Senator Rosen Was Joined By Leaders From MGM Resorts International, Vegas Chamber, Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority, And The Las Vegas Raiders
Click HERE to watch Senator Rosen’s Opening Remarks
LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion, led a field hearing that examined ways to attract large sporting and entertainment events to the U.S., with a focus on Las Vegas’ experience, and the impacts that sporting and live entertainment events have on the local economy. Witnesses for the hearing included CEO and President of MGM Resorts International Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Steve Hill, President and CEO of the Vegas Chamber Mary Beth Sewald, and President of the Las Vegas Raiders Sandra Douglass Morgan.
“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. From concerts to conventions to major sporting events, this year alone is showing just how vital the tourism economy is for Nevada,” said Senator Rosen. “These events boost our state’s economy, creating good-paying jobs and supporting Nevada small businesses. That’s why it has been a priority for me to lead this subcommittee and ensure the U.S. Senate works in a bipartisan way to boost travel and tourism.”
Below are excerpts from the witnesses’ statements at the hearing:
“I appreciate the support from Chair Rosen and the subcommittee has shown for the travel and tourism industry, including securing the position of Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism and working to ensure the position is fully funded,” said Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts International. “Las Vegas’ rapid rise as the world’s top sports and entertainment destination is the culmination of an evolution unlike any we have ever seen in our city’s history. The transformation resulted from the public and private sectors working together to build exciting new venues, creating unique experiences that people love, and working together to revolutionize the way fans engage with their favorite teams. In that same spirit, I look forward to working with Members of the Subcommittee to drive the next wave of growth in travel and tourism – and further boost the industry’s growing contribution to America’s economy.”
“Since opening in 2021, Allegiant Stadium has welcomed more than 3 million visitors from over 120 countries. And outside of Raiders games, those additional events we needed to bring to round out the calendar have grown exponentially, with 25 in 2021, growing to over 40 in 2022. And as of now, we have 31 events or concerts on the calendar for this year. These events bring in meaningful revenue to the state,” said President of the Las Vegas Raiders Sandra Douglass Morgan. “Our success story would be much different without the advocacy and support from our congressional delegation, and of course you, Senator Rosen, who understand first-hand the vital role that travel and tourism plays in the health of our state’s economy.”
“Thank you so much, Senator, and again I echo everyone’s sentiments. Thank you so much for your leadership. It has made a profound impact on us,” said Mary Beth Sewald, President and CEO of the Vegas Chamber. “Our small businesses benefit economically from our large tourism sector, providing good-paying jobs and careers. And many of our members at the Las Vegas Chamber work to support women and minority-owned businesses by providing procurement opportunities and supplier-diversity programs as well. One of the most impactful transformations in our tourism industry, bar none, has been the development of the sports tourism sector of our economy.”
“I want to thank [Senator Rosen] and the members of the committee for the work that you do, but I want to thank you for the leadership that you’ve provided to the committee and for the tourism industry. This subcommittee has brought a focus to the tourism industry that really had been missing, and this has helped fill a void. It has helped this industry make progress, and we all very much appreciate that,” said Steve Hill, President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Tourism is the economic engine of not only Las Vegas but of Nevada. We have worked, and I’ve been on the other side of this, trying to, and successfully at some level, diversifying the economy of Nevada. That has worked over the past several decades, but it is important that this industry continue to thrive. If it doesn’t, all of Nevada suffers.”
Senator Rosen has been a champion for Nevada’s travel and tourism economy. Last year, Senator Rosen passed the bipartisan Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act to boost the travel and tourism industry by creating the position of a new Assistant Secretary of Commerce of Travel and Tourism to coordinate tourism strategy across the federal government. Senator Rosen was also part of a bipartisan group that negotiated the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, where she specifically helped write the section on airports and ensure support for travel and tourism. She has also been pushing to get federal funding for a high-speed rail system in Nevada that will help bring more visitors and boost the state’s tourism economy.