LVCA finishes 2019 strong with record number of convention attendees

Las Vegas drew a record 6.6 million convention attendees in 2019, according to fresh figures released by the Neon Capital of the World.

The figure marks a high point for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCA), with the Nevada city’s previous record having been set in 2017. The score also constitutes a 2.3 per cent increase from 2018.

In addition to strong convention attendance, Las Vegas welcomed 42.5 million visitors in 2019, up from the previous year of 42.1 million visitors.

Local resort partners benefited from industry-leading occupancy rates of 88.9 per cent and a 2.9 per cent increase from last year in average daily room rates.

With several new venues, attractions and events planned to debut in 2020, LVCA anticipates the city will continue to attract strong visitation with highlights that include hosting the NFL Draft in April and the Las Vegas Raiders’ debut at Allegiant Stadium for the 2020-2021 NFL season.

By year’s end, the city will also boast an additional 2.2 million square feet of new meeting space, including the completion of the 1.4 million square foot Las Vegas Convention Center expansion in December.

First look at Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Convention Center tunnel

A view inside the Boring Company’s under construction tunnel, beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Halls (Las Vegas News Bureau/Mark Damon)

LVCA has also provided an update and first look inside the tunnelling progress being made 12 metres underground for three new passenger stations.

The work is being performed by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, and is nearing the halfway point in the process of boring the first of two tunnels at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The US$52.5 million ($78.3 million) tunnel system will include three passenger stations connecting the existing convention space with the LVCC’s new West Hall expansion currently under construction.

When completed, the underground system will consist of two tunnels each measuring around 1.2 kilometres in length.

The system is expected to use Tesla’s electric vehicles to transport convention attendees from one end of the LVCC’s 200-acre campus to the other in about one minute (currently a nearly 30-minute walk).

The West Hall expansion is now 65 per cent complete and is part of a US$1.52 billion ($2.27 billion) expansion and renovation. Both the West Hall and the new underground transportation system are on track to open to the public for CES in January 2021.