Company History

1994 Las Vegas city and community leaders including Steve and Elaine Wynn, Don Snyder, and John Goolsby met at the Golden Nugget for a Community Call to Action meeting. 

1996 Las Vegas Performing Arts Center Foundation (“LVPACF”) is incorporated on June 17.

1997 A feasibility and planning study by John Von Szeliski & Associates concluded “the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center is in a strong position with excellent prospect for success.”

2000 After careful consideration, research, and development, the business plan for the LVPACF is completed.

Dec 2000 City of Las Vegas acquired 61 acres of vacant land southeast of the “spaghetti bowl.”

May 2001 State Senate passed Concurrent Resolution #43, which supported the idea of a public/private partnership to build a performing arts center in downtown Las Vegas.

May 2003 Las Vegas City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding documenting the city’s intent to provide land, infrastructure, environmental clean-up, and parking for a performing arts center within the 61-acre development. 

July 2003 The Nevada Legislature approved a bill (enhanced in June 2005) authorizing a car rental fee to generate funds for the construction of a performing arts center, subject to County Commission implementation. The City of Las Vegas followed suit, signing a Disposition and Development Agreement, which confirmed their commitment of land development, environmental clean-up, and parking.

Sept 2003 Public opinion survey conducted by nationally recognized pollster Frank Luntz showed that residents overwhelmingly support construction of a performing arts center downtown.

Aug 2004 Turnaround Arts Management conducted a thorough pre-architectural study that documented the community’s need for—and ability to support—a performing arts center. 

Jan 2005 The quiet phase of the fundraising campaign began, enabling the LVPACF to secure sizable leadership gifts.

Feb 2005 Clark County Commissioners unanimously approved implementing a 2% fee on tourist car rentals to generate    construction funding. A day later, the City of Las Vegas unanimously approved land and infrastructure for the project.

March 2005 The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation announced a gift of $50 million—at that time the largest single charitable gift ever given in Nevada—for an endowment to be used for operations and educational programs offered by The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Dec 2005 The Las Vegas City Council approved the Development Agreement between the LVPACF and the City to design, construct and lease a performing arts center.

Jan 2006 The design architect selection process began.

June 2006 The Smith Center’s location was finalized by the City Council following Newland Communities’ presentation of a revised area master plan for the 61-acre development.

Aug 2006 The design phase began with the announcement of the design architect and design team.

Oct 2007 The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation announced a second gift of $100 million—again the largest single charitable gift ever given in Nevada—to allow the LVPACF to build the main hall and the education building at the same time.

April 2009 Bond issues—secured by county car rental fee and fundraising activity—were completed to fund construction. 

May 2009 The Smith Center broke ground on May 26, signaling the start of the public phase of fundraising.

Spring 2012 Opening Night Celebration!