CES already pumping money into Las Vegas economy

CES already pumping money into Las Vegas economy

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Jan 9, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KNTV) -- The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show officially began on Tuesday, but cash from Las Vegas' biggest annual convention is already rolling in.
From conventioneers racing to catch rides from McCarran Airport to face confusion setting up at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, chaos converts to cash.

Rich D'Ambrise is Maxell Corporation's director of New Product Marketing. He says the week-long convention is the culmination of a lot of hard work preparing products for the public.  He tells Action News, "It's like the coming out party, like after the engagement. It's like the wedding."

Preparing for the first big party of 2012, businesses like the Firefly restaurant near the Las Vegas Convention Center are in heaven.  Firefly Event Planner Valeria Varela tells Action News, "We're already booked up with reservations, which is great."

Attendance at this year's CES Convention is expected to go way over 100,000, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Spokesman Jeremy Handel.

"They're expecting between 140, 150 thousand this year, which is going to make about $150 to $160 million dollars for the destination in economic impact," Handel.

Handel says room rates are at a premium during this week.

"Not only does it fill the town and the hotels during the mid-week, but convention visitors have a tendency to spend more money when they're in town," Handel said. "They have client dinners. They have last-minute additions to their booth. They have supplies that maybe they didn't remember to bring from the office. So it's a great audience for us and it's great for the hotels."
And the Convention Authority wants to make sure the partnernership that's pumped about $3 billion into the economy since the late 1970's, continues.
Handel says, "We're hoping to get some contracts worked out with them while they're here in town, but we don't have any official information yet."
Handel says the CES convention is signed for at least the next two years.