Daily Archives: May 11, 2009

One Up, One Down in Las Vegas Recession Game

The recession has slowed much of the recent growth in downtown Las Vegas, but Mayor Oscar Goodman’s dream of a downtown renaissance is still alive.  Goodman cut the ribbon at last Thursday’s opening of the El Cortez Cabana Suites, a boutique hotel adjacent to the longtime downtown property. 

The Cabana Suites, developed on the site of the 100-room Ogden House, is located at the corner of Ogden Avenue and 6th Street.  Billed as the “sassy younger sister” to the El Cortez, owners hope the aqua-blue exterior and posh lobby make the property stand out in a neighborhood that has seen stunted growth in recent years. 

Word also came last Friday that another Las Vegas downtown business, the Galaxy Theaters at Neonopolis, closed its doors. The move leaves the once promising entertainment complex without an anchor tenant.

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Danny Gans’ Memorial Service in Las Vegas

A memorial service for very popular Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans will be May 21 in Wynn Encore Theater in Las Vegas where he had performed since February. 

The memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be by invitation only because of the seating limitations and “the many people who crossed Danny’s path,” said Gans’ manager, Chip Lightman. 

Gan, who was found dead at his Henderson, Nevada home May 1, was buried May 5 in Las Vegas after a private funeral.

The family is asking that cards be sent to Danny Gans Family, c/o Encore Hotel, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109.  In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be made to Gans’ favorite charities, the Junior Golf Academy and the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

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Nevada Travel & Tourism Sales Blitz This Week

Some may still not feel promoting Nevada travel and tourism benefits is a good idea in our stagnating economy, especially following President Obama’s February comments about frivolous travel in Las Vegas by corporations that accepted federal bailout money.  

But don’t tell that to Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman or casino mogul Steve Wynn.  Both want to bend the ear – and more – of President Obama when he vists Las Vegas on May 26 and headlines a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.  (Las Vegas Backstage Access April 1 article.) 

Wynn wants Obama to specifically address Nevada tourism.  “The people that voted in the Democratic Party, for the main part, work in the tourism and travel industry as cooks and waiters and housekeeping,” Wynn said. “They are being hit very hard not only by the recession but by federal policy that has discouraged travel.” 

Providing added fuel to boost Nevada’s flailing tourism industry, six Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) staffers have taken to the road early today for a western sales “blitz” during National Travel and Tourism Week to promote special travel deals designed to boost Nevada visitor numbers, according to NCOT chairperson and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki. 

The sales team will visit travel agents, tour operators, AAA offices and other influential tourism industry representatives in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Several tourism industry partners from around the state will accompany the staff members from NCOT’s Sales and Industry Partners department. 

“There’s no better time for fun in Nevada than now, because of the special travel deals at hotels, golf courses, shops, spas and entertainment venues throughout the state. It’s a productive way for NCOT to observe this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week and a great way to attract more visitors in this current economy,” says Krolicki.   

The team will visit AAA offices that advise consumers about travel destinations, tour operators that bring groups of customers to Nevada and receptive operators who help with arrangements in the state. At each stop they will distribute USB flash drives that contain the new NCOT Industry Partners Newsletter, Nevada Magazine’s Events and Shows publication, a listing called What’s New in Nevada and an introduction to the new Web site, NV.Mobi, which makes travel information accessible by mobile phones and devices, a consumer newsletter and special spring travel packages. They also will hand out the Visitor Guide and fliers with information about special events and attractions. 

The team will also visit six different tribes to exchange ideas and generate interest in attending American Indian events in Nevada throughout the year and meet with a Japanese credit card company in Los Angeles to promote special Nevada travel deals for the company’s cardholders. 

Nevada’s attractions and deals with tour operators and motorcoach companies will be promoted in Salt Lake City, a strong market for travel to Elko County and other points in eastern and southern Nevada including Las Vegas. 

“Tourism is a highly competitive industry, and we need to be aggressive and never let up in our sales and marketing efforts,” Krolicki said. “Nevada is a destination that allows consumers to maximize the value of their dollars, and we must do all we can to boost awareness, attract more business and maintain our place as a leading destination.” 

The sales blitz is NCOT’s second since December 2008, when economic challenges were escalating and the commission stepped up its already vigorous sales efforts. 

National Travel and Tourism Week on May 9-17 is an annual observance by the U.S. Travel Association in Washington, D.C., that focuses on the industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy, which is worth more than $700 billion.

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