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Where does a president stay in Las Vegas? Small, eco-friendly hotel hosts guest-in-chief


Steve Marcus

A view of Element, a LEED-certified hotel, in Summerlin Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. President Barack Obama stayed in the hotel during his recent overnight stay in Las Vegas.

Updated Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 | 12:24 p.m.

Obama Stays at Eco-Friendly Element Hotel

A view of Element, a LEED-certified hotel, in Summerlin Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. President Obama stayed in the hotel during his recent overnight stay in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Obama talks energy at UPS

KSNV coverage of the president's visit to a UPS Center to talk alternative energy, Jan. 26, 2012.


If you’re the president of the United States and are in Las Vegas, where do you spend the night?

If you’re Barack Obama, you stay at the Element — an eco-chic, environmentally friendly hotel some 13 miles from the Strip that features such green amenities as in-room recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass, carpets made from recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

While Obama could have slept at one of the Strip megaresort’s over-the-top suites during his one-night stay, the LEED-certified Element by Westin seems a good fit for a president giving a speech focused heavily on energy policy.

David Smith, the hotel’s general manager, said he doesn’t know why Obama chose his hotel, but he suspects it was because of its environmental stance. “I believe the topic of his time here was along those lines,” he said.

Element — 10555 Discovery Drive, next to the Nevada Cancer Institute in Summerlin — also features charging stations for electric vehicles and designated hybrid-only parking spaces. Never mind that when Obama stayed there Wednesday night the lot was filled with heavy, black Chevy Suburbans driven by the president’s entourage.

Democratic sources say Obama was keeping the Las Vegas economy in mind when he chose to take lodging off the Strip. Sources say that because the president stayed at Element, a hotel about 15 miles from McCarran International Airport, private airplanes were able to continue flying in to McCarran during Chinese New Year, one of the busiest times for Strip casinos. Federal Aviation Administration guidelines allow for the restriction of airspace around locations where the president is visiting.

Smith, who had a chance to meet the president, said Obama “has a very impressive presence.”

Smith and the hotel staff had 12 hours notice that Obama, his Secret Service security detail and White House traveling staff would be booking the entire second floor — 47 rooms — of the modern, four-story hotel that caters mostly to corporate visitors and families.

A team that travels ahead of Air Force One secured the perimeter of the hotel and did a sweep of the building prior to Obama’s arrival.

“They really do button it down real tight,” Smith said. “When the motorcade came up, it was just extremely impressive.”

The last time Obama spent the night in Las Vegas, in May 2009, he stayed on the Strip at Caesars Palace.

The Element staff readied a one-bedroom suite with a king bed — a step above the deluxe room and studio suite, but smaller than the hotel’s two-bedroom and executive suites.

You, too, can sleep like a president for about $170, although Obama received a discounted government rate of $99.

A tour of a room identical to the one Obama stayed in revealed a comfortable living room with a sitting area and queen sofa bed, a desk and a kitchenette with stainless steel appliances.

The bedroom has a king-size bed with bright white linens, and the bathroom features a glass shower with a water-saving rain showerhead and modern appointments.

“He said that he had a good night’s sleep,” said Smith, who noted that the president also worked out at the hotel’s gym.

A workout might have been in order considering what the president and his entourage ordered for dinner — 20 cannolis and 12 pizzas: six cheese, two sausage, two pepperoni and two with sausage, mushroom and pepperoni.

Albert Scalleat, co-owner and general manager of nearby Dom DeMarco’s pizzeria, said he had no idea when he set out to make the delivery that the order was for the president and his staff.

“It was almost like being in a movie,” said Scalleat, 67.

Dom DeMarco’s doesn’t usually make deliveries, but when Scalleat heard the order was for a VIP, he decided to make the run himself, assuming he might get to meet a movie star.

“I had no idea who it was,” he said.

When he arrived about 8 p.m., he noticed about 50 black Suburbans parked outside the hotel and heard helicopters, he said. He saw snipers positioned on the rooftops of surrounding buildings.

Three men who appeared to be Secret Service agents helped Scalleat carry the pizzas inside the hotel, he said. A while later, the president’s chef came to the lobby to pay for the order, he said.

“The president wanted me to tell you he loved the pizza and the cannolis,” said Scalleat, repeating the chef’s words.

“I’ll remember it for the rest of my life,” he said.

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  1. Kudos to the Element hotel and its staff. Sounds like a great place to stay. And, the prices seem good too.

  2. I am sure that Obama's decision really helped the tourist trade in Las Vegas. Nothing but OK things to say about the Element but again no thanks to this pizza chomping nerdhead of a President for his green mongering tone deafness. I am totally happy however by the low budget food and room costs-that's never the case when Michelle is on the trip.

  3. As the "Church Lady used to say, "Now, isn't that special?" Or, perhaps, more to the point, symbolic. Osama Obama is nothing if not symbolic. He talks out of both sides of his mouth and "speaks with a forked tongue," as Native American's put it. In reality, he's a "vulture," if you use the Dumbocrats criteria because, under his "leadership," 100,000 servicemen & women are going to be laid off. "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" He and his underlings are doing exactly what Mitt did in order to balance the books (and, to Osama Obama's credit, that's a good thing in my estimation). But we'll have to wait and see how long it takes the fellow travelers to take him to task for his "vulturism." Don't hold your breath, folks!

  4. All Muslims are aware that Islam prohibits gambling. Therefore, to avoid offending, Obama sleped as far from a casino as possible.

  5. You Haters crack me up!!!

    Why don't you just admit it...
    NOTHING this President does would fall within your realm of 'acceptable'.

    Steve Miller...
    DUDE! You & FINK are a couple of really 'simple minded' folk...but then, what can one expect, truly?

    Haters HATE...
    it's what they do!

  6. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  7. You're probably right, Steve. The President chose this hotel so as not to offend any Muslims.

    Get a life.

    Even if he was trying to avoid offending anyone, why is it automatically Muslims that you assume he's trying not to offend? What about Mormons?

    Besides, he stayed at Caesars a year and a half ago. Why the change of heart?

    You people are ridiculous -- it's only frustrating because you don't seem to realize it.

  8. Matthew:
    The Strip was build by Mormons. E.Parry Thomas was the primary banker for most of the pioneer casino builders. I stand by my opinion.

  9. It is refreshing to see the Fox PORNO (Political Organization-Republican News Only) News and Rush Limbaugh crowd are alive and well on the LV Sun website comment section.

    What gives him the right to fly Air Force One to Las Vegas like he's the President of the United States of America or something? Don't matter if that's his job, the important fact is that right wingnutnoids look at ONLY THE MONEY, not what the President is doing...not only President Obama...but ANY President. THEY ALL DO THIS. But because it's President Obama, it's not right, he shouldn't do that, it's a waste of money, he's not from here, he's not one of us, how dare he act like he's an American, WE REJECT THE FACT HE IS THE PRESIDENT.

    How dare an Islamo socialist President who can't prove he's an American come here and stay at an off Las Vegas Boulevard eco style hotel?!?!?!

    The complete gaul of someone to come here and order pizzas and other Italian style food for him and his people when he is in fact a socialist commie who is not from the United States and he should be ordering schwarma and rice??!?!?!!?

    You people really don't know how stupid you sound.

    Bring on the elections in November 2012.

    I am going to cast my vote with only the purpose of CRUSHING the entire Tea/Republican Party and their foul message they continually pound out there.

    And furthermore, I don't care if they even want to come to Las Vegas anymore. As a matter of fact, stay away from here. We're tired of your bull hookey.

    Go down to Arizona where they have a Governor that loves to waggle a finger at people and scream in their face if she disagrees with them politically. Don't matter who you are. Go see her dumb butt. She will sympathize with you.

    We'll be a helluva lot better off without your stupid grief and constant complaining. Complaining that is only thrown out there because you're like spoilt rotten brats who feel you should be in power in order to write legislation to keep the tax rates low for the filthy rich...pretty much because it effects you....and nobody else.

    I am more than ready to vote. Bring it on. Some call it class warfare...I call it justice. Or better yet, just us. It's about time the rest of the people in the beloved United States of America make an impact and send a message to the privileged few filthy rich well as the Tea/Republican politicians who always run interference for them at the drop of a hat.

    Just us, baby. Just us. After the next election, people will remember that.

  10. rusty57 asks to me: "BTW, Your taxes up to date?"

    They are.

    I served 24 years in the military. I'm a retired U.S. Navy veteran.

    You're trying to equate some nutball right wingnutnoid land version of current news history to me.

    Of course Rush, Romney, Newt, Palin and other filthy rich Tea/Republicans don't seem to have tax troubles.


    They aren't in my league at all. To me, they are just bottom feeders who say they sympathize with military retirees like me, but they don't. They just use us for political broo hah hah crap. They can't even be relied upon, or be entrusted to, form a pimple on the butt of any good veteran who served this country I love.

    Especially when they only use us for political points and could care less if we live or die.

    If you don't believe me on that point, ask Bush Jr., Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rove and any of the other scummy civilian politicans who only used us for political purposes in the political excuse called the Iran War Debacle where many, many American military were sacrificed for only their stupid political longevity.

    And if you don't want to ask Bush Jr. or Cheney about that, PLEASE ask them why they can't travel to other countries anymore. Because they KNOW they will be detained and tried in a World Court for crimes against humanity. Don't believe me? Look it up. They can't travel outside this country EVER.

    Because they are scum. And the rest of the civilized world cries for justice for what they did.

    So, please take your sanctimonious partison bull crap somewhere else, rusty57.

  11. Both Parties are puppets of the global elite and banks and get off the tea party/ows nonsense, nobama's no better than bush, he signed the NDAA and pushed it down our throats and other stuff, it makes me sick, I'm glad I'm a libertarian, both parties are more of the same

    and by the way, global warming is nothing but a damn hoax for the new world order and ya'll f****** need to wake up.

  12. And by the way, rustyr57, the aging old amphibious vessel USS PONCE (LPD-15), way past decommissioning, is headed over to be a mothership for special forces SEAL teams in the fight against pirates in the Persian Gulf and in the Northern Arabian Sea area close to the Horn of Africa.

    Those brave Sailors are paying their taxes.

    And they don't have time to pay lip service to stupid Tea/Republican Party games that are only self serving and don't mean a damn thing at all to them.

    They do their thing. They signed a contract to do this stuff. They ain't got time for this dumb political crap.

    That's why I am so vocal. Because they don't have a voice. They just serve. If they do like Tea/Republicans do, they would get in trouble. Also, they would get in trouble. Because on their contract, they just serve. They don't dissent against America. They can't. They'd get in trouble for voicing an opinion. They are told to charge up the hill, and they do it.

    They ain't got time for the rhetoric and trying to point out the truth of this political game the Tea/Republican Party always plays.

    I do though. I'm retired. No one can touch me. I'm not subject to the active duty service UCMJ strictures anymore. I'm now a side slithering desert creature residing happily here in Las Vegas. That makes me their vanguard voice now.

    I'm here to help.

    Do your thing, Sailors and SEAL Teams on the PONCE, I got your back against the howling, disturbed ultra right wing zealots who just complain about stuff but don't take steps to solve a thing. Do your thing, PONCE. I'll run interference for you. I'll enunciate for you.

    Actually, I dare you to make those Sailors and SEAL teams on the PONCE pay taxes. They need to serve this country tax free (like I did when I worked in the Persian Gulf).

    Anyone in our Government that makes them pay taxes should be slapped in jail and throw away the key.

  13. Steve Miller proves its true, republicans with low IQs wind up being racists.

  14. Kudos to the Element for putting eco-friendly amenities into place. Regardless of politics, being more hospitable is old school and new school in the hospitality industry.

  15. Steve Miller,
    How do you explain President Obama staying at Caesars Palace during his earlier visits given your assertion that he is a Muslim? (If Steve responds this ought to good!)