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Chris Jones

LVCVA Board Due for Key Shake-up

7 July 2005

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's board of directors is in line for a serious shake-up.

When the board reconvenes Tuesday for the first time since its new fiscal year began July 1, its 13-person lineup will include several new faces as well as one additional board member.

State Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, last year authored a bill to give both Boulder City and Mesquite full-time representation on the authority board rather than continue sharing one board seat on an alternating 24-month basis.

The Legislature agreed, so Boulder City Councilman Mike Pacini will next week begin his second two-year term alongside Bill Nicholes, the Mesquite mayor who otherwise would have taken Pacini's place.

"With the amount of gaming and tourist activity in the city of Mesquite, it will help us a great deal to have representation on this great board year in and year out," Nicholes said Wednesday. "It's difficult to have accountability without representation, and the citizens and the gamers (of Mesquite) were holding us accountable."

State law says the convention authority board must include two elected officials from the city of Las Vegas and another two from Clark County.

Hardy's bill gives Boulder City (population: 14,934, according to the state demographer's 2003 estimate) and Mesquite (13,895 residents) equal standing with Henderson (217,448) and North Las Vegas (146,005), which each have one full-time seat on the board.

North Las Vegas' seat is also open, but it has not been determined whether Mayor Michael Montandon or another member of its City Council will serve on the board through June 2007.

The board's six remaining seats are filled by area business leaders selected by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Nevada Resort Association.

Along with reappointing Harrah's Entertainment executive Tom Jenkin, the chamber will on Tuesday submit its president and chief executive officer, Kara Kelley, to fill one of its three seats on the board.

The chamber's third representative, Hard Rock Hotel President Kevin Kelley, is midway through a two-year term.

The Nevada Resort Association has also nominated a new representative: Glenn Christenson, chief financial officer of Station Casinos. He'll join MGM Mirage executive Chuck Bowling and Boyd Gaming Corp. President Keith Smith as the association's representatives.

Christenson will replace Harrah's executive Tony Santo, while Bowling last month replaced former Mandalay Resort Group executive Vince Matthews.

Chamber and NRA nominees must be approved by the board's eight elected representatives Tuesday.