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Power failures won't scare away conventions, trade shows

Posted at 9:49 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 17:08:49-05

Thousands of busy people with limited time to burn mulled around outside the Las Vegas convention and world trade center after a blackout temporarily shut off the lights at CES.

The power outage shut out  exhibitors, vendors and business people like Bruce Koenigsburg, who had to juggle his schedule. "One hundred seventy thousand people, no power," said Koenigsburg, a consultant. "I have set appointments with people it's hard to get appointments with."

Las Vegas is one of the top destinations for conventions, with tight competition from cities like Orlando, Washington, D.C., Miami and Chicago.

"Nobody does events like Las Vegas," said Robert Lang, an authority on economic development, heads Brookings Mountain West at UNLV. We asked him: could a power outage like the one at CES scare conventions and trade shows into the arms of rival cities?

"I doubt it. It doubt it at all," said Lang. "We have the largest food and beverage, the largest concentration of hotel rooms, the biggest capacity to put on shows. Just pour water in and it's all there."

Las Vegas boasts hotels, casinos, world-class entertainment and 10-million square feet in space just between the convention center, Mandalay Bay and the Sands.

“We physically have the largest capacity to handle a trade show in the united states," said Lang, who noted that rival cities suffer power failures as well. “they could have blackouts too.”

So, fear not economic development managers. It will take a lot more than a blackout to scare off the shows.