The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority on Thursday adopted a new budget which, reflecting the uneven visitor industry, incorporates only minor changes from the previous year.
The authority’s directors approved spending $270.3 million for fiscal 2014 that will start July 1 with almost half of the money tagged for marketing tactics to try to lure more people as tourists or conventioneers. This marks a 2.2 decline from the current year because of fewer dollars allocated to sprucing up the Las Vegas Convention Center after large previous expenditures for replacing carpets and lights.
“This is a pretty static spending plan,” said Rana Lacer, the authority’s vice president of finance.
The convention authority relies on hotel room taxes for 80 percent of its income. But over the past nine months, tax collections were up five months and down four compared to the previous year, resulting in only 0.1 percent for the entire period. The $213 million in projected room taxes for next year would run only 1.4 percent better than last year.
In major spending categories:
— The $130 million set aside for selling Las Vegas, now called the authority’s global brand marketing division, rose only because the special events line item was switched from a different category. Otherwise, the $121 million for just advertising and marketing amounted to a 2.3 percent drop from fiscal 2013. Within the marketing, Lacer said the share allocated to digital and social media has climbed although she did not have specific figures. By contrast, the authority spends less on paper promotional materials than it did just a few years ago.
— The Global Business District, including the convention center and Cashman Center operations, rose 15.6 percent to $44.1 million. This comes as the authority expands its presence around the convention center to rework its periphery and for its ultimate expansion.
— Overhead remained almost identical year to year at $15.3 million.
— The headcount, calculated as full-time equivalent positions, will rise by just five to 510. All the of the new positions will involve outdoor security.
— The $53.4 million to pay down debt is less than a $1 million increase.
— The spending on the convention center will include $300,000 on the roof, $525,000 to remodel restrooms, $458,000 on signs and $867,000 on a variety of hardware.
Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at email@example.com or 702-387-5290.