LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak said this Monday there would be around 60,000 industry professionals at the World of Concrete this week and 1,500 companies in town. While many attendees said the convention was noticeably smaller than in previous years, they said they're still glad to be in Las Vegas and likely will spend a chunk of change.
"I only lost four mortgage payments at the Blackjack table," said Todd Amerson, with a laugh. Amerson works for Sioux Chief, a plumbing manufacturer, and is in town for a couple of days as an attendee.
Amerson joked that in his first 24 hours in town he has already personally stimulated the local economy.
"Two hotel rooms, a hundred dollars each," he said. "Dinner was $300-$350, somewhere around there."
Add in the cab and Uber rides, which Amerson estimated cost him $150, and a $50 lunch at the Convention Center and he and his colleague have likely already spent about $750.
"Vegas is going to get you one way or another," he said."If it's not in casinos, it's going to be at the exhibit hall, right?"
Even while the World of Concrete is scaled back this year - not allowing foreign attendees - this first major convention signals Vegas is on the right track to an economic rebound.
The LVCVA estimates in a normal year, the meetings and convention industry packs a big economic punch -- $11.4 billion.
2021 started slow but is ramping up. The World of Concrete is the first of many major conventions coming down the pike like CES, SEMA Show and the Global Gaming Expo.
And with each convention come folks like Matthew Durbin, who's in town from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He said for his team of eight, the week will cost about $15,000.
"I absolutely love it," said Durbin. "It's good to be back doing trade shows, traveling again, just getting out and about."
Steve Delamarion is in town from Southern California. He put his price tag in the thousands too.
"I don't gamble so that's a good thing but usually with rooms and food, good entertainment with clients, it's between $5,000 and $10,000," he said.
If every attendee spends even a couple thousand dollars, that means millions pouring into the local economy. And just like concrete, Vegas hopes that sticks.