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‘Competitive advantage’: Action sports company relocates HQ to Las Vegas

Updated April 9, 2024 - 3:14 pm

Thanks in part to Las Vegas hosting the Super Bowl, a sports and entertainment company has relocated to the city.

Thrill One Sports and Entertainment relocated its operations from Costa Mesa, California, to the Ultimate Fighting Championship facility in southwest Las Vegas at the beginning of April. The company hosts and creates content for action sports events such as vehicle races, motocross and skateboarding.

Thrill One CEO Matt Cohn made the relocation announcement in front of hundreds of members of the business community during the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance’s State of Economic Development event on Tuesday. He said the company relocated to take advantage of Las Vegas’ growing reputation as a capital for sports and entertainment.

“We truly felt that it was a competitive advantage to be here,” Cohn said. “Having the ability to host brands, post our athletes here, there’s really no other city like it.”

The Super Bowl helped push the relocation effort over the finish line since Cohn was one of 16 business leaders who participated in LVGEA’s $2 million LOCATE program which used the spectacle of the big game to showcase Southern Nevada’s ability to host big companies. Cohn said the LOCATE event showed him what Las Vegas was like away from the Strip and he used that information to boost the number of employees that would relocate from California to Las Vegas.

“The LOCATE (program), which was more personal than I thought, whether it was real estate agents, schools, hospitals, communities, and being able to share hiking trails and we got a performing arts center, and it’s not just the Strip,” Cohn said.

Thrill One has about 50 employees, with 40 of them relocating to Las Vegas, said Cohn, but there are plans to hire at least 10 more employees by the end of the year. All new hires will be based out of Las Vegas.

In addition to being wooed during Super Bowl weekend, Thrill One received about $214,000 in tax abatements last year from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Thrill One does have big names behind it, in 2022 the Wall Street Journal reported the company was acquired by Fiume Capital and Juggernaut Capital Partners for $300 million and the deal was backed in part by UFC President Dana White.

Cohn said that White and UFC’s profile in Las Vegas are inspiring and Thrill One’s goal is to grow in a similar way in Southern Nevada.

LVGEA’s performance

LVGEA also shared on Tuesday numbers on its performance in 2023 at diversifying Southern Nevada’s economy.

Last year the LVGEA helped 12 companies to either relocate or expand in the Las Vegas area, according to LVGEA’s 2023 annual report. These companies created 727 jobs with an average hourly wage of $32.13. It’s estimated these companies generate $10.8 million in tax revenue and will have a $656 million economic impact over the next two years.

The LVGEA, which is funded both by public and private investments, announced that it had an estimated $5.9 million in revenue in 2023 and that 41 percent came from the public sector, 50 percent from private investments and the other 9 percent came from grant funding.

Moving forward the LVGEA hopes to continue to bring more companies to Southern Nevada but has acknowledged that it will need to have a more targeted “spearfishing” approach on which companies it tries to bring in.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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