In a letter that he sent to President Barack Obama earlier this month, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons requested a face-to-face meeting to discuss the state of meetings and travel in Las Vegas.
According to Gibbons, by hearing first-hand from local business leaders how the economy and political criticism have hurt their livelihoods, the president can help Las Vegas rebuild its once-thriving tourism economy, which has suffered tremendously in recent months thanks to lawmakers’ perception that Las Vegas is a luxury destination best avoided by economically responsible companies.
“I think a face-to-face meeting between the president, myself and Nevada business leaders would do a lot to help overcome the perception that President Obama finds visiting Las Vegas somehow offensive,” Gibbons said in a statement. “If President Obama can come to Las Vegas to ask for political campaign cash, he can certainly take some time to explore helping the people who live and work here.”
Gibbons’ meeting request is a response to remarks made by President Obama earlier this year in Elkhart, Ind., where he said, “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.”
According to Gibbons’ office, that quote was seen by many as an insult to Las Vegas, and was interpreted by many companies as a message to corporate America that it should avoid meetings and conventions taking place there.
“Nevada offers world-class entertainment, state-of-the-art convention facilities, abundant outdoor activities and the list goes on and on,” Gibbons said. “The Obama administration should be using their influence to help and support American cities like Las Vegas so we can stimulate the economy in Las Vegas and the economy of Nevada.”
According to local media reports, Obama will be in Las Vegas on May 26 for a fundraiser for Sen. Harry Reid. There has been no word yet, however, whether he plans to meet with Gibbons and Las Vegas business leaders.