Larry Brown, chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors, talks about policy changes in the organization. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lawrence Weekly, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member and Clark County Commissioner, speaks to the Review-Journal about felony charges filed this week against retired LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and two other former top executives in the alleged theft and misuse of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter appeared in Justice Court to face felony charges in the alleged theft of Southwest Airlines gift cards.
Larry Brown, Clark County commissioner and chair of the board of directors for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, speaks to the Review-Journal about felony charges filed this week against retired LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and two other former top executives in the alleged theft and misuse of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who also is a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member, responds to the Review-Journal’s findings that she took four international trips in less than a year despite a recent policy aimed at limiting board travel to one annual trip. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said he never expected to cash out $234,000 in accrued vacation time.
Steve Hill, new president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority who also chairs the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, visits with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Editorial Board.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter… has been under fire for using taxpayer-funded gift cards for personal trips. The Las Vegas Review-Journal found during some of those trips… Ralenkotter didn’t take vacation time as authority policy requires. Board Member John Lee called for an audit of the missing time. But Ralenkotter said he isn’t planning to cash out any time he accrued.
CEO Rossi Ralenkotter is the third-highest-paid public official in the state He has a pay and benefits package valued at $863,000 annually. Ralenkotter does not have an employment contract He announced his retirement in mid June, amid a scandal over airline gift cards LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned. Ralenkotter’s retirement settlement package could cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority member Bill Noonan discusses the agency’s external audit that will rein in gifts and travel costs.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board approved a series of recommendations Tuesday to curb employee misuse of airline gift cards. An audit in April found that CEO Rossi Ralenkotter used $17,152 in airline cards for personal travel for himself and his family. The Las Vegas Review-Journal had requested employee gift and travel records months before the gift card disclosure in 2017, but the authority did not provide any records of the airline cards. It maintains there was no process in place at the time to track the use of the cards. Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly used $699 in airline cards for a trip with his daughter. Bill Noonan, a senior vice president at Boyd Gaming, who ordered the review of policies: “We’re not done. There could easily be more.” The recommendations approved Tuesday included storing the cards under lock and key and requiring written approval of any gift card requests and recording receipts.
Several months ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority set out to market the city as the sports capital of the world. With the addition of the Golden Knights and the Raiders, LVCVA saw the perfect opportunity to do so. The Knights’ success and current Stanley Cup playoff run has resulted in a marketing marriage with Las Vegas that has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined. This season, the Knights have managed to unite the community and made hockey fans around the country take notice. “The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we’re the sports capital of the world, not only what they’ve done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together.” Lisa Motley, director of sports marketing and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Professional sports have been a staple for Las Vegas for decades with championship boxing matches, PGA golf tour events and the National Finals Rodeo. But big-league teams kept their distance from Nevada, due to lingering fears of sports betting somehow influencing games. “Las Vegas stands for something much more extensive and expansive now than what it once did” David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Marshall Sports Business Institute
The city of Las Vegas will request up to $9.5 million from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to fund capital improvements at the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street Experience President and CEO Patrick Hughes told the council “floor-to-ceiling” renovations are planned at the downtown attraction. The LED display dates back 14 years. Hughes said the renovations will take place over 14 months. Fremont Street Experience President and CEO Patrick Hughes
The LVCVA will consider an $80 million naming rights deal for the “Las Vegas Ballpark.” The “Ballpark” is a proposed Triple A baseball stadium in Summerlin.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors has unanimously approved a substantial bonus for its president and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. (Gabriella Benavidez/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority hired an accounting firm Tuesday to evaluate its spending policies after a Review-Journal investigation uncovered questionable expenses. (Gabriella Benavidez/Las Vegas Review-Journal)