Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 2 a.m.
Who pays for the showgirls who accompany the mayor to events?
— Karla Nolan
The showgirls are just one more indication that Mayor Oscar Goodman may enjoy politics, but his genius is in marketing.
Along with the oversized martini glass, the Bombay Sapphire gin endorsement contract, the mob lawyer past and quick-draw quips, Goodman knows how to draw attention to himself — and sometimes even the city he governs.
It’s fitting then that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — the public entity that promotes this sun-drenched adult playground to the world — picks up the tab for his feathered friends. Goodman is chairman of the LVCVA board.
Each showgirl typically costs $200 for the first two hours, and $50 each additional hour, according to the authority, which is funded by hotel-room taxes.
“They refresh me,” Goodman once said of his wingwomen. “We celebrate our history here, and they’re part of it.”
Some may question whether this caricature is the best face for the city to put forward, whether it draws the right kind of attention. But those people don’t work for the LVCVA.
“We believe the use of showgirls is a good business investment, generating publicity for the destination, and ultimately, helping generate visitation to Las Vegas,” LVCVA spokesman Vince Alberta said via e-mail.
Questions for Mr. Sun can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.