City of Las Vegas – The Entertainment Capital of the World
It goes without question that the City of Las Vegas is the most populous city in Nevada. Las Vegas has grown into a truly global city, offering a diversity of experiences to rival any other. Through strategic planning and investment, The City of Las Vegas has been able to shape itself into a destination that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also excels in the tourism industry. With 24-hour-a-day casino excitement, award-winning restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, world-class entertainment options, premium shopping, destination spas and fantastic golf, Las Vegas offers something for everyone. As the destination continues to evolve, new attractions this year include a flightline experience on Fremont Street, day clubs at resort pools, and new resident headliners such as Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John and soon, Shania Twain.
When new appointed Mayor Carolyn Goodman was elected in June 2011, she understood the significance of developing and establishing a city plan that would allow the community to grow in a manner that would appeal to all involved.
“Travel and tourism is the top industry in the State of Nevada. In Southern Nevada alone, tourism generates approximately $37 billion to the local economy.” said Goodman. “Approximately 215,000 members of Clark County’s workforce are employed directly in the hospitality industry. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is the official destination marketing organization of Las Vegas and markets Southern Nevada as a leisure and business destination worldwide. In 2010, Las Vegas attracted approximately 37.4 million visitors.”
DEVELOPMENT FOR GROWTH
As the national economy continues to show improvements, the local Las Vegas economy has also improved. They have seen 15 consecutive months of increases for both visitation and Average Daily Room Rates. Citywide occupancy also continues to show solid increases. According to the LVCVA’s 2010 Visitor Profile Study, other tourism trends include a larger share of international visitors in the destination and overall spending increases on non-gaming elements such as dining and shopping.
“One thing that the city has done is to keep pressing forward despite the downturn in the economy. There continues to be a push forward with projects that will improve the quality of life in Las Vegas and create jobs for its residents.” said Goodman. “One of the major projects I hope to see come to fruition is a new arena in downtown Las Vegas. The city is currently in an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Cordish Companies to develop that arena and its accompanying entertainment piece. I believe that once we have that arena, Las Vegas will become home to a major league sports franchise.”
The year 2012 will be a big year for the city with The Mob Museum, Neon Museum, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the new City Hall all scheduled to open. Symphony Park, located in Downtown Las Vegas, is the latest development in the 61-acre, master-planned neighborhood which is already home to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (an iconic Frank Gehry-designed building), and to soon-to-open The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Other planned uses including residential, retail and hospitality are being scheduled for development.
Of great interest additionally is the Fremont East Entertainment District which has undergone a $5.5 million revitalization including the installation of retro-looking neon signs and the addition of small businesses including bars, restaurants and coffee houses. “The energy that is happening in that area is really special and a tribute to the young, ambitious downtown residents who live, work and play in the area.” Goodman said.
Working closely with the LVCVA, the city continues aggressively to market the destination to increase tourism. Over the past year, it has conducted extensive research to determine who, exactly, their potential customers are and what motivates them to travel to Las Vegas. LVCVA has found that Las Vegas travel segments are overwhelmingly defined by the experience.
“What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” is still the umbrella marketing and advertising campaign. However, currently they are wrapping up there new summer campaign called “Life is Short. Summer is Shorter” which includes new television, radio, print, and internet promotions and outdoor advertising, as well as public relations efforts targeting national and regional media.
CITY OF LAS VEGAS – PARTNERSHIPS
The LVCVA and the city continues to work closely with McCarran International Airport to bring new airlines and service to Las Vegas. Recently, Spirit Airlines announced new, daily, non-stop service from Portland, Oakland and San Diego. British Airways, which launched direct service between Las Vegas and London Heathrow in 2009, increased capacity by 18 percent recently. The airline switched from a B777 to a B747, which adds 62 seats on every flight.
The LVCVA announced CCRA Travel Solutions as the newest addition to its Preferred Travel Partner Program. As part of the program, The LVCVA will provide travel agent services, commissionable booking opportunities and incentive programs to registered users of the CCRAtravel.com hotel reservation portal.
“The more travel agents know about Las Vegas, and the more incentives they have to book Las Vegas for their clients, the more we benefit as a destination”. said Goodman. The LVCVA makes this process as easy as possible for agents and tour operators through a variety of tools and education programs.
Las Vegas continues to explore various ways to promote the destination including the use of emerging technologies. Among the resort properties and the LVCVA, Las Vegas has a strong presence on social media and continues to engage friends and followers through a variety of promotions. “The City of Las Vegas has a full range of social media outlets including Twitter and Facebook, as well as an award-winning government website and and Emmy-winning television station, KCLV Channel 2.” explained Goodman.
CITY OF LAS VEGAS – GREEN INITIATIVES
The city of Las Vegas has long been a leader in sustainability at the government level. With buildings built to LEED standards and a fleet of vehicles that is 90 percent alternatively fueled. In recent years, Las Vegas resorts have turned their attention and focused their efforts on becoming more environmentally conscious. From energy efficiency and water conservation to recycling and implementing greener practices, Las Vegas is doing its part to contribute to the
sustainability of the planet. “City Center has achieved Gold LEED certification for ARIA Resort & Casino’s hotel tower, convention center and theater, Vdara Hotel & Spa, Mandarin Oriental, Veer Towers and Crystals.” Goodman explains. “This marks the highest LEED achievement of any hotel, retail district or residential development in Las Vegas.” It is also the world’s largest private green development. Caesars Entertainment is the only casino, hospitality and entertainment company to receive seven gold level accreditations from Travelife Sustainability for its Las Vegas Strip properties. Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced that the company’s Venetian Resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center achieved Gold LEED certification for existing buildings. The Palazzo achieved Silver LEED certification for new construction in 2008. When combined, The Venetian, The Palazzo and the Sands Expo comprise the largest LEED building in the world. In addition the new City Hall is also being built to LEED standards.
Certainly the economy is getting stronger, and Las Vegas is as vibrant today as ever before as an entertainment and tourism mecca as well as being a most appealing residential and living community. Like many cities across the country and throughout the world, “Las Vegas has been impacted by the recession, but it is making a gradual recovery evidenced by many exciting projects happening in city. This will bring new workers downtown and hopefully be the start of other major companies choosing to make their home in Las Vegas” Goodman stated. There will be role for everyone to play, and the City of Las Vegas is well on their way to where they plan to be.