Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino today announced plans to expand its award-winning Convention Center. Based on demand for additional space, the resort will add new exhibit space, underground parking and increase overall square footage, creating the most flexible and customer-focused convention facility in North America. Mandalay Bay is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).
Plans include the addition of more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 1.7 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center as well as underground parking and more carpeted ballroom space. The new spaces will allow Mandalay Bay to grow current shows, pursue new and larger corporate partners and achieve greater utilization of the entire facility. Upon completion, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will boast more than 2 million total square feet and 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space. This elevates its ranking in North America from No. 7 to No. 5 in total square feet and from No. 11 to No. 5 in square feet of exhibit space.
"Several long-standing customers approached us with a need for additional space to grow their business; they looked to us to be a solution provider, and we went to work," said Chuck Bowling, President and COO of Mandalay Bay. "In addition to enabling our current clients to develop larger events, the additional space and new flexibility will allow us to attract new business to Las Vegas. We believe this investment will increase visitation to Las Vegas, driving incremental business to MGM Resorts' portfolio and the city overall."
David Peckinpaugh, CMP, President of Maritz Travel, said, "This expansion takes what is already perhaps the best meeting space in Las Vegas to the next level and puts Mandalay Bay in a truly unique position around the globe with its ability to host premier meetings and conventions."
David Loechner, CEO of Emerald Expositions, said, "As a fast growing expositions organizer currently holding 13 annual trade shows in Las Vegas, including four at Mandalay Bay, we are very pleased with the decision to expand and expect to take advantage of the new space as soon as it's complete."
Construction is scheduled to begin in late fall 2014 with new exhibit space available in August 2015 and anticipated completion of all spaces in January 2016. The project is estimated to cost approximately $66 million. Featuring a 70,000-square-foot ballroom that is divisible by five, the new space will allow for maximum flexibility and more break-out areas for corporate groups. The bandwidth of the Convention Center's state-of-the-art technology also will increase to accommodate more attendees and to allow for the most advanced presentations.
Stephanie Glanzer, VP of Sales at Mandalay Bay, said, "Las Vegas is continuing to evolve as a meetings destination and this development will solidify Mandalay Bay as a top choice for corporate groups and trade shows of all sizes. We're already speaking with new customers about future business in the space as well as current clients about extending their contracts. We are committed to making a complete experience that extends beyond just business, and with more than 41,000 guest rooms across MGM Resorts' Las Vegas properties at varying price points, we can make a complete contract that is customized for any group."
MGM Resorts International has made a commitment to build all new facilities to LEED Gold standards or better, and the Convention Center expansion will meet those standards. Mandalay Bay and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center hold coveted Five Key ratings from the Green Key Eco-Rating and Meetings Programs. In addition, TripAdvisor has awarded the resort Gold in its GreenLeaders Program. Mandalay Bay integrates environmentally responsible practices into its operations including the recycling of more than 80 percent of all convention materials. From sustainable service ware and organic, sustainable menus to zero waste recycling, Mandalay Bay's Convention Service Managers offer a number of options to help each group conduct green and socially responsible meetings.
The expanded Convention Center at Mandalay Bay will incorporate an additional rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) array making it the largest convention center array in the world. The anticipated size of the array is approximately 1.9MWdc with an approximate annual production of 3.4M kilowatt hours. The previously announced 6.2MWdc solar PV array on the current Convention Center is slated for completion in August; the combined array will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,300 homes.
Las Vegas has been the No. 1 trade show destination for 20 years, and this significant investment demonstrates Mandalay Bay's continued commitment to the city of Las Vegas.
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