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Tourism boss makes big bucks promoting Las Vegas

Las Vegas tourism boss Steve Hill has said he’s got the easiest product to sell.

And while America’s casino capital can practically sell itself, taxpayers are footing a hefty bill for him to market the adult playground to tourists and conventioneers.

Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, earned an annual salary of roughly $447,600 in 2022. He was awarded a raise last year that topped $33,000 — along with a nearly $180,000 bonus.

LVCVA Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Wik pulled in the second-highest salary at the agency in 2022, around $341,500, according to payroll data the Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained through a public records request this past fall.

The tourism authority is funded by hotel-room taxes and runs marketing programs, including the “What happens here, stays here” campaign of years past, to draw visitors to Southern Nevada. It also owns and operates the 4.6 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center, which finished a $1 billion expansion project a few years ago.

Las Vegas’ casino-heavy economy has long been fueled by tourism, and there’s no shortage of blockbuster events that draw massive crowds and plenty of spending.

Last July, the tourism authority’s board approved a 7.5 percent pay bump and 40 percent bonus for Hill as well as big pay increases for other LVCVA leaders.

Hill’s annual raise amounted to $33,570, and his bonus totaled $179,043, the Review-Journal reported.

“I often say I have the best job you can have, and I also say it’s the easiest product to sell,” Hill told the board at the time. “It’s the only product where all you have to do is mention the name and everyone’s eyes light up.”

Here were the LVCVA’s top-10 annual salaries in 2022, as listed in the latest payroll data the agency provided:

— Steve Hill, president and CEO: $447,608.05

— Katherine Wik, chief marketing officer: $341,470.48

— Lisa Messina, chief sales officer: $325,000

— Edward Finger, chief financial officer: $257,797.07 —

— Brian Yost, chief operating officer: $251,510.27

— Harry Brunelle, vice president of marketing: $223,000

— Caroline Bateman, general counsel: $219,571.77

— Lori Kraft, senior vice president of communications: $212,393.17

— Prashant Bhardwaj, chief information officer: $205,000

— Nadine Jones, senior vice president of people and culture: $202,800

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342.

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