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Caesars Breaks Ground on New Strip Conference Center

Indoor and Outdoor Spaces, Ballrooms, Boardrooms Set for April 2020

July 16, 2018 - 2:36 pm
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A meeting and event space complex that will include two massive ballrooms without pillars and outdoor areas will open in 2020 near the High Roller observation wheel and casino-resorts operated by Caesars Entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip.

The casino giant broke ground Monday on the $375 million conference facility. It expects to draw business from the millions of convention attendees that travel to Las Vegas every year.

The indoor Caesars Forum and outdoor Forum Plaza will be located within steps of the Linq, Harrah's and Flamingo casino-hotels.

"Las Vegas is constantly evolving from its roots as a gambling center to a global integrated resort destination, and now also home to top-flight professional sports teams," Caesars' president and CEO Mark Frissora said. "Often overlooked is the fact that Las Vegas is also the global leader for meetings and conferences and conventions. As Caesars considered many options to expand our business, including the development of almost 100 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Strip, it's not accidental that our first announced project focused on expanding our business and event footprint."

The Caesars Forum will feature what the company described as the world's two largest ballrooms without pillars, equivalent to three ice hockey rinks, as well as two additional 40,000-square-foot ballrooms and six boardrooms. The lack of pillars will provide attendees unobstructed views regardless of their location within the ballrooms.

The company said the complex has already booked more than $70 million in conference business, including the 3,500-attendee gathering of the American School Counselor Association.

Caesars is not alone in the race to increase its meeting business. Its competitor MGM Resorts International earlier this year finished the expansion of the convention space at its Aria casino-resort. The $170 million investment doubled the property's convention space to 500,000 square feet.

The Las Vegas Convention Center, Wynn Resorts and the planned Drew casino-resort also intend to open new convention spaces.

Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani after the groundbreaking ceremony said the city always has to "stay on top" of the meetings and convention business as there is strong competition from Chicago and Orlando.

More than 6.6 million people attended a convention in Las Vegas last year, according to the agency responsible for promoting the destination. While overall visitation decreased compared to 2016, convention attendance was up more than 5 percent.

The indoor flexible meeting space is designed to be transformed into multiple sections and will be able to accommodate more than 10,000 people at a time.

Meanwhile, the planned Forum Plaza will offer extensive outdoor gathering space capable of hosting wellness breaks, cocktail receptions and meals.

The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and 450 permanent jobs.