Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

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Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Founded 1955; 63 years ago (1955)
Founder Nevada Legislature
Headquarters Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
Website lvcva.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 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:

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]

[16]

Awards[edit]

In 2018, Las Vegas was named the country’s No. 1 trade show destination for the 24th consecutive year in a row according to Trade Show News Network [17]

In 2017, Las Vegas was named the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination for the fifth consecutive year according to the World Travel Awards [18]

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) [19]

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) [19]

In 2007, the LVCVA won the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award sponsored by the American Psychological Association.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23][24]

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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A look at Cashman Center's 34-year history as it closes Tuesday — PHOTOS". December 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Spillman, Benjamin (2009-04-15). "LVCVA: What works here, stays here". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 15 April 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. ^ "Mesquite Nevada Hotels - Eureka Casino Resort - Mesquite, Nevada". Retrieved January 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ "LVCVA Board of Directors". 
  16. ^ "LVCVA Board of Directors - LVCVA Departments". www.lvcva.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  17. ^ "CONEXPO-CON/AGG Snags Top Spot on 2017 TSNN Top Trade Show List - TSNN Trade Show News". www.tsnn.com. 
  18. ^ "Las Vegas Named World's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination". December 19, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Honored with Top Financial Awards". March 13, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Awards listing" (PDF). www.apa.org. 2007. 
  21. ^ ""Policy Group takes on LVCVA" KLAS-TV". Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  22. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  23. ^ "Taxpayers make donation; LVCVA chief gets award" by Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  24. ^ 'test", publication. "NPRI's Transparency Project on the LVCVA". Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  25. ^ "LVCVA, ad agency defend deal" by AD Hopkins, Las Vegas Review-Journal
  26. ^ "Policy Group critical of LVCVA", KLAS-TV, Channel 8
  27. ^ German, Jeff; Kane, Arthur; Joseph, Brian (25 April 2018). "Las Vegas tourism boss misused travel cards for personal trips". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 

External links[edit]