A Q & A With Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
What are some of the things you will be discussing at Preview Las Vegas?
Historically, Las Vegas was built on big visions of larger than life individuals; but the days of relying on one individual to drive transformational growth are likely gone. Modern cities are built on the power of collective vision and unified action. Although Las Vegas remains an incomparable destination in an enviable position, the fact is, competition for tourism is increasing. Every city in the world is targeting our market share. That's why we must continue to build and protect Las Vegas' reputation as the number one destination for business innovation and convention center commerce---but it requires the passion of a community to make it happen. In my view, it's the most important leadership imperative of the next decade. Our partnership with the Chamber, and its members, is central to this endeavor, especially as we look toward growing international visitation and strengthening our ability to continue to compete in the international tourism and business market.
What type of impact will the Las Vega Global Business District have on the local economy and job creation?
The Las Vegas Global Business District is one of the single most important economic development projects in Southern Nevada. The idea of the LVGBD is not merely an expansion of the existing convention center; it's a much larger vision of a convention district that will define the way other cities think about welcoming business in the future. Our approach includes world class trade show venues, visionary architecture, cutting edge technology, transportation innovation, and a world trade center that is the epicenter of business innovation. If fully realized, the Las Vegas Global Business District has the potential to help drive economic renewal for the entire state.
What is your maxim, or motto going into 2014?
It's simple: "Tourism Matters." Up until the recession, most people assumed that tourism could not be impacted. We haven't done a good enough job of communicating how tourism happens and what it takes to hold or grow our position. We will always be the biggest champion of tourism and its greatest advocate. But we cannot do it alone. The industry and the business community must be an integral part of advocating for efforts that continue to grow tourism and ensure its vitality. Economic diversification efforts are smart and they are needed. But one constant in our economy is the power of tourism to redefine our destination, take us to the next level and to carry us out of troubled times. Preview is the place for us to rally our business leaders, community decision makers and citizens to support the work to take our tourism economy to the next level and lead the way for the next 20 years. Together, we will drive the future of Las Vegas.