Posts Tagged ‘conference’

Rep. Berkley Announces Plan To Permanently End Federal Travel Ban To Las Vegas, Sen. Heller Joins Effort

By Sean Whaley | 3:31 pm April 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., today said she will introduce legislation to permanently end a Bush era ban on cities -  including Las Vegas and Reno – from hosting federal agency and executive branch conferences and conventions.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he will join Berkley in the effort.

A similar effort in 2009 by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not pass.

Heller and Berkley are both seeking the same U.S. Senate seat, filled by Heller in 2011 when he was appointed to the post by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The announcement by the two Nevada members of Congress comes as the fallout continues from a now infamous conference held by the General Services Administration (GSA) in Henderson in 2010.

In remarks on the floor, Berkley said some GOP members of Congress are seeking to attack Nevada’s tourism industry because of the abuses reported regarding the GSA conference.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“These Republicans are trying to bring back the last administration’s so-called ‘blacklist’ of resort cities like Las Vegas and Reno – prohibiting federal agencies from traveling to hold conferences and seminars,” she said. “This policy has damaged the reputation of my state, hurt our economy and killed jobs.”

Berkley said the blacklist has been lifted by the Obama Administration, but that it is time to make such a policy permanent.

“Las Vegas wasn’t the problem, the irresponsible behavior of the GSA was,” she said. “And that’s why I am going to introduce legislation to prohibit the blacklisting of any city in America.”

Later in the day Heller said he would join in the effort.

“Despite our differing views on the bailouts for Wall Street and Detroit, Obamacare, and stimulus spending that has left many Nevadans out of work, I am pleased to join Congresswoman Berkley in the effort to end the blacklist process by the federal government,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

“Nevada offers the best hospitality and convention services in the world, and Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been favorite destinations for millions of visitors,” Heller said.  “I have always taken pride in the Nevada delegation working together on Nevada issues, and plan to introduce legislation in the near future.”

While Berkley praised President Obama for ending the federal travel blacklist, she did not bring up his controversial remarks made in 2009 when he told companies receiving federal bailout money that they should not “take a trip to Las Vegas” on the taxpayer’s dime.

Then-Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, among others, criticized Obama’s remarks, saying they helped stall the state’s economic recovery.

Obama later compounded the controversy when he remarked that responsible people don’t “blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Nevada is one of several “battleground” states where the 2012 presidential election is expected to be played out in November.

Several congressional committees have held hearings into the GSA conference, which resulted in the resignation of GSA chief Martha Johnson after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the incident.

The $823,000 conference was held at the M Resort and Casino, and included a clown and a mind reader. It was the subject of a critical report by the GSA Office of Inspector General.


Sandoval to Speak at Hispanic Leadership Conference in New Mexico

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:22 am August 10th, 2011

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez are both slated to speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN) Conference to be held September 23-24th (during Hispanic Heritage Month) in Albuquerque, NM, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

The southwestern regional conference is called “Rebuilding America’s Dream” and is a two-day grassroots leadership event that will involve discussion on policy issues including the economy, education policy, immigration reform, home ownership and civic engagement.

HLN describes itself as a Hispanic “center-right advocacy action group.”

Event organizers say registration is now open for the conference to be held at the Hyatt Regency.

In a recent survey, Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that Governor Sandoval’s approval ratings are faring well compared to other Republican governors in so-called swing states. Nevada voters approve of their chief executive by a margin of 44 percent to 38 percent.

The PPP poll found that Sandoval is relatively well-liked by independents (47/34) and even has a 25 percent approval rating with Democrats (a surprisingly robust amount of crossover support).

However, despite speculation that Sandoval may at some point be on the short list for GOP VP, Silver State voters do not (presently) think he would make a great addition to the Republican presidential ticket. Forty-six percent of those surveyed in the PPP poll said his nomination for vice president would have no impact on their vote, and 34 percent said it would actually make them less likely to vote Republican.


Governor’s Conference On Tourism To Return In December After Two-Year Hiatus

By Sean Whaley | 11:04 am June 3rd, 2010

CARSON CITY – The popular Governor’s Conference on Tourism will return in December after a two-year hiatus, Gov. Jim Gibbons and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced today.

The conference put on by the Nevada Commission on Tourism, NCOT, had been put on hold due to budget limitations.

“It was a difficult decision to put the conference on hold, but the economy and strained budgets required NCOT to do so,” said commission Chairman Krolicki. “The conference has become a staple of learning and networking for Nevada’s tourism industry, and it’s with great pleasure we can resume this valuable program.”

Gibbons said the costs of the conference have been scaled back because of the state’s fiscal problems, but that a full spectrum of content will be offered.

“As we move toward fiscal recovery we must support the needs of Nevada’s tourism industry, a staple of our state’s economic base,” Gibbons said.

The conference will take place at the Peppermill Resort Casino in Reno, and the schedule will be condensed into two days, Dec. 7 and 8. It will focus heavily on analyzing current travel trends in order to understand economically induced changes to who is traveling, how they’re traveling and how to reach them. The registration fee will also be significantly reduced from previous years to reflect the shorter yet high-caliber schedule.

“Professional development is one of those things that often gets cut in tough times, but it’s still so essential to the health of our industry,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. “We wanted to offer a concentrated program that won’t take individuals away from their desks too long or cause a financial hardship but gives them useful tools to take back to work and apply.”

The 2010 Governor’s Conference on Tourism is partnering with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), which is holding a conference Dec. 8-10 on social media marketing. The Reynold’s School of Journalism, College of Business and Extended Studies program are hosting the conference (Social Media at Reno-Tahoe) and will help develop and promote the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

More information on the Governor’s Conference on Tourism will be announced as speakers are confirmed.