Sports Illustrated is taking a long-term look at Las Vegas as a site to celebrate the swimsuit issue.
"This is a great place for us to be. It’s about sex appeal, entertainment, fun. We hope to be here 20 years," S.I. president Mark Ford told Vegas Confidential.
"We’re here to make something happen for Las Vegas," he said.
The S.I. swimsuit models made a day of it, from posing with Mayor Oscar Goodman at the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign, to signing appearances across town to partying at LAX nightclub inside the Luxor.
They brought a bit of sparkle to a city in need of a boost after being staggered by the recession and put on the defensive by comments from President Barack Obama.
Goodman has been making the rounds on national television shows all week. asking President Obama to apologize for suggesting Las Vegas isn’t an appropriate meeting place for big businesses in the current economic climate.
Ford’s words of support couldn’t have come at a better time.
"The country is locked down, with people counting every cent. Everybody’s got to have some fun," he said.
NORM CLARKE, Vegas Confidential