What happens in your business meeting stays in your business meeting

Patrick Gibbons

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's (LVCVA) most famous ad campaign, "What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas" has finally bit the city of Las Vegas in the proverbial butt.

President Barrack Obama scolded corporations for using taxpayer money to fund trips out to Las Vegas. Following the chastisement by the President, Wells Fargo cancelled a major trip for its senior officials to Las Vegas. J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs have also cancelled their trips.

The LVCVA and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman are fuming mad.

Mayor Goodman, the former mob attorney, stated, "I take serious issue with that and would demand an apology and a retraction."

But the LVCVA's campaign ads have clearly spelled out that Las Vegas is a place to party – and be naughty. Taxpayers don't want their tax dollars blown so corporate executives can have a great time at a casino with a call girl – and we can't blame them.

"That's so far from the truth," LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said. "We have proven over the last 15 to 20 years that we are a place to conduct business so we need to get that message out."

Meanwhile in the very same week, the LVCVA sponsors a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model party at the Luxor. Serious indeed.

Of course, Nevada has a long way to go to prove that we are a serious place to do business, and we aren't talking about overcoming the stigma of the scandalous ad campaigns. Don't forget Las Vegas' mob heritage, one that is alive and well thanks to former mob lawyer Goodman pushing for a taxpayer-funded Mob Museum – a museum that has become the rallying call against government pork nationwide. Goodman and the LVCVA couldn't have done a better job of painting Las Vegas as a less serious place to do business if they tried.

But hey, maybe Mayor Oscar Goodman will offer President Obama a deal "he can't refuse."