Las Vegas announces Phase Two tenants, will add gifts in July

Staff Staff, Jenny Heinzen York, February 15, 2006

The Las Vegas Market is continuing its aggressive pursuit of the home furnishings business, announcing during the January show it intends to launch a dedicated gift section in July and releasing the tenant list for its second building slated to open in January 2007.

The gift venue will make its home in the market temporaries in the Las Vegas Convention Center. World Market Center officials said the segment will comprise about 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.

"It has always been our plan to create the most diversified home furnishings market in the U.S., and we believe integrating the gift segment will allow us to continue this evolution," said Jack Kashani, co-managing partner of the WMC.

The gift companies will be in a dedicated area of the convention center, apart from the core show.

"The lines are getting blurrier between decorative accessory and gift and we see this segment as a natural fit. There is also a trend that shows the cross-pollination of gift and furniture," said Leasing Director Babs Blair. "... Gift companies are known for great merchandising, and this area promises to be very visual and a unique part of the show."

Shawn Samson, Kashani's co-managing partner, said the idea behind the move was to expose buyers to products not seen at other furniture shows.

"This segment represents new customers that we're bringing to Las Vegas Market, buyers that our exhibitors may not see at traditional furniture markets," Samson said.

The full tenant list for Phase Two, a 16-story, 1.6 million-sq.-ft. venue, was released. The list of 300 companies represents a major increase in the number of home accents vendors in Las Vegas, and three floors of the building (floors 3–5) will be dedicated to these companies.

The list includes several home accents companies who were not at this market, including Chelsea House, Austin, Interlude, Artmax, Eastern Accents, Andrea by Sadek, Momeni and Pine Cone Hill, among many others. Also on the list are several companies that exhibitted in the WMC Pavilions and Mandalay Bay temporaries.

Ron Wackrow, executive vice president at The Related Cos., said Phase Three will be 18 floors, more than 2 million square feet, and will be under construction by September of this year with a targeted opening in the fall 2008.

Though exact figures were not available, officials said attendance was comparable to last summer's 62,000 figure. The primary complaint from the show was the long lines at registration, even for visitors who had pre-registered.

Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn referred to those lines at a press conference during the show. "What a great problem to have," he said.

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