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The next series of the award-winning "Vegas Stories" television commercials was presented Tuesday to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board and will be part of a $20 million advertising campaign targeting feeder markets to Las Vegas.
The "Vegas Alibi" commercials will complement "What happens here, stays here" ads and will not replace the current campaign, said Rob O'Keefe, account director at R&R Partners, the company that handles advertising for the convention authority.
O'Keefe said the commercials will air for four months in the typical markets for Las Vegas, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix, with a "heavy up" advertising effort in ancillary feeder markets of Detroit, Denver and Seattle.
The commercials will run on targeted programming on cable channels such as the Food Network, E! and the Style Channel, reaching an audience likely to visit Las Vegas, O'Keefe said.
"We need to be vigilant and work hard to bring people here," he said. "The second component of our ad creates an awareness of the dining, shopping, entertainment and golf here."
One of the commercials shows a couple at a dinner party discussing their trip to Las Vegas with sexual innuendos relating to their dining experience. Another spot has a man asking his significant other if she got "wild" in Las Vegas with her girlfriends. She says she did get wild -- then shows him things she bought on a shopping spree at Versace, Ferragamo and Tiffany's.
Online Flash ads say "I scored in Las Vegas" with a reference to golf as a great alibi and "You won't believe what I picked up in Las Vegas" with a reference to shopping.
Las Vegas had more than 37 million visitors last year and the convention authority's goal is to hit 43 million visitors by 2009. Nearly 3.3 million people came to Las Vegas in April, bringing the year-to-date total to 12.7 million, a 1.4 percent increase from a year ago.
In other business, the convention and visitors board approved a $2.5 million agreement with MWH Americas for project management and construction management services for remodeling and expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Mike Musgrave of MWH Americas said the firm would work on planning and programming the first phases of the projects through December. Development of the master plan adopted by the board in March includes specific project descriptions, budgets and schedules.
"We're not going to design the projects, we're going to define them and prioritize projects," Musgrave said.
The project includes 145,000 square feet of meeting rooms in the South Hall, 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and 100,000 square feet of general assembly space in the Central Hall.
Board member Robert Forbuss, whose term with the authority has expired, said he doesn't want to see a repeat of the South Hall expansion, which escalated from an estimate of $120 million to more than $180 million and resulted in extensive litigation.
Musgrave said focus groups would help develop a strategic approach to use dollars wisely, to maximize the return to the convention center and minimize disruptions.
The authority's compensation committee had scheduled a meeting to evaluate the performance of President Rossi Ralenkotter, but the meeting was postponed to June 28 because the committee did not have a quorum. Board members Tony Santo and James Gibson were absent.
Chuck Bowling of MGM Grand was appointed to the committee to replace Vincent Matthews, who recently resigned from the board.
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