tv Nevada Newsmakers NBC March 1, 2016 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
now from the "nevada newsmakers" broadcast headquarters, here is sam shad. >> back on "nevada newsmakers," we are tape thanksgiving program on february 4, we're changing studios and backing a few shows. we'll interview bob lucey, washoe county commissioner, newly minted, been on the board about a year. tell me the difference between what it was like running for the office and being in office? >> i got to tell you, sam, it's been a huge experience in the way i've just difference that i thought going into it, i thought i would be impactful on all the change and i really have bring outside from my private business life in the public sector and impact, i think it was that kind of airgant, novice way of looking at things. now i get in there and spent the laf year working on it, i've seen so much more that goes on, complexity and how dynamic the job has to be. >> so for example, give us
>> for example, you know, for me specifically, i'm -- i was very fortunate this last july to be elected as chairman of the rcva with new after legislature we board. we went from 13 members down to nine. we had multitude of different issues going on. >> folks in southern nevada, the conventional -- >> reno-sparks convention and visitor authority. different issues at the convention and visitor's authority. we have worked to focus on rebranding, but so much of a process goes through that in the public process that takes time to get certain issues, such as we separated ourselves from our ceo over this last summer and that was a major issue that was in the paper.
distrust behind that and they felt the board wasn't doing the right thing and why was the board doing what they were doing there is not a lot of information that is always readily available to the public, so they know the entire story. and so it make its difficult to go work through the processes and so in my private business, when i was able to make decisions and make change, i can't do that in the public sector based upon laws and different things in place. >> you know, you talk about the rscva, and you were one to vote for the removal of chris bomb as executive director. reno's hotel numbers improved slightly under him, what was the issue with chris bomb and let me say first, i've always thought that was such a tough job and rscva is one of the most dysfunctional boards we have in northern nevada. >> and historically, it is.
grinder for c.e.o.s at rcva. that is the monker we've been given over the years. it's a difficult job because the board that you have to, we work in a very niche market and our market is so much different than other cbb's around the country. we have private stake holders that live and work right here that own our properties, whereas other cbb's you have hiatt's and hiltons, not necessarily run by the owners of the corporation and might have different structures. ours is more personal, a little bit more shared privately by the board segment. and chris was doing a phenomenal, doing a great job as ceo with what he had available to him, with his skill set available. chris was a sales and marketing guy from detroit.
he was brought in as ceo, i think a ceo needed to be someone who is truly an operator and that's where chris fell short. >> in operations? >> in the sense of making sure the facility and there is a clear path forward for the region and he -- chris nmy opinion, spent more time focusing on just the marketing aspect of the rscva and not the operation, such as managing assets of the reno-sparks convention center, reno event center downtown, national bowling stadium. we own that and have reno livestock center. >> that has been the problem for years, most of the money, the bulk of the money going to rscva is to operate facilities. >> correct. >> there hasn't been a lot of money leftover and marketing groups have come together to be able to put this forward. i do want to say, there are certainly some out there who
sam, you are crazy, jay milligan was head of the rscva for 15 years and he did phenomenal job f. he did one thing in his entire tenure, build the bowling stadium in downtown reno, which saved downtown reno, throughout the recession and everything else, pretty close to 30 years of having tens of thousands of bowlers coming through at the slowest time of the year. >> absolutely. >> he had a solid lock on. that he got pushed out the door, as often happens in these jobs. it doesn't have to be a revolving door. >> it doesn't have to be a revolving door. we want to make sure that doesn't happen going forward. you know, like i said, i think chris was just unfortunately subject to a change in different attitudes on the board, there was massive switch in the landscape of the board this last year. we had the reduction in size from 13 members to nine. i think there was just a difference of opinion and i
today's day and age, the stake holders are coming together and we've all troubled and fought through the recession and now we're coming out of that and we've come to the same consensus, we'll not fight each other, we'll have, you know, with rising tide, all boats will float and if we work together as a team and unify, we can get that direction. i don't know, i think chris unfortunately, there was attitudes that conflicted with that going and there was some bad blood and history that created the issues. >> do you think the bat cell over after the battle going into the legislative session over the broom tax? there were heated discussions and salty language, shall we say. >> yeah. i think there was some salty language. but i think what came out of the legislation is that we all moving together in the right direction and this is for the betterment of the entire region, not specifically just downtown area or the outside properties, this is for the betterment of
we wan >> closed captioning of "nevada newsmakers" is brought to you by the nevada trucking association, trucking moves america forward. >> now back to "nevada newsmakers" with sam shad. >> back on "nevada newsmakers" we continue our conversation with washoe county commissioner, bob lucey. >> bob, over the years i've covered the reno-sparks convention and visitor authority. when l.e. oppenheim was running things over there, they had a brainstorming session about how can we draw people to reno-tahoe reno industrial center in the winter months, you know, you have skiing, but the convention really aren't there and the big
for the convention center, have -- they were short track olympic skating, hockey tournaments that would draw a lot of tourists from canada. you could do a lot with that, but it's never happened. and you must have heard that hey, we got to get a sheet of ice here and people say it all the time, it never happens. >> yeah, i thank you has been a lot of different plans put on the table for a number of years. we submit -- you know, myriad of different things, but the ice has always been one. we're talking about it currently within the reno event center. talking about adding ice sheet down the reno event center and bringing in a triple a hockey team. they're talking about actually in washoe county working with the city of reno to put south valley sports complex where the
working with the in private/public partnership to build ice arena for the kids. but you know, one thing, ray, we have four different assets at the rscva, which make it difficult to spread and fill those all at the same time wrchltas in other cbd's, we have within asset, the convention center. we're focusing with the new strategic plan as we move forward to find new businesses, new segments, new line of businesses out there to generate some traffic. and i think the other thing that helped us, with tesla and switch and new technology, we're shifting our focus from being a gaming, tourism destination to more of business industry destination and kind of marrying the two together. >> okay, bob sdshgs that mean that we're never going to get a sheet of ice in the reno-tahoe area? >> no, it doesn't mean we will never get the sheet of ice, we just have to make sure it is
return on investment will be there and we can generate, i think we started to do a lot more, we've worked with a number of different agencies, john cox from minnesota has done a lot of destination market analysis for and yous brought forward great lines of business we're looking into. we're working with on strategy to help us devise strategic plan going forward, looking at each line of business and how we can attract some new segments to that, ice is in the conversation. >> let me ask you this. from what you said just there, it seems like you're taking tourism/gaming and pushing it off to the side when in fact, as i look at the marketplace and assess it, the corano family has made big invest nment cirr cirquecircus. and i think you are potentially looking at other gaming
marketplace, they are seeing reno-sparks is on fire as far as population growth, business travel, a lot of properties may have to put up more rooms because i think in the next couple years, we'll run out of space. >> absolutely. you know, sam, the thing is that we are not getting ready and pushing the gaming to the side. i don't want to make that comment. what i think trying to say, we're just diversifying who we are and add different segment where is our focus has been 100% on gaming, we're changing our focus, just to add other things in. the gaming will still continue to be a focus of who we are, always be, part of our heritage, who we are as a community, we want to make sure we continue to diversify and add other businesses and i think they will marry each other and compliment each other. >> i've heard the rscva should get away from gameing and concentrate on other things, but
on the rscva, they are connected to casinos and want to put peep nel their rooms and people in the casino and it always seems like that is a death nail for director of the rcircumstancecva, when they try to get too away from gaming because power people will sack them. you have chris bomb, l.e. oppenheim, it happened to both of them. >> you are right, rick, i think that has been a common sense, but as chairman currently, talk withing boyd and having the conversations, i've seen personally change in attitude, that isn't going to be the way we will move forward. they really do want to embrace the new communities, i mean the new segments of business, they want to embrace how we move forward in a different direction, because we've decided we're not a mini-vegas, we are different, we're something, make sure we find what that is and
and that's including gaming, including new business seg sxment moving forward in the strongest asset. >> the same time, i'm sorry to -- disagree here, but the grand sierra resort, i took a tour of the new theater, this seats 3200 people. i took a tour of the night club. the pricing they charge for bottle service or getting vip booth or whatever, is very high number, but it is about 10% of what you pay in vegas for the same experience and they are marketing to the audience in sacramento and san francisco and bringing folks in and saying, you can get the vegas experience for less money, but they are making money on it. it is kind of like seeing amenities being expanded up here and i think you will see more of that, so i don't see how you get away from that. >> it's going to be an interesting evolution as we move forward. >> let's take a break.
the ret >> this is "nevada newsmakers." >> back on "nevada newsmakers," we continue our conversation with bob lucey, the washoe county commissioner heads up rscva. give me the job description who you are looking for, you have temporary ceo in place now. what are you looking for as somebody to head this organization now? >> i think like i said earlier, looking for true operator, somebody who is a seasoned, has clear background as ceo, has run cbd, has history and been successful on that cbd in years past. i think we need a ceo, not a sales or marketing individual or operation individual who just has been in underling position
and become a ceo here. we're at a breaking point where we need a true ceo to come in and provide the guidance and direction that we need at the rscva. >> then they would hire a marketing department essentially? >> well, currently we have, we're going out to, yeah, they would hire a marketing department. we have a marketing department, interim managing director is jennifer cunningham. she's phenomenal. also our manager for the marketing, as well. and she's done a great job. just want to make sure that we have a ceo that works well within the rscva with the stake holders, community and within the organization. >> you know, in the past, i've seen controversies, erupt at the rscva when they have a huge marketing plan, but that marketing plan is done by
area and number one, maybe they don't know the area like reno and number two, especially when you're talking about jobs, wouldn't it be better to use a local marketing firm rather than san francisco marketing firm to market the rscva? i'm wonder whatting your opinion is on using out of state and out of city marketing firms to market our area? >> you know, i have two varying opinions on that. i believe that outside of the area we have some strong marketing firms out there that could do some great justice. however, like i said earlier, i believe that we're a niche market and you have to be here to know reno. you know, if you get people and i use this analogy in my business all the time. is that i need to get people in the door. once i get people in the door, ki show them what my business is all about. i need to get people to reno to show them what reno is all about.
growing, so much to offer and it is just getting people here. you got to take a blend and i think it would be in my opinion, it would be perfect to have local marketing group work with a national firm and really build a national campaign that lends itself to the area, but with the expertise of a local firm. >> why doesn't the rscva do more with cinco de mayo? it used to be a big thing and a lot of people seem to come to the reno-sparks area for cinco de mayo, but now it is almost like it is forgotten. >> you know, i agree with you. i think the problem is, too, ray, we focus too much on building special events like what has been happening in austin, texas and indio with cocella and south by southwest, we're trying to build eventss here.
what works for us? hot august night, air races, balloon races, events such as cinco de mayo, wonderful opportunities here we should start focusing on and try to exploit and hopefully we can get back to that state of mind. but i really hope we move away from trying to build all these, you know, events ourselves, special events ourselves and focus on special events we have currentsly here, 94ish the ones that were slowly growing right now. >> you will see, i mean, just beyond tourism, you will see a huge market developing just from people who are moving here to work at large organizations. and so, i mean, this is another whole audience for local casinos. if i were ratings analyst on gaming companies i'd say this is probably a good investment, but don't take my advice, because i'm not. >> i think you are right, there is going to be a lot of new opportunity.
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