While most segments of Nevada’s economy have been shrinking, if not temporarily disappearing all together, there’s one area that not only met budget projections but those projections earned more than $100 million dollars for various Nevada coffers.
The Nevada Film Office (NFO) announced that film related production revenue for 2008 totaled $110,552,900, making it the 9th year that the NFO has met their $100 million benchmark.
“The figures from the last decade confirm that Nevada is at the forefront of the film industry as a production destination.” said Luis Valera, Commissioner for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.
The NFO assists a variety of productions including commercials, television series and student and feature movies. The movie “21” and CSI: Las Vegas are favorites that come to mind. But already in 2009 the reality program The Locator, comedy show Howie Do It and the news program ABC Primetime have all completed Las Vegas filming segments.
In 2008, the current box office smash Race to Witch Mountain spent several weeks filming in downtown Las Vegas- and it didn’t just spend time under the glitzy neon glamour lighting. As with other productions, non-Strip Las Vegas facilities served as useful and realistic filming locations. The Fergusons Motel on 10th street was the home of down on his luck hero cabbie Jack Bruno (aka Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson). The El Cortez Hotel and perennial filming favorite, Planet Hollywood, was featured prominently. And in addition to filming on the Strip and through Fremont Street, the Race to Witch Mountain crew spent time working at Red Rock Canyon – which once again appears to be the perfect setting for another far, far away and very arid planet.
With a growing list of Las Vegas film projects already approved and permitted for 2009, this is sure to be another banner year for NFO revenues. That should translate into more revenue in the bank for hotels, caterers and equipment rental agencies. And, of course, Las Vegas residents who earn extra bucks playing extras, will continue to bring Nevada to life on plasma TVs around the world.
With this amount of money spent by film crews each year, Las Vegas won’t even mind if the hero makes a grand exit through the side door of the Tropicana and walks out under the blinking winking lights of the Fremont Street canopy (Angel – Season 4 – The House Always Wins).
After all, the buck stopped in Las Vegas, right?