LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The West Hall doors are open at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the World of Concrete trade show is officially underway on Tuesday.
The trade show is the first major convention in the West Hall and the first in Las Vegas since the pandemic.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak was in attendance for the opening and says the return of conventions has been a long time coming.
"It's been a long time coming Nevada, but we made it," he said.
Sisolak made those remarks just before he was joined by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority representatives, council chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick, and World of Concrete organizer Charlie McCurdy in cutting the ribbon and officially opening the nearly $1 billion West Hall expansion.
Sisolak says 60,000 people and 1,500 companies will be on or around the property for the World of Concrete trade show is a testament to how far Nevada has come in battling the pandemic.
LVCVA President Steve Hill says they were cutting it close as had to book the show over the holidays to make it happen in June.
"I think that this show provides a demonstration that we can do this. And we all know we can, but being the first out of the gate will help make others feel more confident that that can happen," Hill said.
Hill says Las Vegas lost out on $11 billion in one year with the loss of conventions but there is good news as since the beginning of the pandemic Vegas has added another 3 million square feet of convention space.
The LVCVA president also says the team is working hard on bringing back international travel to Las Vegas.