If the U.S. wants to maintain economic growth, the key is to get more international buyers and sellers attending our trade shows. That’s the platform Steven Hacker, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), presented at a conference focused on how to increase tourism and business travel while protecting homeland security. Citing data from a 2011 Oxford Economics study, Hacker said that removing visa obstacles for both exhibitors and attendees coming from other countries would increase sales at U.S. trade shows by $2.6 billion.
In venue news, San Francisco’s Moscone Center is planning a 25-year expansion. Funded by a partnership between the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District and the city, the first phase is expected to be complete by early 2018. Meanwhile in Las Vegas, the newest expansion is at McCarran International Airport. Terminal 3 (or T3) opened to 16 international airlines this week. Several domestic carriers will transition into the new 14-gate terminal throughout the summer. The high-tech T3 will eventually service more than 11 million passengers per year, providing an only-in-Vegas, glitzy welcome to the city.
Colorado Springs area venues continue to be threatened by wildfires. While the historic Broadmoor District has been spared so far, the Flying W Ranch, a popular outdoor chuckwagon-style barbecue venue, has been destroyed. The Colorado Springs Marriott and the Air Force Academy are still in the danger zone. More than 1200 firefighters are battling the inferno in the northwest part of the city. The Denver Post has an extensive online photo album of both the fire’s destruction and the firefighters’ valiant efforts to squelch it.