Las Vegas' Downtown Evolution

SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS November 2007 The regeneration of downtown Las Vegas continues, with both public and private projects wrapping up as others get under way. The City of Las Vegas is completing the final pieces of a $5.5 million streetscaping project in downtown's emerging entertainment district, Fremont East. Improvements to the area include new landscaping and lighted gateways, the creation of more pedestrian-friendly streets, and four 40-foot-tall, retro neon signs.

Earlier this fall, The White House event and meeting venue moved into its new home downtown, in a revitalized area just a few blocks from the Fremont Street district. More than $7 million has been spent to restructure and outfit the new building, called MEET, which provides 30,000 sf of flexible space that can be used for anything from trade shows and training meetings to product launches and gala dinners. The top floor of the three-story MEET building is dedicated to meetings, with goodies like computer-outfitted rooms, videoconferencing capability, and plasma screens. The flexible space on the lower two floors can be configured in a number of different ways to accommodate the needs of special events of up to 1,500 people.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled to break ground next year, with construction scheduled for completion in 2011. The first-ever such facility in Las Vegas, the Smith Center will provide a home for the Nevada Ballet Theatre and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and space for a variety of other performances, such as first-run Broadway shows. Located on a 61-acre parcel of land across from the Clark County Government Center, the venue will have three performance spaces, including a state-of-the-art, 2,000-seat hall. Along with continued expansion of the World Market Center, construction is also under way on the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, the Frank Gehry-designed facility slated to open by the end of next year within the 61-acre Union Park redevelopment.