Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

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Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Industrytourism
conventions
Founded1955; 67 years ago (1955)
FounderNevada Legislature
HeadquartersWinchester, Nevada, U.S.
Area served
Southern Nevada
Total assetsLas Vegas Convention Center
Websitelvcva.com

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is a government agency and the official destination marketing organization for Southern Nevada.[1] It was founded by the Nevada Legislature in 1955. The LVCVA owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and is responsible for the advertising campaigns for the Clark County, Nevada area. The LVCVA also owns the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop and the Las Vegas Monorail.[2] The LVCVA previously operated the Cashman Center complex; however the City of Las Vegas took control of Cashman Center at the end of 2017 and is evaluating possibilities for the facility's future.[3]

The fourteen-member board of directors of LVCVA is made up of eight elected officials appointed from each local municipality and six private-industry members appointed equally by the Nevada Resort Association and the Vegas Chamber. Funding is provided by a room tax on all hotels in the county and through building revenue from the Las Vegas Convention Center, and through issuing bonds.[4][5]

Branding[edit]

One of the primary tasks for the LVCVA is the promotion and branding of Las Vegas. Since 2007, the Las Vegas brand is the second-most recognized brand in the U.S. following Google.[6]

The authority is also responsible for the advertising campaigns for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Working with the advertising company R&R Partners since 1982, they have developed advertising campaigns including:

  • Only in Vegas
  • What happens here, stays here

"What happens here, stays here"[edit]

After the $1 sale of the "What happens here, stays here" trademark to R&R Partners on November 9, 2004, the LVCVA paid $321,000 in attorney's fees because of an investigation into the legality of the controversial sale.[7] The sale was later overturned by a federal judge who claimed that the sale was made without the knowledge of the board.[8]

According to internal LVCVA documents, the advertising campaign "What happens here, stays here" has had little impact as most people, about 70%, stated to R&R (the advertising firm who created the ad and conducted the market research) that the slogan had no impact on their decision to visit Las Vegas.[9] A recent[when?] study by Applied Analysis shows that the advertising efforts of the LVCVA return $26 for every $1 spent.[citation needed]

VegasMeansBusiness.com[edit]

In March 2009, the LVCVA launched VegasMeansBusiness.com,[10] a resource for the business community to keep up-to-date on the latest news and events in Las Vegas and the meetings and conventions industry. The website also promotes Las Vegas' attributes as a leading destination for meetings and conventions, including the approximately 150,000 rooms and more than 11,500,000 square feet (1,070,000 m2) of meeting space available and proximity to McCarran International Airport.[11] The LVCVA created VegasMeansBusiness.com to increase awareness of Las Vegas as the premier location to foster innovation, new ideas and creativity.

West Hall Expansion[edit]

The LVCVA submitted a master plan to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee in 2015 that laid the groundwork for the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. A special session of the Nevada Legislature was called in October 2016 where an increase in the lodging tax was approved to secure $1.4 billion for the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center and $750 million for a future NFL stadium.[12] Those plans resulted in the announcement for a planned acquisition of the Riviera in February 2015 for $182.5 million.[13] The Riviera was imploded in 2016[14] with construction work on the expansion officially beginning in September 2018.[15]

Substantial construction of the new West Hall was completed in December 2020 at a final cost of $1 billion. The expansion added 1.4 million square feet of space to the LVCC campus and includes a 600,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

World of Concrete was the first show to make use of the West Hall in June 2021.[16]

Activities[edit]

The authority works to bring events to the Las Vegas area, sometimes by providing funds to subsidize events.[citation needed] These events include:

The authority is also a sponsor of the National Hockey League and have the naming rights to Las Vegas Ballpark in a 20-year, $80 million naming rights agreement.

Research[edit]

The LVCVA has an in-house research team that conducts research projects and initiates programs that help track the tourism industry in Southern Nevada, the United States, and across the globe.

Key pieces of ongoing research include:

Board of directors[edit]

The authority is governed by a 14-member board.[18] The members are chosen according to a specific formula set out in the Nevada Revised Statutes:[19]

Eight must be elected officials:

The above eight members then select six more from business:

  • three persons nominated by the Vegas Chamber,[20] of which two must represent tourism, with the remaining one representing tourism-related commerce
  • three persons nominated by "the association of gaming establishments whose membership in the county collectively paid the most gross revenue fees to the State": i.e., the Nevada Resort Association[21]

Terms on the board are the same as an elected official's, or two years for business members.[19]

As of June 2021, the board is composed of:[22]

Role on LVCVA board Name Organization(s) represented Role at organization(s) Term start Term end
Chair John Marz City of Henderson Councilman August 2017 December 2022
Vice Chair Marilyn Spiegel Wynn and Encore President July 2019 June 2021
Secretary James B. Gibson Clark County Commissioner January 2021 December 2022
Treasurer Anton Nikodemus CityCenter Aria Resort & Casino / Vdara Hotel & Spa President and COO July 2019 June 2021
Member Scott DeAngelo Allegiant Travel Company Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer July 2020 June 2022
Member Michele Fiore City of Las Vegas Councilwoman March 2018 November 2022
Member Carolyn Goodman City of Las Vegas Mayor July 2019 November 2024
Member Pamela Goynes-Brown City of North Las Vegas Councilwoman and Mayor pro tem August 2018 November 2024
Member Jan Jones Blackhurst Caesars Entertainment; International Gaming Institute at UNLV Board member; Chief Executive in Residence September 2020 June 2021
Member Kiernan McManus City of Boulder City Mayor August 2019 November 2022
Member Michael Naft Clark County Commissioner January 2021 December 2022
Member Mary Beth Sewald Vegas Chamber President and CEO July 2019 June 2021
Member Steve Thompson Boyd Gaming Corporation Executive Vice President, Operations July 2019 June 2022
Member Brian Wursten City of Mesquite Councilman February 2021 June 2021

Awards[edit]

In 2020, the Las Vegas Convention Center was awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR facility accreditation to control the risks associated with infectious agents, including the virus responsible for COVID-19.[23]

In 2020, Las Vegas was named the country’s No. 1 trade show destination for the 26th consecutive year according to Trade Show News Network.[24]

In 2017, Las Vegas was named the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination for the fifth consecutive year according to the World Travel Awards.[25]

In 2017 the LVCVA was awarded Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the 33rd consecutive year by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).[26]

In 2017, the LVCVA was recognized with the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Financial Reporting for the fiscal year 2016 Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the 10th consecutive year by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).[26]

In 2007, the LVCVA won the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award sponsored by the American Psychological Association.[27]

Controversy[edit]

The Nevada Policy Research Institute uncovered fiscal mismanagement with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a public agency in Las Vegas which is funded by visitor-paid room tax dollars.[28] According to NPRI's investigation the LVCVA entered into a ten-year no-bid contract with R&R, a marketing firm, where R&R overcharged the LVCVA and despite the LVCVA uncovering the over-billing management refused to seek repayment. The LVCVA also allowed R&R to approve its own expenses, and failed to question or oversee most of the expenses being billed to them. The contract with R&R is worth $87 million, including a $40 million advertising contract, which includes a commission for R&R, where the LVCVA cannot identify R&R's expenses.[29] Public records show that Rossi Ralenkotter approved approximately $30,000 in spending that included multiple dinners with bottles of wine, veal, fillets, chocolate mousse dessert and a $25,000 donation to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, a Denver-based hospital which was giving Ralenkotter an award that year. The documents also show that Ralenkotter used tax dollars to pay for limousine services and a tuxedo.[30][31]

According to NPRI, the LVCVA is funded by the room tax ($220 million in revenue), taking in more money than the Clark County School District, and is also a state agency subject to state laws regarding employees, benefits, and travel expenses.[32] According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the problems uncovered by NPRI's reports were already documented by an internal auditor and the problems have been addressed by management.[33]

In 2018, an audit committee report disclosed, among other irregularities, board members had been using gift cards, which Southwest Airlines had been providing since 2012, for personal travel. Misuse of the cards had been known since February, 2017.[34]

In March 2020, Ed Finger, the chief financial officer for LVCVA, and Luke Puschnig, the agency's former legal counsel, were among a half-dozen witnesses subpoenaed to testify at a hearing in front of Las Vegas Justice of the Peace, Harmony Letizia.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://assets.simpleviewcms.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/lasvegas/BOARD_POLICIES_10_2019_04514505-d06f-4ee1-b738-871d59073070.pdf
  2. ^ "LVCVA enables Boring to proceed with underground transit system". Las Vegas Review-Journal. December 11, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  3. ^ "A look at Cashman Center's 34-year history as it closes Tuesday — PHOTOS". December 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "LVCVA to sell $500M in bonds for convention center expansion". Las Vegas Review-Journal. May 8, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  5. ^ "NRS: CHAPTER 244A - COUNTIES: FINANCING OF PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS". www.leg.state.nv.us. 244A.637. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Spillman, Benjamin (April 15, 2009). "LVCVA: What works here, stays here". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  7. ^ "What Happens in Reno is a Victory for Vegas" Casino City Times
  8. ^ ”What happens here stays with LVCVA” Las Vegas Sun
  9. ^ "Destination Las Vegas Advertising Awareness"
  10. ^ "Las Vegas Conventions and Meetings - Planning Help and Facility Maps". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  11. ^ “Ten reasons to hold your event in Las Vegas”, VegasMeansBusiness.com
  12. ^ "Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to sign Raiders stadium bill into law at UNLV". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  13. ^ [1], Las Vegas Sun
  14. ^ Valley, Jackie (August 16, 2016). "Final Riviera tower imploded, closing chapter of Las Vegas history - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "Construction of $935.1M Las Vegas Convention Center starting". Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 11, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  16. ^ Horwath, Bryan (June 8, 2021). "Officials show off Las Vegas Convention Center expansion as 1st big trade show returns - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  17. ^ "LVCVA awards $500M advertising-marketing contract to R&R Partners". Las Vegas Review-Journal. July 13, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  18. ^ "Board of Directors | Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority". www.lvcva.com. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "NRS: CHAPTER 244A - COUNTIES: FINANCING OF PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS". www.leg.state.nv.us. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  20. ^ "Las Vegas Chamber adopts new name, unveils new logo". Las Vegas Review-Journal. January 15, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  21. ^ "The LVCVA Board of Directors". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  22. ^ "Board of Directors | Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority". www.lvcva.com. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  23. ^ "Las Vegas Convention Center Earns GBAC STAR Accreditation". Trade Show Executive. August 28, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  24. ^ "2019 TSNN Top Trade Shows List Unveiled – CES Snags Top Spot". TSNN. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  25. ^ "Las Vegas Named World's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination". December 19, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Honored with Top Financial Awards". March 13, 2017.
  27. ^ "Awards listing" (PDF). www.apa.org. 2007.
  28. ^ ""Policy Group takes on LVCVA" KLAS-TV". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  29. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  30. ^ "Taxpayers make donation; LVCVA chief gets award" by Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  31. ^ test, publication. "NPRI's Transparency Project on the LVCVA". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  32. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  33. ^ "Policy Group critical of LVCVA", KLAS-TV, Channel 8
  34. ^ German, Jeff; Kane, Arthur; Joseph, Brian (April 25, 2018). "Las Vegas tourism boss misused travel cards for personal trips". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  35. ^ "2 officials tied to LVCVA subpoenaed in gift card criminal case". Las Vegas Review-Journal. March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.

External links[edit]