The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority has approved a contract for the purchase of the Riviera Hotel & Casino, which is located on the Las Vegas Strip. Under the terms of the agreement, the LVCVA will purchase the site for a total of $182.5 million. The 26-acre site is a key component of the LVCVA’s planned Global Business District.

“Today marks an exciting new milestone in Las Vegas’ long history of reinvention and evolution and ensures Las Vegas’ meeting and convention industry remains the envy of the world for decades to come,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA. “The Las Vegas Global Business District is the single most important economic development project in the state, and it will generate thousands of good-paying jobs and help lay a strong economic foundation for the benefit of the entire community. This strategic acquisition of land gives us the much-needed space for expansion while also providing a highly visible presence on one of the most famous streets in the world—the Las Vegas Strip—and is essential in helping us to reach our goal of 45 million visitors.”

The Global Business District is projected to bring 6,000 construction-period jobs to Southern Nevada, and the construction portion alone is projected to generate $3.6 billion in economic activity. Envisioned to be completed in two phases, the first phase focuses on the Riviera site and includes 750,000 square feet of new exhibit space and 187,500 square feet of supporting meeting space as part of the new 1.8-million-square-foot expansion.
 Phase two focuses on renovating the existing convention center and includes a 100,000-square-foot general session space and another 100,000 square feet of meeting space. The project is is expected to increase the facility from its current total footprint of 3.2 million square feet to nearly 5.7 million square feet. Construction is expected to take five to eight years to complete.

The $2.3 billion project is the largest economic development initiative the LVCVA has undertaken since the Las Vegas Convention Center was originally built in the late 1950s. In addition to the expansion and renovation, the project includes the development of a global business center that would utilize the facility’s World Trade Center designation to attract corporations wanting to interact with the tens of thousands of businesses that visit the convention center each year. Plans also include a centralized transportation hub that would be the centerpiece to a new transportation plan for the entire city.