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Reliever airport for Las Vegas airport and more: Top business stories from 2023

Some of the biggest gaming and tourism stories of 2023 were centered around record performances and Las Vegas’ newest attractions. Here is a sampling of some of the best.

Record passenger counts at Reid International lead to concerns of the need for a new airport

Records fell throughout the year at Harry Reid International Airport and by the end of 2023, the largest number of passengers in history will have passed through the airport’s gates. Record passenger counts were anticipated so the Review-Journal enterprised a story on the status of a new reliever airport south of Las Vegas. It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture about what’s on the horizon for Southern Nevada air traffic.

Local residents, businessmen weren’t happy with Formula One traffic and accessibility despite presumed record revenue

For months, the city’s tourism leaders were telling us how great the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix was going to be financially. And, for the most part, they were right. But it didn’t seem that they were listening to the growing dissent in the community and this column received more email and telephone call response than any other in 2023.

James Dolan talks about the future of Las Vegas’ biggest new attraction, the Sphere

Southern Nevada’s most visible new feature is the Sphere, which showed what it could do on the Fourth of July and eventually opened its doors with a series of U2 concerts and the screening of the Darren Aronofsky film “Postcard from Earth” in the fall. The Sphere was conceived by notoriously media-shy Madison Square Garden executive James Dolan. So it was special the day he offered a walk-and-talk of the Sphere Experience in October.

MGM’s Hornbuckle talks about cyberattack that crippled his company

Mid-September’s cyberattack against MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Inc. was interesting in how the two companies took different approaches to disclosing what happened. In the end, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle’s discussion at the Global Gaming Expo and his “terrorism at its finest” quote was a highlight of the year that contrasted with how Caesars handled the matter.

Should trespassers be allowed to collect slot machine jackpots?

Another story that generated email and reader response involved an odd gaming policy in which the Nevada Gaming Control Board ordered a casino in Mesquite to pay a gambler a jackpot even though he wasn’t supposed to be there because authorities had trespassed him off the property.

The story has inspired regulators to look at and possibly revise the policy and while it hadn’t been resolved in 2023, it could be considered next year.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta

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