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Richard N. Velotta

Las Vegas brings back 'What happens here, stays here'

10 December 2014

The Las Vegas Indie rock band Imagine Dragons has joined the parade of local entertainment celebrities boosting tourism by participating in a “What happens here, stays here” television advertisement for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

LVCVA board members Tuesday viewed three new ads, one featuring the music of the popular group.

The board also heard the back story of last month’s impromptu performance at the Bellagio fountains that benefited Playing It Forward, a program for musicians to financially support public school music programs.

Cowboy hats filled the board room as the agency that markets Southern Nevada to the world paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of hosting the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The rodeo continues through Sunday at the Thomas &Mack Center. The event has become a staple in the city’s December event calendar and has served as a model for how to grow a single event into a tourism experience with dozens of related activities appealing to thousands of visitors.

In addition to 11 rodeo performances, the city now hosts the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show, the Cowboy FanFest and dozens of country music acts.

A short video, “Buckin’ the Odds,” narrated by actor Luke Perry, explained the growth of the event over the years. The rodeo has been sold out 280 consecutive nights and is one of the toughest tickets in town to acquire. Local resort officials solved that problem by arranging live video feeds to 40 properties that have become special events in their own right.

Board members also got a look at new “What happens here, stays here” ads. Production of the ad series had been on a hiatus in favor of a summer campaign, but the popularity of the campaign convinced the board’s advertising consultant, Las Vegas-based R&R Partners, to rejuvenate it.

A two-ad series, titled “Transformation,” began airing Monday. The ads feature a man and woman who have chance encounters at locations throughout the city with their looks evolving at each meeting. The ad features the Imagine Dragons’ “I Bet My Life” single as a soundtrack.

The second ad, “The Secret,” will debut in February and be shown in movie theaters as well as on some of the various media channels traditionally used, primarily in the Chicago, Dallas and Houston markets.

The board also formally approved March’s Big League Weekend spring training baseball series between the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland A’s at Cashman Field. The games will be played March 13-14 and will be co-sponsored by the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team.

The authority is investing $300,000 for the games and expects to recoup $100,000 in ticket sales and concessions.

The two-game series is expected to draw 3,500 out-of-town visitors and generate an estimated $2.45 million in nongaming economic impact.

The board also announced that it would have a December promotion to identify the 40 millionth visitor to Las Vegas in 2014. The city expects to eclipse the 40 million mark in visitor volume for the first time in its history this year. While officials don’t expect to find the exact 40 millionth visitor, they expect the search will create media buzz.