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Authority votes to freeze executives' pay

27 August 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A committee from the official booster board for Las Vegas would freeze the pay rate for its chief executive under a recommendation approved Tuesday.

The compensation committee for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority voted 3 to 0 to freeze the base pay for President and Chief Executive Officer Rossi Ralenkotter and Luke Puschnig, legal counsel.

The committee, which includes a resort executive and two local mayors, praised Ralenkotter and Puschnig for their work but said it would be unwise to offer pay increases at a time when visitation to Las Vegas is down and much of the hospitality industry is contracting.

"We are in the middle of a storm," said compensation committee member Chuck Bowling, an executive at MGM Mirage, the largest resort company in Las Vegas with 10 properties on the Strip. "We typically don't go rewarding people in the middle of the storm."

Under the recommendation that on Sept. 9 will go to the authority board, Ralenkotter's base pay for the upcoming year will remain the same at $260,166. The maximum amount he could make in performance bonuses will be up to $69,638, also the same as the previous year.

Puschnig's salary will remain flat at $134,618 and potential performance pay is up to $16,730, according to the recommendation.