Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is the site of the 59th annual Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) Convention in October.

This convention October 20-23 promises a full lineup of guest speakers, meetings, committee work, networking and an expanded day-long equipment trade show featuring the latest and greatest products in sheet metal and hvac sales, service and installation.

SMACNA's convention hotel is Caesars Palace, which opened in the mid 1960s but has had several major updates since then. It now has 2,456 rooms and suites. Magical Empire, a multimillion dollar dining and entertainment complex, opened in 1996. The Garden of the Gods, recently rebuilt, covers 4.5 acres and features three outdoor swimming pools with inlaid marble and granite, two outdoor spas and gardens. In 1997 The Forum Shops at Caesars opened 35 new shops, stores and restaurants in a 276,000-square-foot expansion. In 2000, a $3 billion deal closed to sell Caesars World Inc., including Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, to Park Place Entertainment.

Thirty five million people visit Las Vegas annually, spending $31 billion annually on gaming. The average gambling budget per trip was $607.27 per visitor in 2001, and the average visitor gambled 3.8 hours per day in 2000. According to the 2001 Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study, 86% of visitors said that they gambled during their stay.

In 2001, 4 million convention and trade show delegates traveled to Las Vegas, generating $4.8 billion in non-gaming revenue. Las Vegas hosts the lion's share of Tradeshow Week's Top 200 largest conventions and rents more convention space than any other U.S. city.

Scheduled keynote speaker for the convention opening session on Sunday is James Addison Baker III, former chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan and eyewitness to some of the greatest international events that shape our society today. Born in Houston in 1930, Baker served as undersecretary of commerce and campaign manager for President Gerald Ford. He managed George H.W. Bush's unsuccessful bid for the presidential nomination in 1980, then served as secretary of state from 1989-92 under President Bush. He served as secretary of state during the Persian Gulf War.

Special entertainment guest for the closing ceremonies on Wednesday will be NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno.

SMACNA President Ron Rodgers, Kinetic Systems Inc., Tempe, Ariz., will be passing the gavel at the end of the convention to incoming president Jack Desmond, Cox Engineering Co., Canton, Mass.

Business News Publishing Co. and Snips will once more publish two editions of the Convention Daily distributed on-site free to attendees. It is our 10th year of doing so.

For more information on the convention visit or phone 703-803-2980.

TABB conference

Highlighting the potential of the building commissioning market for SMACNA members, the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) will hold its first annual conference Oct. 18-19 in Las Vegas in conjunction with SMACNA's annual convention.

The goal of the conference is to provide challenging ideas for contractors on how to expand markets in the industry by focusing on building commissioning. "We feel that the commissioning market, which is in its infancy, has the potential to expand the market share for contractors significantly over the next five years," commented Erik Emblem, executive director of the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI).

The conference will open on Friday, Oct. 18 with a reception featuring humorist and Newsday columnist Ed Lowe. On Saturday, the program begins with a report on the International Certification Board (ICB) by Bill Freese, president of International Testing and Balancing. Roy Ringwood, business manager for SMWIA Local 105 and ICB co-chairman, will then offer a perspective on TABB. John Hughes, vice president with FMI, will address building commissioning and its relationship to TABB.

SMACNA members interested in attending the TABB conference may register by using the SMACNA annual convention registration form in the conference brochure. The cost of the two-day program is $195.Visit the SMACNA Web site,, to register online and look for TABB Conference. For additional information, visit or call 800-458-6525.