$1B Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion debuts with first major convention since pandemic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The brand new expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is finally hosting its first big trade show — World of Concrete.

It’s the first show to open up the new $1 billion convention center and the largest trade show happening in the entire country since the pandemic shutdown.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the morning at the new West Hall.

The World of Concrete is expected to draw 60,000 people from all over the world. For the past 46 years, it’s been showcasing the latest and greatest in the construction industry.

Companies like Deep South are showing what they specialize in and in their case, it’s bridge replacements in Louisiana.

They offer solutions like building off-site and transporting pieces incrementally so that builders don’t have to shut down an entire interstate at once.

The company also makes cranes.

“We’re a 50-year-old family owned company. The same family owns and operates it. We have cranes up to 3,000 ton capacity which is really some of the largest cranes in the world but it’s really known for a very small footprint and it’s got a really long lifting rate,” said Michael Pernici of Deep South Crane & Rigging.

Many visitors told 8 News Now Las Vegas is setting a great example in what promoting tourism should look like. People were excited, as they’ve been highly anticipating the return of conventions.

Richard Webster, of Iowa, said, “This is my first trip to the World of Concrete. Yes, I normally visit the other trade shows, CONEXPO and stuff like that, but we wanted to get out and get our face into the industry and meet new people.”

He says with World of Concrete, it shows Las Vegas is committed to business.

Many said they were pleased to see new places opening and tell us they’ll return for more conventions this summer.

“Until you go through it, it’s good to try to see things get back to normal; it’s what our country needs,” said Harold Alford, visiting from Tennessee.

Josh Smith, also from Tennessee, said about the convention, “I see things in the field. We see them every day: new trucks, concrete pumps, finishing equipment, safety equipment. You can name it all.”

In 2020, convention attendance was down about 74% due to the pandemic.

World of Concrete also meant a lot for those in the industry, as it proved that everything is returning to normal, and business is booming. Their goal for this convention is to be able to get new customers and a lot of new sales.

Many say they are looking forward to summer and future conventions.

Tourists also added how amazed they were with all the new protocols hotels have incorporated in making everything clean and safe.

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