LAS VEGAS (Oct. 22, 2001) — Taking steps to alleviate concerns in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., ConvExx Management is upgrading security at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the Specialty Equipment Market Association/International Tire Expo, which begins Oct. 30.
Chuck Schwartz, chairman of ConvExx show management, said the enhanced security will include daily sweeps of the convention center, controlled entrance points and controlled vehicle traffic entering all convention center areas. In addition, packages will be subject to searches.
Upon arriving at the show, participants will need to show two forms of identification, such as a photo ID and a business card—when picking up badges, Mr. Schwartz said. He added that the number of badge pick-up spots has been doubled.
On show days, all packages will be checked before they can be taken into the convention center. This might cause some slight delays on the opening day of the show, he said, when many exhibitors will be carrying items to their booths.
Sweeps of the grounds will take place every night, Monday through Thursday, with security personnel looking “for anything unusual,” Mr. Schwartz said.
The enhanced security measures are not intended to be obtrusive to show participants, he said. Rather, he wanted the show to go on as planned, but with heightened security. He said he anticipates little objection from attendees, who will benefit from an added sense of security.
The air conditioning system of the Las Vegas Convention Center is a sealed self-circulating system, he added, and has no outside vents, making tampering difficult for exterior application of contaminants.
SEMA said it already has spent an additional $100,000 on extra security, which it will not recoup.
“You just eat it. There's not much you can do,” Mr. Schwartz said. “Since Sept. 11, I've spent 50 percent of my time dealing with this. It's been overwhelming.”