Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Tourism Gives Back to Las Vegas Community; Visitors Have Broad Economic Impact on City and Surrounding County

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Tourism Gives Back to Las Vegas Community; Visitors Have Broad Economic Impact on City and Surrounding County

Article excerpt

Las Vegas -- these are two words synonymous with tourism success. Visitation has reached historic heights with 38.5 million visitors in 2005. The brand lives through the city's wildly popular "Vegas Stories" campaign with its tagline, "What happens here, stays here," cemented in the American popular consciousness. Furthermore, an unprecedented $30 billion in resort construction is planned or under way.

At the helm is the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), founded in 1955 to strengthen the area's convention business and eliminate a critical economic problem: the cyclical nature of the tourism industry.

In 1955, the Nevada Legislature agreed to finance the Las Vegas Convention Center with a room tax that would be levied on guests staying at Clark County hotel and motel properties--thereby, visitors, not local residents, would pay the tax. That decision led to the formation of the LVCVA's precursor, the Clark County Fair & Recreation Board.

In April 1959, construction on the Convention Center was completed without any financial burden placed on county residents and monies collected from room tax enabled the LVCVA to begin a destination marketing program.

Today, the LVCVA's mission is to attract visitors by promoting Las Vegas as the world's most desirable destination for leisure and business travel.

Leisure and business visitors' economic impact was $36.7 billion in 2005. Tourism's economic benefit reaches far beyond the hospitality industry; the money spent by a tourist in a community has a rollover impact, meaning it's spent several times over after the initial expenditure (see chart below). …

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