LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Over the past several decades the Las Vegas Convention Center has been home to some of the world’s largest conventions, meetings, and performances. This year, it’s celebrating its 60th anniversary with a new art exhibit that will be housed at the Clark County Government Center.
The exhibit showcases the past, but it also gives a glimpse of the future.
“There were so many great events that happened here,” said Lisa Jacob, the director of the Las Vegas News Bureau of LVCVA.
Before it was the Las Vegas Convention Center, the plot of land where it sits was just an empty space near the Las Vegas Strip, but now it’s the convention Captial of the World.
In the 1950s, hotels and casinos would be packed on weekends.
“But come Monday morning, it was a ghost town,” Jacob said.
Out of that ghost town, an idea was sparked, and the Las Vegas Convention Center opened in 1959. To celebrate six decades of exhilarating events the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Clark County decided to showcase the center’s history in a new exhibit called “From Zero to 60 and Beyond.”
“We chose about 30 images that illustrate the impact that the convention center had on the community as a gathering place,” Jacob said.
The photos show early events, such as when both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Beatles graced the convention halls in 1964.
In 1978, the first Consumer Electronics show took place. Now, CES is one of the biggest annual conventions, boasting what’s hot in the world of hi-tech devices.
“For me, I was born and raised in Vegas and so seeing the progression of what our town has done, the convention center has a major role to play in that,” said Mickey Sprott, Clark County Public Art Supervisor.
The exhibit is also hinting at what’s to come in the future. That future includes the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Crews are working hard on the project that will add 1.4 million square feet to the LVCC. As the construction work moves forward, renderings at the exhibit show what the expansion will look like once completed.
“It’s so futuristic; it’s so out of this world; that’s Vegas,” said Sprott.
The exhibit that peaks through the past while exploring the future runs May 1-June 4 at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery.
There’s also a reception that will be held this Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.