The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion increases its cost by 42.5 million to ensure the project will be finished before CES 2021. Review-Journal studio host Aaron Drawhorn and business reporter Rick Velotta go over the new costs and drone footage of the expansion.
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)
A hearing on Wednesday set a date for a preliminary hearing for Rossi Ralenkotter and other defendants charged in the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority Southwest Airlines gift card case. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
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)
Ex-LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter appeared in court on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to face felony charges related to alleged theft of Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency.
The Las Vegas Convention Center held a topping off ceremony to honor the men and women workers who are making it possible to complete the new hall that will be ready for CES 2021. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
One minute, you’re just trimming hedges and shooting the breeze with your neighbor. But then he brings up Vegas and you’re thinking about the incredible meals, world-class hotels, pools inside of pools and unparalleled entertainment. You’re thinking about iconic artist residencies like Aerosmith. Priorities take shape. Vegas first, lawn and everything else, second. Just like that, Vegas Changes Everything. (Visti Las Vegas/Youtube)
A weekend getaway is nice for anyone, but a weekend getaway in Vegas … that’s a next-level experience with shows, clubs, spas and more. With a chance to see iconic artist residencies like Gwen Stefani, you might just find yourself going from pushing your child on a swing, to pushing back a birthday party. See how Vegas Changes Everything. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
While the policies outlined in Tuesday meeting only impact staff, the LVCVA board also changed its policies after the Review-Journal investigation but one board member quickly exceeded recommended travel rules.
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore took four international trip in less than a year when the board’s policy committee put in place rules that limited international board travel to one trip a year and mostly for educational purposes. The policy did allow board members to travel more than once with approval of the chairman, which Fiore received from Weekly.
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
Police used grand jury subpoenas to obtain records in their investigation of Southwest Airline gift card misuse at the Las Vegas convention authority. Convention auditors uncovered that former CEO Rossi Ralenkotter used $17,000 in gift cards for personal travel. Former convention executive Brig Lawson used tax money to purchase the cards. Southwest Airlines initially couldn’t provide records to convention officials but airline executives had to respond to grand jury subpoenas.
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.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board voted Tuesday to give CEO Rossi Ralenkotter a retirement deal totalling more than $455,000.
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.
Members of the Service Employees International Union picket outside the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in Las Vegas. The SEIU is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which has hired a local law firm to handle its negotiations. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @davidguzman1985
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.
LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter talks to the Review-Journal about misused travel cards in April 2018. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Last year, over 1,750 state and local employees took home over $200,000 in total compensation. Expect that number to grow to around 2,500 once Clark County and the Nevada System of Higher Education submit their data.
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.
Sunday’s headlines: Family of victim killed in Las Vegas shooting wants to freeze gunman’s assets, LVCVA wants naming rights for new 51s ballpark, first responders to get free UFC 216 tickets. (Rochelle Richards/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A message of unity and community strength, narrated by Las Vegan Andre Agassi. (R&R Partners)
R&R Partners has been the communications agency for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for more than 35 years The first “What happens here, stays here” ad ran in 2003. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A look at who’s who in the GOED. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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)