Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

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Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Industrytourism
conventions
Founded1955; 65 years ago (1955)
FounderNevada Legislature
HeadquartersWinchester, Nevada, U.S.
Area served
Southern Nevada
Total assetsLas Vegas Convention Center
Cashman Field
Cashman Center
Websitelvcva.com

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is a government agency and the official destination marketing organization for Southern Nevada. It was founded by the Nevada Legislature in 1955. The LVCVA is a public-private partnership[not verified in body] that owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), operates Cashman Field and is responsible for the advertising campaigns for the Clark County, Nevada area. The city of Las Vegas took control of Cashman Center at the end of 2017, and is evaluating possibilities for the facility's future.[1]

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 Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. Funding is provided by a room tax on all hotels in the county and through building revenue from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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.[2]

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.[3] The sale was later overturned by a federal judge who claimed that the sale was made without the knowledge of the board.[4]

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.[5] 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,[6] 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.[7] The LVCVA created VegasMeansBusiness.com to increase awareness of Las Vegas as the premier location to foster innovation, new ideas and creativity.

Las Vegas Convention Center District[edit]

The authority has announced plans to expand the direction of the LVCC by creating a Las Vegas Convention Center District.[8] Those plans resulted in the announcement for a planned acquisition of the Riviera in February 2015 for $182.5 million.[9]

Plans are being made to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center, with an expected completion date of 2021.[10]

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.

Visitor profile study[edit]

Since the mid-1970s, the LVCVA has published a Visitor Profile Study, based on thousands of personal interviews with visitors. The latest study (covering the year to December 31, 2016) showed that:

  • The overall average age of a Las Vegas visitor is 44 years old.
  • First-time visitors represented approximately 27% of visitors.
  • International travelers represent approximately 19% of visitors.
  • 54% of visitors arrived by ground transportation, 46% by air.
  • The average trip expenditures on food and drink was $318; shopping was $157; shows was $68.
  • The average gambling budget per trip, per person, was $619.[11]

The LVCVA posts research publications about Las Vegas visitors at LVCVA.com.[12]

Board of directors[edit]

The authority is governed by a 14-member board. Of those, eight are required to be elected officials and the other six are appointed by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Nevada Resort Association.[13] The board members represent Clark County, incorporated cities within the county as well as tourism, hospitality and entertainment industries.[14]

  • Chairman, Larry Brown, commissioner - Clark County Commission (Term: January 2017 – December 2020)
  • Vice Chair, Marilyn Spiegel, president - Wynn and Encore (Term: July 2019 – June 2021)
  • Secretary, John Marz, councilman - City of Henderson (Term: August 2017 – December 2022)
  • Treasurer, John Lee, chairman and chief executive officer - Eureka Casino Resort (Term: January 2017 – December 2020)
  • Michele Fiore, councilwoman - City of Las Vegas (Term: March 2018 – June 2021)
  • Carolyn G. Goodman, mayor - City of Las Vegas (Term: July 2019 – June 2023)
  • Pamela Goynes-Brown, mayor pro-tem - City of North Las Vegas (Term: August 2018-November 2024)
  • Tom Jenkin, global president - Caesars Entertainment (Term: July 2019- June 2021)
  • Kiernan McManus, mayor – Boulder City (Term: August 2019 – November 2022)
  • Anton Nikodemus, president and COO luxury portfolio properties - MGM Resorts International Term: Month July 2019 – June 2021)
  • George Rapson, councilman - City of Mesquite (Term: July 2019 – June 2021)
  • Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO - Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce (Term: July 2019 – June 2021)
  • Steve Thompson, executive vice president operations - Boyd Gaming Corporation (Term: July 2019 - June 2020)
  • Lawrence Weekly, commissioner, Clark County Commission (Term: January 2017 – December 2020)

Awards[edit]

In 2018, Las Vegas was named the country’s No. 1 trade show destination for the 24th consecutive year according to Trade Show News Network.[15]

In 2017, Las Vegas was named the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination for the fifth consecutive year according to the World Travel Awards.[16]

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).[17]

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).[17]

In 2007, the LVCVA won the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award sponsored by the American Psychological Association.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21][22]

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.[23] 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "A look at Cashman Center's 34-year history as it closes Tuesday — PHOTOS". December 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Spillman, Benjamin (April 15, 2009). "LVCVA: What works here, stays here". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  3. ^ "What Happens in Reno is a Victory for Vegas" Casino City Times
  4. ^ ”What happens here stays with LVCVA” Las Vegas Sun
  5. ^ "Destination Las Vegas Advertising Awareness"
  6. ^ "Las Vegas Conventions and Meetings - Planning Help and Facility Maps". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  7. ^ “Ten reasons to hold your event in Las Vegas”, VegasMeansBusiness.com
  8. ^ "Las Vegas Convention Center District - Las Vegas CVA". www.lvcva.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  9. ^ [1], Las Vegas Sun
  10. ^ Slowey, Kim (April 12, 2018). "Las Vegas Convention Center reveals design for $860M expansion". Construction Dive. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Profile study" (PDF). www.lvcva.com.
  12. ^ "Las Vegas Stats and Facts". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "The LVCVA Board of Directors". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Board of Directors | Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority". www.lvcva.com. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  15. ^ "CONEXPO-CON/AGG Snags Top Spot on 2017 TSNN Top Trade Show List - TSNN Trade Show News". www.tsnn.com.
  16. ^ "Las Vegas Named World's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination". December 19, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Honored with Top Financial Awards". March 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Awards listing" (PDF). www.apa.org. 2007.
  19. ^ ""Policy Group takes on LVCVA" KLAS-TV". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  21. ^ "Taxpayers make donation; LVCVA chief gets award" by Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  22. ^ 'test", publication. "NPRI's Transparency Project on the LVCVA". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  23. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  24. ^ "Policy Group critical of LVCVA", KLAS-TV, Channel 8
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "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]