Tag Archives: Nevada tourism

Las Vegas Tapped for World Travel and Tourism Summit

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has selected Las Vegas as the host city for its 2011 Global Travel & Tourism Summit, following an endorsement from local tourism organizations. Earlier the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) had voted to invest $1.5 million in the event, which is scheduled for May, 2011.

With heads of industry and government from around the world expected, the Aria Resort & Casino has been selected to host the prestigious event.

WTTC chief executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten told the Associated Press recently the group had selected Las Vegas in part because the city is symbolic of tourism in the United States.

“We cannot choose a better place than Las Vegas,” Mr Baumgarten explained. “The whole economy, all of what we are seeing, all the impacts of travel and tourism on the economy, on jobs, on the future and investment make Las Vegas a better choice.”

Approximately 244,000 people are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in Las Vegas – more than 30 per cent of Las Vegas’ total work force – according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The so-called Sin City is famous for gambling as much as tourism.

This year’s WTTC summit is scheduled to begin in Beijing, China on May 25th.

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Passage of Travel Promotion Act aims to spur growth into Las Vegas from international visitors

Las Vegas tourism officials believe the federal Travel Promotion Act legislation that was signed into law last week will lead to a marked growth in international visitors, one of the gaming industry’s few positive market segments in the challenging economic climate. 

Under the legislation, signed into law by President Barack Obama, a program will be created that will allow the United States to advertise the country as a destination for international travelers. It creates a public-private partnership for travel promotion that is partly funded by a $10 fee paid by international travelers. 

The idea for the Travel Promotion Act originated from the 1995 White House Conference on Tourism. It was revived after the economic downturn saw the United States lose some 68 million international visitors, which accounted for losses of $509 million in consumer spending, $32 million in tax revenue and 441,000 jobs, according to a study done by Oxford Economics. 

The same study found the act could potentially draw 1.6 million new international visitors to the United States, which would generate $4 billion in new spending.

Las Vegas tourism officials hope to capture some of those visitors and market separately to potential international visitors as well. 

The convention authority estimated the act would increase international visitation to 20 percent of Las Vegas’ total market share. In addition, while Oxford believes the act will be responsible for creating 40,000 tourism jobs nationally, the convention authority estimated an increase in international visitation could create another 12,000 jobs in Southern Nevada.

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China Comes to U.S. Rescue of Maglev Train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Long discussed and hotly debated for years, it appears if the magnetic levitation train (called ‘Maglev’) ferrying passengers (and tourists!) from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is really to get started in earnest, it will take Chinese funding- lots of it. 

China announced last week that it is willing to loan $7  billion to build the project. 

All that is needed for the loan to go though is a promise of support from the U.S. government. 

Maglev officials said the Export-Import Bank of China is willing to lend the money with the knowledge that if the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission is unable to pay the funds back, federal officials will. 

What’s a little petty cash transaction between friends?

{Also, a prior article is available on the high speed Maglev train issue by Las Vegas Backstage Access.}

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Go to Las Vegas- and Go Broke?

A careless remark by President Barack Obama about Las Vegas has triggered a furious backlash from Nevada’s cash-strapped gambling mecca and a key Democratic ally fighting a tough re-election battle in the state. 

Speaking about the economy yesterday at an event in Nashua, New Hampshire, Mr. Obama told Americans: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices.” 

The economy of Las Vegas, the world’s most famous gambling and entertainment destination, is heavily dependent on tourism and Las Vegans were already incensed by a crack from Mr. Obama a year ago that companies should not use federal bail out money for trips to the city.   The city is still reeling from that comment, trying to keep bookings and revenues up on conventions and other events. 

Mr. Obama’s latest remark about Las Vegas prompted a swift and angry retort from Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, who is fighting an extremely uphill battle to win re-election in Nevada, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S. – a whopping 13 per cent.

Mr. Obama hurriedly dispatched a letter to Mr. Reid. “I hope you know that during my Town Hall today, I wasn’t saying anything negative about Las Vegas,” he wrote. 

Oscar Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas and an independent, also got into the fray, raising his voice and describing President Obama as “a real slow learner” who has a “psychological hang-up” about Las Vegas. 

Mr. Goodman added that this time an apology from Mr. Obama wouldn’t be enough. “I’ll do everything I can to give him the boot.” 

Last year, Mr. Obama apologized for his prior gaffe and during a visit to Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas said that it was good to get out of Washington and “there’s nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week.” 

Repercussions surrounding the current incident are not nearly over.  In a couple of weeks, Mr. Obama is planning another visit to Las Vegas, which surely will cause sparks to fly anew.

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CityCenter Gets Ready to Blossom in Las Vegas – Opening Schedule

In just three short months, the world will be introduced to CityCenter in Las Vegas. An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, CityCenter will debut a new era of resort experiences with an ambition to refine and redefine Las Vegas. 

Conceived to bring a true center to The Strip, CityCenter will be much more than a collection of resorts and residences; it will rather be a true community – a welcoming environment for people to gather, relax and enjoy. Great pedestrian corridors, dynamic public spaces, authentic richness and diversity of experiences will voke the energy of the world’s most exciting places. 

CityCenter’s public Fine Art Collection will enliven the street and engage passersby. As if in a trolling gallery, guests will happen upon works by world-renowned artists such as Maya Lin or Nancy Rubins as they wander through CityCenter’s walkways, hotels and residences. 

Upon opening, CityCenter will be one of the largest sustainable developments in existence, bringing a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. The U.S. Green Building Council already has awarded Gold LEED(R) certification to ARIA’s hotel tower, convention center and theater; as well as Vdara Hotel. CityCenter’s remaining venues are poised to receive a combination of Silver and Gold LEED(R) ratings.

(Prior to this, Las Vegas Backstage Access has written many articles on specific venues.  Please use the search feature to find under, “CityCenter.”) 

CITYCENTER’S GRAND OPENING SCHEDULE: 

    —  Vdara Hotel – December 1, 2009

    —  Crystals retail and entertainment district – December 3, 2009

    —  Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas – December 4, 2009

    —  ARIA Resort & Casino – December 16, 2009

    —  The Harmon – Late 2010 

Residential occupancies slated to begin mid-January 2010.

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Burning Man LIVE!

For those of you that are not one of the fortunate 48,000 or so radical and self-reliant Burning Man participants- called ”Burners” -now hanging out and trying to survive the sweltering heat in Black Rock City in Nevada with few worldly possessions, at least you can relax in the comfort of your home and see a techno live streaming view of the self-expressive, artistic event that runs through September 7 at:  http://www.ustream. tv/channel/ burningman- live    Not only can you view the event live, but you can socially chat online at the same time.   My how technology is all pervasive, not matter where you go in life.

Last time Las Vegas Backstage Access took a peek, we saw bicyclers galore peddling on the dusty playa– and then an ambulance raced across the screen in the foreground.  What fun!

[On March 25, we wrote an article on Burning Man.]

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Chef Emeril Lagasse Announces ‘Lagasse’s Stadium’ in Las Vegas

Chef Emeril Lagasse and The Palazzo in Las Vegas announced Lagasse’s Stadium – a ground-breaking new place to dine, watch and play – opening this fall at The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino. Sports fans will be in the center of the action while enjoying Chef Emeril’s world-famous cuisine and warm hospitality in this new state-of-the-art venue.  EmerilLagasse

Custom sports viewing walls consisting of nearly 100 high definition screens will provide unprecedented access to nearly every major college and professional sporting event, including must-see bowl games, track races, tournaments, and championship match-ups. 

Lagasse’s Stadium will be Lagasse’s third project with The Palazzo and adjoining Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. The other two endeavors include the acclaimed Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian and Table 10 at The Palazzo. 

“Lagasse’s Stadium will be the ultimate sports bar and restaurant on The Strip,” said Rob Goldstein, president and COO of The Palazzo and The Venetian. “With its accessible location and unique design it will provide sports enthusiasts a great location to kick- back, relax, and enjoy great food and beverages while watching their favorite sporting games and highlights on the big screens.” 

Renovation of the 24,000-square-foot space, formerly occupied by The Sportsbook Bar & Grill, began in June. The club also features access to a street level outdoor space bordering Las Vegas Boulevard. Spectators can enjoy impressive views of The Palazzo and the Las Vegas Strip while dining in a unique open-air setting. The location will feature lounge and stadium-style seating, and luxury boxes for exclusive private events.

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