Panel Formed to Prioritize NV Tourism Projects

The governor on Monday signed an executive order forming a committee to prioritize tourism improvement projects in Southern Nevada and draft a report with recommendations in the next year.

The 11-member committee, to be chaired by Steve Hill, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, includes six casino executives, the president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and two local government leaders.

“Nevada has served as the standard-bearer and premier destination for global tourism, gaming and conventions for decades,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement announcing formation of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee.

“There is no destination in the world that can rival the experience that millions travel to Nevada for annually and that means that we must strive to push forward and continue to lead this international industry into the next generation of travel and tourism,” he said.

Members of the committee include UNLV President Len Jessup, who will serve as vice chairman; Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman; Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak; and chamber President and CEO Kristin McMillan.

Nevada Resort Association representatives round out the committee with Tom Jenkin of Caesars Entertainment, Bill Noonan of Boyd Gaming, Bill Hornbuckle of MGM Resorts International, Kim Sinatra of Wynn Resorts, George Markantonis of Las Vegas Sands and Mike Sloan of Station Casinos.

The committee will be assisted by five nonvoting community experts, Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell, Clark County Manager Don Burnette, Regional Transportation Commission General Manager Tina Quigley, Clark County Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter.

Hill also is expected to appoint an expert in economic and financial analysis.

“We are fortunate to have many of the brightest minds in gaming and hospitality, as well as experienced and capable community leaders who are ready to meet the challenges of a changing market and identify and embrace the potential within the industry,” Sandoval said. “This executive order represents a formal step forward which will enable this critical industry to progress while ensuring that we remain the world’s epicenter for travel and tourism.”

The committee will file a report with its recommendations by July 31, 2016. The committee is expected to address tourism improvement projects that may include development of a stadium.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.