Monday, May 18, 2009 | 4:22 p.m.
Editor's note: Gov. Jim Gibbons released the following news release Monday:
PRESIDENT OBAMA REFUSES MEETING WITH GOVERNOR GIBBONS TO REPAIR DAMAGE TO TOURISM CAUSED BY PRESIDENT
Carson City - The Office of Governor Jim Gibbons was notified today that President Barack Obama has refused to meet with the Governor and key business leaders from Nevada. Governor Gibbons requested the meeting in a letter to President Obama so the President could address statements he made that were critical to Nevada and have caused economic damage to convention business and tourism business in the Silver State. Earlier this year, the President told an audience in Elkhart, Indiana, “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” That quote was seen by many as an insult to Las Vegas and as a message to companies across the Nation to stay away from Las Vegas for corporate meetings and conventions.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports over 400 conventions and business meetings scheduled to take place in Las Vegas recently have cancelled. These cancelled events translate into 111,800 guests in Las Vegas and over 250,000 “room-nights”. The cancelled conventions and meetings have cost the Las Vegas economy over $100-million, not including gaming revenue.
“I am disappointed at the hypocrisy shown by this Administration,” Gibbons said, “President Obama is coming to Las Vegas later this month for a political fundraiser, but he will not help the struggling families in Las Vegas and Nevada who are out of work because of his reckless comments.” Governor Gibbons noted, “President Obama is coming to Las Vegas to raise campaign cash for Senator Harry Reid, apparently our money is good enough for the President, but our tourism, jobs, and economic future are not.” Gibbons added, “This is politics, pure and simple, President Obama stood for change, but all he has done is brought negative economic change to Nevada.”
Governor Gibbons is calling upon Senator Reid to use any influence he might have to ask President Obama to encourage Americans to visit America during their summer vacations this year. “Sometimes Washington politicians forget that the people of Nevada are Americans,” Governor Gibbons said, “This President needs to repair the damage he has done.”