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Keeping Las Vegas Fresh

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What is Las Vegas doing to make sure it stays fresh in the minds of tourists

If Las Vegas is known for one thing, it's reinvention. 

What started out as a dusty stop on the Union Pacific Railroad is now a gleaming Mecca of entertainment, rising from the desert floor, and it is always changing.

We've seen casinos imploded and replaced with bigger and more glamorous ones.

Shows, attractions and shopping areas are removed, remodeled and reworked to remain relevant in a landscape that depends on the 'new.' 

Now, as the city emerges from one of the worst, if not the worst, economic downturn in its history, what is it doing to reinvent again and how is it keeping itself fresh? 

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority told KNPR's State of Nevada that many of Las Vegas's customers are repeat customers and having diversified entertainment offerings keeps those people coming back. 

But what started as a discussion about how Las Vegas evolves became a discussion about why more isn't done to promote the city's cultural offerings.

Arts commissioner and art curator for Zappos.com Brian 'Paco' Alvarez criticized the LVCVA for not doing enough for the larger community.

"We kind of lost our footing in really promoting the community culturally," Alvarez said.

Alvarez pointed out that the website promoting Las Vegas doesn't feature anything about the city's cultural offerings, including the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

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Cathy Tull with the LVCVA disputed that characterization and said the city has come a long way in promoting arts and culture, especially over the last two years.

"We actually hired someone a couple of years ago and one of their focuses is really around culture and to make sure we're talking about cultural tourism in a way that makes sense," Tull said.

For Alvarez, it is about promotion and the lack of it for Las Vegas' galleries, museums and theaters.

"In the end, we're just not promoting the city culturally and there are a lot of cultural offerings here," he said. He called on the LVCVA to put art and culture on the front page of the LVCVA website.

 

Guests

Claudia Vecchio, director, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Brian ‘Paco’ Alvarez, arts commissioner and art curator, Zappos.com; Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

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