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LVCVA exec to take position at Las Vegas Grand Prix

For months, Lori Nelson-Kraft, as senior vice president of communications with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, handed out “Hospitality Hero” awards to deserving Southern Nevada hospitality workers nominated by peers for the work they’ve done serving visitors.

On Tuesday, she had the award presented to her.

Tuesday was Nelson-Kraft’s last LVCVA board meeting after being hired as vice president of communications for Formula One’s Las Vegas Grand Prix. She starts there May 30.

“I don’t want to say she’s had a long career here,” said LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill. “She’s too young to use that crazy attitude. But she’s had a significant career in Las Vegas over about 25 years, both with her own agency and R&R (Partners) and then quite a number of years in Station (Casinos) and Red Rock (Resorts) before she joined us about five years ago.”

Nelson-Kraft will join forces with her longtime Vegas Chamber colleague Betsy Fretwell, the former Las Vegas city manager and Switch executive who became Las Vegas Grand Prix Inc.’s chief operating officer in January.

Nelson-Kraft had her own small public relations agency in Las Vegas before being hired by R&R Partners, the LVCVA’s contracted advertising agency, in 2000. In 2005, she became the spokeswoman for Station Casinos and Red Rock Resorts through 2019, when she was hired by the LVCVA.

Hill explained that because Nelson-Kraft and Chief Marketing Officer Kate Wik had similar contacts with customers that the LVCVA would merge communications and marketing under Wik with Molly Castano taking over as vice president of communications and public relations.

Hill said the LVCVA would continue to work with Nelson-Kraft in her role at Las Vegas Grand Prix.

“One of the interesting things that we see in this market a lot is that folks move around in different roles at different organizations,” Hill said. “But as long as we’re keeping them in town and keeping the talent here, it tends to be a benefit for the city. It’s an opportunity when people get to move from organization to organization. The one thing we don’t want to see is them leave town.”

Hill presented the Hospitality Hero award to Nelson-Kraft after announcing the departure.

“One of the things that she’ll be most remembered for here is the creation of the Hospitality Heroes program,” Hill said. “So we thought it was really fitting that our hospitality hero get that award as well.”

Nelson-Kraft thanked the board for the support she received for the program.

“I look forward to being an extension of the LVCVA as I transition over to Formula One,” she said. “But thank you. It’s been an honor.”

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

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