The return of convention should bring big business back to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Congresses and trade shows like Tobacco Plus Expo are extremely important to the Las Vegas Valley economy. When COVID-19 canceled them all for a full year, it had a devastating effect.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says meetings and conventions have an economic impact of more than $ 11 billion in Las Vegas during a normal year.

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Now that these companies are returning, the industry is excited to do what it does best … have a great get-together.

Financial analyst Steve Budin says these meetings and conventions attract big donors, which is big business for the city.

“Trade shows and conventions are extremely important to Las Vegas,” said Budin.

“In general, the person attending these trade shows and conventions has a higher median income and tends to spend a lot more money visiting Vegas than the leisure traveler,” he said. “So, these are the people who will fill the chic restaurants, the theaters, and the high-end stores.”

13 Action News interviewed Marco Villarreal last summer. At the time, he was producing, selling and delivering snow to locals in to-go kits known as “snow pals”.

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Before the pandemic, however, Villarreal was known as the “Las Vegas Iceman,” who was known for creating elaborate ice sculptures for conventions on the Las Vegas Strip.

With the return of trade shows and conventions imminent, Villarreal now believes that its original business will recover.

“Now that things are opening up, we’re seeing more take-off in weddings and birthday parties, future conventions,” he said. “So we have older and new customers who say they come in August, they come in October, which is actually quite difficult.”

Villarreal is one of those Las Vegas business owners counting on conventions and trade shows hoping the industry will come back quickly and even better than before.

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“It’s not when, it’s when,” said Villarreal.

“If it happens in the summer, it’s great,” he said. “The sooner the better, sure. Or will it stay quiet until October when we’re normally busy? And then everyone says, ‘I needed it yesterday!’ and then we’ll be back to 2019. “

After the Tobacco Plus Expo, there is only one conference on the calendar in May. But then there’s a big drag in business, with at least eight conventions planned for June.

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