Bold . . . dramatic . . . unconventional . . . unique . . . innovative . . . unfinished . . . controversial . . . disheveled . . . chaotic . . . sculptural . . . breathtaking! These are only a few of the monikers that have been critically applied to what one could argue is one of the most impressive buildings in Las Vegas – impressive not only for its architectural vision, creativity and notoriety, but also (and perhaps more importantly) for its intent, purpose and resounding success. My first thought in writing this blog post was to title it “Frank Gehry’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health / Keep Memory Alive Event Center.” But after spending some time with KMA Event Center’s Director David Watts, it was obvious that while Frank Gehry was the creative vehicle that drove the design, Larry Ruvo was the fuel that energized its visionary journey.
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (officially the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health) opened on May 21, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Center has become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington ‘s Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education. A major component of this complex is the Keep Memory Alive Event Center (also known as KMA), founded by Larry Ruvo, senior managing partner of Southern Wines and Spirits, in memory of his father, Lou Ruvo, a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease. KMA, which is the primary focus of this post, supports the mission of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, serving as a unique venue for annual star-studded galas attended by celebrities and notables from around the world, as well as a popular venue for other public and private events throughout the year. It has become one of Las Vegas’ most important charity initiatives and a key participant in the national fight against Alzheimer’s disease.