Vegas tourism agency slashing budget, re-doing spending plan
Apr 20, 2020
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The agency promoting tourism in Las Vegas is quickly re-doing its budget, with coronavirus casino closures and business shutdowns projected to result in a two-thirds cut in hotel room tax funding for the fiscal year starting July 1. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority chief executive Steve Hill said authority room tax revenue is expected to drop from $300 million to between $100 million and $120 million for the upcoming fiscal year, the Las Vegas Sun reported . At Hill’s request, the tourism agency board last week agreed to delay until next month consideration of a new budget. “Fiscal year 2021 was set to be an exceptionally strong year,” Hill said. “In February, we were excited about the direction the year was headed in. We were set to set records in a number of different ways.“ Now, he said, “Fiscal year 2021 is going to be a difficult year.” The authority receives about one-third of room tax revenue generated in and around Las Vegas. The other two-thirds supports schools and infrastructure projects. Hill said the authority was likely to lose another $60 million in income due to postponements and cancellations of conventions, meetings and trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other locations. “We expect the meetings that will happen will be somewhat smaller than they have been in the past,” he said. The authority on April 14 slashed its budget by $79 million — cutting executive pay, freezing hiring and eliminating 400 temporary and on-call trade show positions, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported . Of 455 full-time employees, 80 positions were dissolved and 270 workers were furloughed with health care benefits left intact. Hill said employees would be able to apply for federal and state coronavirus relief and unemployment aid. The budget will be introduced at the May 12 board meeting and considered for approval after a public hearing in a special meeting May 27.