Dive Brief:

  • Construction crews set the first steel truss this week for the $375 million Caesars Forum conference center on the Las Vegas Strip. The project will feature the two largest column-free ballrooms in the world, according to Caesars Entertainment. Penta Building Group is the general contractor.
  • The 550,000-square-foot facility will also include Forum Plaza, a 100,000-square-foot outdoor meeting and event space. The project will use more than one mile of trusses, which will be fabricated offsite and set in place with a crane; 9,500 tons of steel; 2,000 tons of rebar; 30,000 cubic yards of concrete footings; 2,200 wall panels; 650 prefab exterior panels and 2 miles of airwalls, which will allow the conference space to be customized.
  • The project, which is aiming for LEED Silver certification, broke ground in June and is expected to create 1,000 local construction jobs before it opens in 2020. Caesars Forum has already booked $150 million of business.

Dive Insight:

Also scheduled for completion in 2020 is the $935 million expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The project will add 1.4 million square feet of new space, which includes a 600,000-square-foot exhibition hall. The convention center’s general contractor, the joint venture of Turner Construction and Martin-Harris Construction, will even be working overnight on designated days of the week for the duration of construction in order to meet its aggressive timeline.

But other projects nearby are building their own conference and meeting spaces as well in an effort to cash in on the lucrative convention and trade show business. Luxury resorts are especially primed to tap into this market since convention organizers often prioritize potential convention sites by what type of full-service hotel accommodations are on site or close by.

The Drew Las Vegas, a $2.5 billion resort hotel project underway in Las Vegas, will be complete in 2020. Not only will the hotel likely host some conventioneers from the Las Vegas Convention Center but it will be able to accommodate meetings of its own in 500,000 square feet of conference space. The resort will also offer nearly 4,000 rooms, a casino, entertainment, retail and an 8-acre pool deck.

The under-construction, $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is slated to feature its own convention center in addition to 7,000 rooms, a movie theater and a host of other amenities, but the exterior had to undergo an unplanned renovation. Wynn Resorts sued Resorts World for trademark infringement, alleging that its exterior was designed to capitalize on the distinctive Wynn hotel design. Last week, Wynn and Resorts World owner Genting announced that they had settled their dispute, with Genting agreeing to make some changes to its exterior.

Kim Slowey | ConstructionDive | Feb. 6, 2019