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Recession Puts Big Las Vegas Convention Project on Hold

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Las Vegas is delaying a planned $890-million convention-center upgrade amid falling visitor numbers and reduced gaming receipts. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects a 21.8% drop in room tax revenue for fiscal 2009, prompting construction plans to be shelved until mid-2010. LVCVA will pay up to $5 million annually to service the project’s existing debt. About $140 million has been committed toward construction thus far, of which 68.5% is being financed. The project was scheduled to finish in 2011. In February 2006, MWH Global Inc., Broomfield, Colo., with HNTB, Kansas City, Mo., was awarded a four-year, $45-million contract as construction manager. The project would increase the convention center’s total size by 15.8% to 3.8 million sq ft. But rising costs had upped the project’s price tag by 17.2% in 2007. “With the recession, we think it is fiscally responsible and prudent not to incur additional debt at this time,” says LVCVA spokesman Vince Alberta.

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