Acquiring the extra land needed for a multi-phase plan to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center is not something easily done without expert help, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) executive staff said with certainty on Aug. 14.
In a special board of directors’ meeting, the executive staff urged the volunteer leadership to allow President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter to negotiate and execute agreements starting at $100,000 with experts in large-scale real estate mergers and acquisitions.
The proposed fee exceeded the amount of money Ralenkotter was allowed to use for bargaining with experts on behalf of LVCVA. Ralenkotter assured that no funds would be exchanged between the LVCVA and any potential real estate partner without further board approval.
Secretary Chuck Bowling led the way for board approval, saying he wanted to give the executive staff every tool and resource necessary to make the venue the best it can be. The rest of the board soon followed suit, but not without understanding the reasons why the LVCVA needed a major real estate partner working on its behalf.
Senior Vice President of Finance Rana Lacer explained the complexity of buying land around the convention center, especially due to the Great Recession. Much of the land is owned by different owners who acquired it through bankruptcies and foreclosures.
Obtaining land on a smaller scale is something LVCVA could do on its own, indicated Legal Counsel Luke Puschnig, but he said to do it on a grander scale requires the know-how of an entity to represent the Authority.
Clark County Commissioner and Vice Chair Lawrence Weekly clarified why he thought LVCVA needed another entity to represent it. As he saw previously with the City of Las Vegas, Weekly indicated that prices tend to soar when a strong name, such as LVCVA’s, is attached to a potential business deal.
Buying land around the Las Vegas Convention Center is part of LVCVA’s plan to create the Las Vegas Global Business District. The expansion is expected to boost international tourism and keep Las Vegas competitive with other destinations.
See related article: “Upgrades planned for Las Vegas Convention Center.”