Something big is coming to the small town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. For years, Las Cruces has been lacking a large capacity meeting facility. Our current facilities such as Dickerson’s Event Center and the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum have unique character. They have served Las Cruces well, but many city-wide events have outgrown their capacity. That is why we are so excited about the January 2011 grand opening of the Las Cruces Convention Center.
I recently did a short Q&A with the Las Cruces Convention Center General Manager, David Hicks. I’d like to share a little of what he had to say about the new facility.
Q. When is the expected Grand Opening date for the new Las Cruces Convention Center?
A. The construction schedule has been moving rapidly toward completion and an on time completion of October 2010. Our plan is to be up and operational as early as December with the Grand Opening festivities taking place in January 2011.
Q. What is the first event you have scheduled?
A. Currently we are booking events starting in January 2011. The first event is the New Mexico Society of CPAs and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.
The first conventions scheduled beginning in April 2011 are the
Tourism Association of New Mexico’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, and two other religious conferences.
Another aspect of events that we have added to the Las Cruces Convention and will add some diversity of events in the area are our consumer shows, which are open to the public and geared towards different segments of the population. The shows lined up at this point kick off in February with a new show the area geared towards children ages 12 and under and their parents – Las Cruces KidsFest. We continue into March with the addition of the Las Cruces Bridal Showcase. The Building Industry of Southern New Mexico will host their Annual Home and Garden Show and the Southwest Senior Newspaper is launching the Southwest Senior Expo. Details of the events taking place at the Las Cruces Convention Center can be viewed at on their website at www.meetinlascruces.com .
Q. How many events do you have scheduled so far?
A. At this point we have booked 26 events that have a total hotel usage of 2,170 room nights. That translates into a direct spending impact of over $350,000 being spent locally.
These events encompass contracts that we have signed. In addition to what we have signed we are currently working on nearly 60 other events that are in different stages of negotiations, from initial conversations to contracts waiting to be returned. Our efforts are placed on constantly prospecting for events and their attendees to come to Las Cruces, NM. This includes state, regional, national, and international conventions, conferences and tradeshows in addition to the local business we are working at booking – weddings, company meetings, special events, and any gathering of people.
Q. What is the anticipated capacity of the Las Cruces Convention Center?
A. The Las Cruces Convention has a total of 10 rooms:
- Exhibit Hall: 14,500 square feet of column-free contiguous space; divisible into 2 rooms. The Exhibit Hall features carpeted floors and access to utilities for ease of logistics and exhibitor satisfaction. The 20’ clearance height of the space offers the flexibility for bringing in large exhibits and rigging from the ceiling for full production events. With some staging and audio-visual in the space, this room can accommodate upwards of 1,200 theater style [rows of chairs] and 800 for a banquet with guests sitting at rounds.
- Ballroom: Approximately 9,000 square feet of column-free carpeted space, divisible into 2 rooms, and boasts a 24’ ceiling exposing the wood beams. The Ballroom has an outdoor event area with views of the Organ Mountains. This space can accommodate upwards of 700 theater style and 550 for a banquet.
- Meeting Rooms: Nearly 3,000 square feet of breakout space in six 18′ x 27′ meeting rooms, which can also be combined to form two 36′ x 54′ meeting rooms. These rooms can accommodate groups as small as 10 and up to 80 depending on the seating style selected.
Q. What are the main benefits that the new Las Cruces Convention Center offers to residents of Las Cruces, New Mexico?
A. The Las Cruces Convention Center offers the residents of Las Cruces numerous benefits. First, residents now have a venue that they can utilize for their personal events like weddings and quincearneras, professional events, hobby groups, large gatherings etc.
The Las Cruces Convention Center is also a great place to bring in friends and colleagues from around the country. We all belong to some type of professional, hobby, or religious group that takes us to different parts of the region or country for events. Local citizens can work with us and the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to show their community and host those events in Las Cruces. This helps the local economy, and residents they get to show off the area to their friends and colleagues.
The Convention Center will also offer the opportunity to visit different events that may have not been available in this area prior including the Las Cruces KidsFest and the Las Cruces Bridal Showcase. We have been in contact with numerous promoters of a various of types of shows and events that are considering bringing events to Las Cruces.
Our goals with the Las Cruces Convention Center is not only to drive hotel room nights and economic impact, but is also to provide a calendar of diverse content for the area residents.
Contact Picacho Mountain today at 575-523-2500 for more information about all that Las Cruces, New Mexico has to offer and the spectacular custom homes at Picacho Mountain. Custom Homes, Patio Homes, Town Homes, Neighborhood Retail, and more!