Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2018

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Tourism funding could be reduced

The state might reduce its tourism fund this year, which could threaten the money Boulder City gets to promote itself as a travel destination.

Two legislative bill draft requests would take money away from the Nevada Commission on Tourism, which gives the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce at least $12,000 a year in grants, CEO Jill Lagan said. The city also applies every other year for the commission's special grants, she said.

Bill Draft Request 1189 would redirect room tax proceeds from the Fund for the Promotion of Tourism to the State General Fund.

Bill Draft Request 1207 would merge the Nevada Commission on Economic Development with the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

The state Department of Administration, which plans the executive budget, requested the bills.

Andrew Clinger, director of the department's Division of Budget and Planning, was unavailable for immediate comment.

Lagan said the $12,000 annual grant funds travel brochures promoting Boulder City and distribution of the brochures in the western United States.

The commission promotes rural Nevada the same way the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority promotes the Las Vegas Valley, she said.

The Commission on Tourism is funded by the transient occupancy tax — taxes on hotel rooms statewide. Since 1983, when the tax was created, it has received three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax dollars, according to Save Nevada Tourism's Web site. The group of concerned citizens is not affiliated with the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

Connie Mancillas, Southern Nevada representative to the Nevada Commission on Tourism, also did not return phone calls.

Councilman Mike Pacini, who created the Boulder City Tourism Commission through his seat on the LVCVA, said, "The strongest contributor of jobs to Nevada is tourism. To take away room tax that helps bring tourism to Nevada just boggles my mind. You can't rob Peter to pay Paul."

He said he is worried combining the commissions would detract individual attention from each.

Cassie Tomlin can be reached at [email protected] or 948-2073.

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