Create new visitor lures, officials told

Las Vegas just isn’t innovating enough these days.

We’re not talking about the oft-repeated lament that the city isn’t bringing in diverse, new businesses.

No, the worry this time is that Las Vegas isn’t doing enough to upgrade its core tourism sector.

That was the message delivered by Robert Lang, director of the Brookings Mountain West think tank at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to the Las Vegas Hospitality Association at a Thursday luncheon.

Sure, economic development is important, but Southern Nevada will always rely on tourism for a huge chunk of its vitality and growth, Lang said. Tourism makes up more than half of the city’s export economy, a recent Brookings report showed. And those exports could increase if the city made two key improvements. All that’s needed to make both upgrades happen is an assist from the state Legislature and a combination of public and private dollars.

First, the city absolutely needs a new stadium, especially given competition for shows and events from venues such as Orlando, Fla.’s Amway Center basketball arena and Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas.

“We have the biggest mismatch in the country,” Lang said. “We have the largest food and beverage infrastructure, the most hotel rooms and the biggest airport taxi stand I’ve ever seen in my life, but we don’t have the venues. There are Texas high schools with bigger football stadiums than we have.”

Southern Nevada’s major football venue, the 40-year-old Sam Boyd Stadium, seats 36,800 and is located nearly 10 miles east of the Strip.

Plus, Las Vegas’ economy would get a bigger boost out of a stadium than other cities receive, Lang added. Arenas in other regions attract mostly local traffic. Here, a stadium would bring in more tourists and boost the export economy. What could make it happen without busting public budgets? The Legislature must approve a special tax district surrounding a stadium so revenue tourists generate there stays local rather than heading to Carson City.

“The business model is straightforward. You don’t need financing beyond a special taxing district,” Lang said.

He also mentioned the Pac-12 college sports conference’s decision to move its annual spring tournament to Las Vegas from 2013 to 2015.

“We’ll have Pac-12 Weekend, packaged up with a zillion cross-sells, and before you know it, you’ve drained every rich alum from the Pac-12 of their resources that weekend,” he said. “That’s why a stadium would make a difference here.”

A new hotel college at UNLV would be the second game-changer, Lang said.

UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration shares 30-year-old Beam Hall with the College of Business.

“We have beautiful buildings on the Strip, buildings that are gleaming and gold-plated, and then you have a 1980s, Brutalist college building where it’s almost hard to relate to what’s on the Strip,” Lang said. “The whole emergence of the modern megaresort … beginning with The Mirage came after the hotel college was built. The facility that is training people in the practices of our dominant industry is mismatched compared to the spaces in the industry.”

Lang suggested funding a new building the way UNLV’s 4-year-old Greenspun Hall was financed, with a mix of about 60 percent private donations and 40 percent state money.

“We can’t be careless with our hotel college. It is our leading sector,” Lang said. “Most of the out-of-state and out-of-country students at UNLV are in that college. It’s a magnet for out-of-state tuition, and we cannot continually skate by with a building that’s below standard.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at
jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like