LVCVA Breaks Convention Center Construction into Three Phases

In response to slowing meetings business and lagging tourism, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) told its board of directors last month that it will tackle in three separate phases a planned $890 million renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The three-phase project schedule will allow it to save money on financing, it suggests, although it may delay the project's completion, which was originally planned for 2011.

"What we are taking is a very fiscally responsible and conservative approach to make sure we don't overextend ourselves," spokesman Vince Alberta told the Review-Journal.

Under LVCVA's revised plan, construction crews will work on $395 million worth of renovations for existing buildings first, in phase one, and move on to more complex and more expensive upgrades—such as those planned for the building's facade and parking lots—from there. Already in progress, phase one work includes relocation of utilities, renovations of meeting rooms in the convention center's north and central halls, refurbishing the concourse between those halls and building new police and fire stations.

Upon completing each phase of convention center construction—which is being paid for with revenue bonds, according to the Review-Journal—LVCVA will evaluate economic conditions and costs before giving a green light to the next phase of improvements.

By redesigning its project schedule, LVCVA estimates that it will reduce its debt service costs by $5 million in FY2009, $13.5 million in FY2010 and $28 million in FY2011.