Las Vegas is throwing its hat into the political arena, vying with 15 other cities to be an official host site for one of the presidential debates during the 2016 campaign.
"Las Vegas would be a natural choice for a presidential debate given our ability to host high-profile special events, and the world-class experience our destination provides," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). "Businesses have long discovered the value of holding their events in Las Vegas, which is why we have held the No. 1 ranking in North America for meetings and conventions for the last 20 years. We look forward to showcasing Las Vegas to the Commission on Presidential Debates."
Ralenkotter and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) President Len Jessup are co-chairs of the Las Vegas 2016 Presidential Debate Committee. The debate would be held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
"Presidential debates bring a unique energy - and the national spotlight - to a campus and enrich the education of students by allowing them to experience the political process up close," said UNLV President Len Jessup. "UNLV has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country and is an ideal venue for the candidates to debate issues that will affect our students, our community, our state and our nation."
Joining Ralenkotter and Jessup on the committee are Charles Bowling, President & Chief Operating Officer, Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts International; Randy Garcia, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Investment Counsel Company of Nevada; Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; George Markantonis, President & Chief Operating Officer, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo & Convention Center; Kristin McMillan, President & CEO, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce; Shaundell Newsome, Founder, Sumnu Marketing; Kevin Page, Chairman of the Board of Regents, Nevada System of Higher Education; Sig Rogich, Group President, Rogich Communications; Rob Roy, Founder & CEO, Switch; Keith Smith, President & CEO, Boyd Gaming; Donald D. Snyder, Presidential Advisor for Strategic Initiatives, UNLV; Virginia Valentine, President, Nevada Resort Association; Billy Vassiliadis, CEO & Principal, R&R Partners; Rosemary Vassiliadis, Clark County Director of Aviation, McCarran International Airport; Nancy Wong, Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary/Treasurer, Arcata Associates Inc.; and Maurice Wooden, President, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.
As an early caucus state that will also be a key battleground state in the next election, Nevada is well suited for hosting a debate. Las Vegas has previously hosted primary debates, presidential speeches, and been long considered for political conventions by both parties.
If selected, the debate would take place sometime between the end of September and the middle of October 2016. The Commission on Presidential Debates is expected to announce the four host cities this fall. Learn more about the Commission at debates.org
About the LVCVA
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With more than 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and almost 11 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA's mission centers on attracting ever- increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to www.lvcva.com or www.lasvegas.com.