Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
|Headquarters||Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is the official destination marketing organization for Southern Nevada. The LVCVA is a public-private partnership that owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Cashman Center, and Cashman Field and is responsible for the advertising campaigns for the Clark County, Nevada, area.
The fourteen-member board 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 and Cashman Center. The Authority is responsible for "attracting visitors by promoting Las Vegas as the world's most desirable destination for leisure and business travel."
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"
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. The sale was later overturned by a federal judge who claimed that the sale was made without the knowledge of the board.
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. A recent[when?] study by Applied Analysis shows that the advertising efforts of the LVCVA return $26 for every $1 spent.
In March 2009, the LVCVA launched VegasMeansBusiness.com, 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 140,000 rooms and nearly 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of meeting space available and proximity to McCarran International Airport. The LVCVA created VegasMeansBusiness.com to increase awareness of Las Vegas as the premier location to foster innovation, new ideas and creativity.
Las Vegas Global Business District
The authority has announced plans to expand the direction of the LVCC by creating a Las Vegas Global Business District. Those plans resulted in the announcement for a planned acquisition of the Riviera in February 2015 for $182.5 million.
The Las Vegas Convention Center is about to[when?] undergo an $890 million expansion, the 14th in its history. The expansion is intended to increase the center's meeting space and improve the building's overall design.
The 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) expansion includes 86,000 sq ft (8,000 m2) of dedicated meeting space.
The project is expected to add:
- A meeting room addition spanning the full length of the South Hall
- A grand concourse linking all three halls
- A signature facade in front
- Enclosed pedestrian access for the Las Vegas Monorail
- Police and fire facilities on property
The authority works to bring events to the Las Vegas area, sometimes by providing funds to subsidize events. These events include:
- National Finals Rodeo
- Professional Bull Riders World Finals
- USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament
- 2009 NASCAR Champions Week
- 2009 NHL Awards Ceremony
- 2007 NBA All-Star Game
- 2006 Tennis Channel Open Tennis Tournament
Visitor profile study
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, 2015) showed that:
- The overall average age of a Las Vegas visitor is 47 years old.
- First-time visitors represented approximately 16% of visitors.
- International travelers represent approximately 16% of visitors.
- 57% of visitors arrived by ground transportation, 43% by air.
- The average trip expenditures on food and drink was $292; shopping was $123; shows was $62.
- The average gambling budget per trip, per person, was $579.
The LVCVA posts research publications about Las Vegas visitors at LVCVA.com.
Board of directors
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.
- Chairman, Lawrence Weekly, Commissioner - Clark County Commissioner Office
- Vice Chairman, Chuck Bowling, President and Chief Operating Officer - Mandalay Bay
- Secretary, Bill Noonan, Senior Vice President of Industry and Government Affairs - Boyd Gaming Corporation
- Treasurer, Tom Jenkin, Global President - Caesars Entertainment
- Ricki Barlow, Councilman - City of Las Vegas
- Susan Brager, Commissioner - Clark County Commissioner Office
- Gregory Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Eureka Casino Resort 
- John Lee, Mayor - City of North Las Vegas
- John Marz, Councilman - City of Henderson
- Kristin McMillan, President and CEO – Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce 
- George Rapson, Councilman - City of Mesquite
- Steven D. Ross, Mayor Pro Tempore - City of Las Vegas
- Cam Walker, Mayor Pro Tempore - Boulder City
- Maurice Wooden, President - Wynn & Encore
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
- "Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority's Mission and Purpose". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Spillman, Benjamin (2009-04-15). "LVCVA: What works here, stays here". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- "What Happens in Reno is a Victory for Vegas" Casino City Times
- ”What happens here stays with LVCVA” Las Vegas Sun
- "Destination Las Vegas Advertising Awareness"
- "Las Vegas Conventions and Meetings - Planning Help and Facility Maps". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- “Ten reasons to hold your event in Las Vegas”, VegasMeansBusiness.com
- , Las Vegas Sun
- "Las Vegas Stats and Facts". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "The LVCVA Board of Directors". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "Mesquite Nevada Hotels - Eureka Casino Resort - Mesquite, Nevada". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce - The largest and most influential business organization in the State of Nevada". Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "Policy Group takes on LVCVA" KLAS-TV
- "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
- "Taxpayers make donation; LVCVA chief gets award" by Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal
- "NPRI's transparency project"
- "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
- "Policy Group critical of LVCVA", KLAS-TV, Channel 8