Las Vegas Mayor Wants Presidential Apology - 8 News NOW

Edward Lawrence, Reporter & Mark Mutchler, Photographer

Las Vegas Mayor Wants Presidential Apology

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Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman wants an apology from President Barack Obama for some remarks the president made mentioning Las Vegas.

Goodman, along with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board said on Tuesday that the president's remarks at a town hall meeting could cost Las Vegas money and jobs.

A harmless question from a concerned resident of Elkhart, Indiana about corporate responsibility received this answer from President Barack Obama.

"You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take that trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime," he said. The comments sparked a pointed response from Las Vegas Mayor Goodman.

"That's outrageous. He owes us an apology. He owes us a retraction," Goodman said. The mayor is also the chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

"What is a better place I say, for them to come here. For them to change their mind and go someplace else and to cancel at the suggestion of the president of the United States, that is outrageous," Goodman said.

Some high profile companies like Wells Fargo, Citibank and Goldman Sachs recently pulled out of meetings in Las Vegas. The businesses as well as the people who attend the meetings all spend money here. Canceling impacts the casinos and contractors who set up the sound systems and do other production work for the meetings.

"We've had layoffs. We've had days off without pay. Reductions in work force," said Phillip Cooper of Encore Productions. He employs about 200 people in Las Vegas and relies on the meetings to pay his employees. He agrees with the convention authority that these meetings can provide direct stimulus to Las Vegas.

"Meetings last year were worth $244 billion. That is a lot of jobs. That is billions of dollars of tax revenue," said Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA president and CEO.

Mayor Goodman says just because companies received taxpayer money they still need to do business, and offer incentives to employees.

"I am going to take care of this immediately. I am going to call our congressional delegation and ask them to talk to him and stop this kind of talk," Goodman said.

The LVCVA says even companies that don't get public funds are also talking about canceling meetings. They will launch a new advertising campaign in March telling businesses that Las Vegas is a good place to meet and do business..

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