weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

LVCVA leader may get $179K bonus for ‘masterful’ work

Updated June 27, 2023 - 5:56 pm

A Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority committee has recommended President and CEO Steve Hill receive a 7.5 percent pay increase and a 40 percent bonus for the work he did in the past year.

The LVCVA’s six-member Compensation Committee made the recommendation Monday in a two-hour meeting during which Hill outlined his accomplishments during the 2022-23 fiscal year and six goals for next year.

If approved by the full LVCVA board on July 11, Hill would receive a $33,570 annual raise to $481,179 a year and a bonus of $179,043. That would still leave him below the average pay rate given to top leaders of destination marketing organizations nationwide.

Last year, the LVCVA voted to give Hill a 10 percent raise and an unprecedented 50 percent bonus, but board members justified that by noting LVCVA management did not receive raises or bonuses coming off the coronavirus pandemic.

Hill and General Counsel Caroline Batemen spent most of the meeting explaining how they had achieved their goals of the previous year and explained what they plan to accomplish in the fiscal year that begins Saturday.

Prior to the vote, committee members praised Hill for his efforts.

“This year would have been easy to come out here as a leader and talk about F1 (the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix race in November) and the Super Bowl (at Allegiant Stadium Feb. 11) and the Final Four (also at Allegiant Stadium, in 2028) and do a mic drop,” said committee member Scott DeAngelo. “You didn’t take your foot off the gas. In fact, you pushed harder.”Things like going out and getting the talent and building a true sales organization and coming away with 14 new large conventions or trade shows, I was astounded by the fact that there were 11 additional events citywide, getting into everything from collegiate and amateur to youth sports. I just applaud all of you for not just putting on more key events.

“It takes a lot of resolve and a lot of discipline to not smell your own fumes when you had a year as good as you guys had,” DeAngelo said. “Congratulations on your leadership and congratulations to the leadership group. Well done.

Impressed with A’s presentation

Committee member Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Vegas Chamber, said she was proud of the LVCVA when Hill and Applied Analysis Principal Jeremy Aguero testified before the Nevada Legislature about the proposal for the state to help finance construction of a Major League Baseball stadium for the Oakland A’s.

“As a person who got to witness first hand the work of Mr. Hill and Jeremy Aguero, I had an inordinate amount of respect for you, Steve, after watching your work performance and the amount and type of questioning you sort of had to endure during your testimony and presentation for the A’s stadium. It was masterful,” she said. “And that was on top of your regular day job.”

Committee member and Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero also played on the baseball theme: “I think everything you presented comes down to one word: wow,” she said. “You have really hit it out of the park. The bar you had set was already high. You were already killing it and you increased the customer base. I don’t know what you’re going to do next year.”

Next year’s goals

Hill’s six goals f√ are to drive visitation demand to new heights; fill the Las Vegas Convention Center meeting space; to fully develop special sports and events; to complete the renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center; to improve access to Las Vegas attractions; and to strengthen LVCVA’s culture.

Hill noted that while visitation in calendar year 2022 fell short of the number in 2019 (38.8 million vs. 42.5 million), visitors in 2022 outspent their 2019 counterparts by $8 billion ($289 per visitor).

Hill’s team is focused on driving more Las Vegas visitation and for Las Vegas to have 10 million social media followers by the end of fiscal year 2026. The LVCVA plans to do some of that by driving international visitation.

Hill said Mexico visitation is 88 percent recovered from the pandemic years and Canada is 60 percent recovered. The LVCVA also is reopening its representative office in Seoul, South Korea.

The LVCVA aims to lease 15 million square feet of meeting space across the destination and grow to 8.3 million convention attendees by calendar year 2026. The current record is 6.6 million in 2019.

On the sports and events front, Hill aims to increase the number of citywide special events, ensure that Formula 1 and the Super Bowl are the best ever staged and to generate 100,000 room nights from amateur and youth sports. Hill wants that number to be 500,000 by fiscal year 2027 with half of them arriving in off-peak periods.

Among the new events on the LVCVA calendar are the Naismith College Basketball Series, which begins in November and runs annually through 2027 with an estimated 92,000 visitors over four years. An estimated 220,000 are expected in town for the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four championship in March 2028.

Hill also promised to complete the Convention Center renovation on time and on budget and to raise guest satisfaction scores as a result.

To improve community access in Las Vegas, the LVCVA is collaborating with Harry Reid International Airport to maintain an average of 94,000 inbound seats on flights to the destination. The organization also is supporting the expansion of the Boring Co.’s Resort Corridor Loop System and growth on the LVCVA-owned Las Vegas Monorail system, which saw a 20 percent increase in passengers from fiscal year 2022.

To improve the LVCVA’s “people culture,” the organization hired 67 and promoted 17 “ambassadors,” and has initiated a diversity, equity and inclusion program to finalize the organization’s core values.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.