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Big Conventions Sticking With Las Vegas Plans

30 June 2004

Las Vegas Sun

Two of Las Vegas' biggest conventions say they're staying put following news that the mega technology trade show, Comdex, has cancelled its November show and won't be back until November 2005.

The Consumer Electronics Show, which drew about 130,000 people to the Las Vegas Convention center in January, recently opened registration for the January 2005 show in Las Vegas and is expecting "another record-breaking year" in attendance, spokeswoman Leah Arnold said.

The show is working with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority as well as local police and transportation officials to come up with a plan to avoid the kind of travel disruption that occurred after the last show.

Thousands of convention-goers experienced waits of up to five hours at McCarran International Airport, prompting some to vow never to return to Las Vegas.

Organizers put up signs this year informing travelers to leave for the airport hours ahead of time to avoid the crush, but that didn't appear to solve the problem, Arnold said. So far the show hasn't come up with any alternative plans, she said.

"There's only so much you can do with that many people trying to leave (town) at once," she said. "I don't think we ever found out why it was so much worse this year than last," though having about 15,000 more attendees at this year's show than 2003 may have played a part, she said.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which holds its annual convention in April, has set dates of April 18-21 for its 2005 meeting at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Registration won't start until next year so it's too soon to tell how many people will attend the 2005 show, organizers say. This year's convention drew about 92,000 people.

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