What’s Changed about Vegas since IRE 2014?
Turning Up the Volume
Las Vegas may be in the midst of its most popular era in decades. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that visitor volume in the city has hovered well above 3 million people per month since December 2013, and is projected to exceed 42 million by year’s end. That would be the third consecutive year exceeding the 40 million people mark, and the most since it began the current tracking method in 2004.
Vegas is known for being over the top … literally. Shortly after roofers left IRE 2014, Slotzilla opened and has since provided one of the most unique zip-line experiences on the planet. Brave riders start their thrill ride on a 12-story tower designed like a slot machine and zoom their way between 850 and 1,700 feet across Fremont Street, showcasing a truly unique view of one of downtown Las Vegas’ iconic attractions.
After more than 60 years making and breaking gambler’s dreams, the famed Riviera Hotel and Casino closed its doors in May 2015. Built in 1955, the Riviera was the ﬁrst high-rise hotel on the Vegas Strip. The building was renovated in 1989 and ’99, but in 2014, the decision was made to make way for an expansion of the Las Vegas Global Business District exhibit and meeting center project. Crews imploded both the 24-story Monaco and Monte Carlo towers and completed demolition over the summer.
A Vegas Vision
T-Mobile Arena ofﬁcially opened in April 2016 and (for now) is Sin City’s newest and premier indoor sporting entertainment venue. It holds up to 20,000 people for special events and will be home to a National Hockey League expansion team starting next season. The best part? It features a collection of custom-fabricated metal shingles that create a visually captivating outer shell.
The Thomas & Mack Center on the University of Las Vegas campus was host to the third and ﬁnal 2016 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Initially built in 1983, the 18,000-seat capacity arena recently underwent a $72.5 million overhaul — including major improvements to the roof — paid largely with funds generated from a casino slot tax. The event, described by some Vegas aﬁcionados as arguably the arena’s most important night in more than three decades of service, drew a near-record televised audience of 71.5 million viewers.