LVCVA gives top executive 8 percent raise, 50 percent bonus

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has given its top executive an 8 percent raise and a 50 percent bonus.

The unanimous approval Tuesday of a recommendation from the board’s compensation committee means that President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter will make $319,663 a year with a bonus of $147,992 for total annual compensation of $467,655.

It’s the largest compensation increase the board has ever approved.

Ralenkotter’s new base salary is now higher than the bases of Gov. Brian Sandoval ($149,152), Clark County School Superintendent Pat Skorkowski ($216,504), University of Nevada, Las Vegas head basketball coach Dave Rice ($288,825) and UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck ($144,413), according to the Transparent Nevada website that tracks the salaries of public officials.

The salary increase was approved with no debate or discussion.

Mark Olson, senior vice president of human resources for the authority, last month said the average pay for the head of destination marketing organization is $534,650 based on the salaries of seven chief executives of convention authorities in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.

Olson added that Ralenkotter has more responsibilities than his peers because the Las Vegas operation includes the management of two buildings, the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center, in addition to marketing the destination. In most cities, those responsibilities are split.

In other business, the board also approved spending $607,000 to market the city at two upcoming aviation conferences and received a briefing on a new advertising campaign focusing on attracting convention and trade show business.

The board voted unanimously to spend $207,000 for trade show exhibition and booth design at the 2014 World Routes Development Forum in Chicago in September. Las Vegas hosted World Routes, a gathering of airline executives and airports, last year, the first time the event had ever been staged in North America.

The board also approved a $400,000 payment to host the 2015 Centre for Aviation Summit in May. The event, known as CAPA, will bring 500 airline industry executives representing 40 airlines to the city.

Board members also got a look at a pair of business ad campaigns. The campaigns, costing a total $1.4 million for ad placements and production, are designed to attract shows to the city and to appeal to C-suite executives to bring corporate meetings to Las Vegas.

Using the tagline “We’re Here to Do More Than Entertain You,” the print and digital ads emphasize the return on investment of having an event in Las Vegas because of its personality. The ads feature illusionist David Copperfield, a performer from Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” and a Las Vegas showgirl.

The business-to-business campaign, “Las Vegas Makes Every Meeting Exciting,” explains how any convention in Las Vegas, no matter how mundane, is exciting because of the city’s personality.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

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