the Las Vegas Convention Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, with Nevada Gov. Grant Sawyer, Sen. Howard Cannon, Congressman Walter Baring, LVCVA President George “Bud” Albright and Las Vegas Mayor CD Baker cut the ribbon to dedicate the Las Vegas Convention Center 50 years ago today (4/12/1959).

Maybe this was the real birth of the venue. The World Congress of Flight, the first convention hosted by  Las Vegas Convention Center, April 1959.

Okay maybe the convention center and the destinations has changed some in 50 years, but it still looks impressive. Amazing, although half a century old, it keeps looking younger!

One legend plays in another legend. At the height of Beatlemania, on August 20th 1964, The Beatles performed at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

January 7th, 1973: In one of his most famous stunts, Evel Knievel jumped 13 trucks at the Las Vegas Convention Center.



About 100 trade shows and convents are hosted by the  Las Vegas Convention Center annually, such the the SEMA Show, an international event presented by the Specialty Equipment Market Association
, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.

 





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