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Las Vegas convention authority approves $228.1 million budget

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors zipped through approval of a $228.1 million budget in a special meeting on Thursday.

The spending plan for the 2016 fiscal year includes $93.5 million for advertising and dedicates funds in advance of the start of the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District project.

Board members unanimously approved the budget after a public hearing at which no one addressed the board. The entire process lasted less than 25 minutes.

The board is anticipating revenue of $294.4 million, 82 percent of which comes from the tax on motel and hotel rooms. The authority also expects to receive $47.5 million in facility rental charges.

The authority also will receive additional revenue beginning next year when the parking fee at Cashman Center increases from $4 to $5 per car. The authority opted to begin the price increase Jan. 1 so that it wouldn’t occur in the middle of the Las Vegas 51s baseball season.

The $$93.5 million allocated for advertising the Las Vegas destination is 1 percent less than it is for the current year but the authority commonly bumps up spending during budget augmentations calculated when revenue trends are determined in the middle of the year.

The 2016 budget shifts $60.2 million to debt service payments to prepare to pay off bonds that will be used to pay for the initial stages of the Global Business District project, a refurbishment of the Las Vegas Convention Center campus that is expected to take seven to 10 years.

The budget also includes $2.7 million for general upkeep.

The authority’s special events budget is being increased by 44 percent to $13 million. Officials said the increase is due to the new agreement signed with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to keep the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for another 10 years. The association last year considered moving the December rodeo to Orlando, Fla.

The authority, through its affiliation with Las Vegas Events, also is spending more to host the U.S. Bowling Congress event and sponsor the Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Week and the World Wresting Association championship.

The authority maintained its current level of full-time-equivalent employees at 515.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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