While CES 2020 has entered the history books, CES 2021 promises to make history. That’s because next year’s CES will now include the new West Hall, the behemoth construction this year’s show attendees saw rising majestically in what had been the parking lots across Paradise Road from North Hall.
West Hall will serve as the new home of the Transportation/Vehicle Technology exhibits, previously located in North Hall, which will include automotive tech, car audio, drones, and self-driving technology. North Hall will now host Accessibility, Enterprise, IoT Infrastructure, Smart Cities, and the Health & Wellness exhibits, which move from the Sands. All other CES exhibition and keynote venues remain the same, including Smart Home exhibits and Eureka Park at the Sands.
West Hall is part of the $980 million Phase Two LVCC expansion, which will add a total of 1.4 million square feet of space, including 601,758 square feet for exhibits – the equivalent of 3,334 10 x 10-foot booths – in four contiguous halls, A, B, C and D, all with 42-foot ceilings. This new space will complement the existing 1,940,361 million square feet of exhibit space in the existing North, Central and South LVCC halls, which will be undergoing Phase Three renovations due to be completed in time for CES 2023. The entirety of the combined LVCC will total 4.6 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space, along with unified “ribbon” facades.
“CES welcomes the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion as an opportunity to celebrate tech and innovation,” says Karen Chupka, CTA’s EVP of CES. “The expansion allows CES to grow strategically and provide our attendees with state-of-the-art facilities. As new trends emerge and the industry continues to evolve, CES can remain at the forefront of the future of business and technology.”
Aside from the new exhibit halls, West Hall will include a spacious entry lobby, a rooftop terrace and three floors of meeting space encompassing up to 131 meeting, banquet, theater and classroom facilities. This meeting space is designed to be “flex” – most rooms and even hallways can be combined to create more expansive spaces, the largest of which can accommodate nearly 2,000 people.
You can get more specific details on the new West Hall from a brochure produced by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
Loop the Loop
Perhaps more tech newsworthy and fascinating for CES attendees, the expansion of the LVCC will be linked by Elon Musk’s underground LVCC Loop “people mover,” an underground tube system designed to move up to 4,400 convention attendees per minute back-and-forth around the soon-to-be 200-acre LVCC campus.
The $52 million human transportation project will feature twin one-way tubes 40 feet below street level with three stations: one at the rear of South Hall, one in the outdoor plaza in front of the entrances to Central and North halls, and one in front of the new West Hall on Convention Center Drive. Show attendees will be whisked at up to 155 mph, so the “autonomous electric vehicles” (AEVs) – a modified Tesla Model 3 chassis accommodating up to 16 passengers sitting and standing – will whoosh from station-to-station in just one minute instead of the 15-plus minute walks.
The excavation of the first of the two loop tunnels was completed on Valentine’s Day, and the system is due to be finished in December 2020.
“This marks an important milestone in the future of transportation,” says Steve Hill, LVCVA CEO and president. “Las Vegas is proud to lead the way as the first and only destination to offer an underground transportation solution for moving visitors throughout our convention center.”
According to Hill, the Loop system is designed to be expandable, which will be necessary to ease increased ground-level traffic congestion the new hall and the new Resorts World Las Vegas under construction across from the Encore, and due to be completed in summer 2021, are sure to create.
Plans for what is being called the expanded Vegas Loop, to be built mostly under Las Vegas Boulevard, will provide quick transport “to casinos along the Strip, McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas [the Fremont Street Experience], and eventually to Los Angeles,” according to the promotional literature. Once completed, a Loop trip from Mandalay Bay to LVCC would take just three minutes. There is no estimate when this Strip-long Vegas Loop system will be operational, however.
See also: TWICE Picks Awards Winners For CES 2020