Q1: Congratulations. The SoulOfAmerica audience wants to know how you got what seems like a dream job? Did you pursue it or were you pursued?
In Spring 2015, SoulOfAmerica conducted a Q&A with the newly appointed Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority (LVCVA) Commissioner, Lawrence Weekly. Commissioner Weekly is a Kappa from Grambling University and a member of the Las Vegas Urban League. He spoke of how Las Vegas visitor metrics were up again and his desire for LVCVA to better outreach to more diverse travelers. Will he make a difference at better outreach to African-Americans?
A1: I’m an Executive Board member appointed by the Clark County Commission. I like staying busy to make a difference and I hang with smarter people.
Q2: What is your background?
A2. Native Nevadan who has seen it (Las Vegas) grow, resorts, condos, and homes. I have a Master of Science degree from UNLV.
Q3: What new market expansion do you have in mind for LVCVA?
A3. More diversity. Recognize people of color. Advertising must reflect that.
Q4: Why should meeting, convention and event planners choose Las Vegas?
A4: Las vegas is a 24-hour location, there’s no boredom. Visitors can also enjoy great shopping, shows, parks & recreation like horseback riding in Red Rock.
Q5: Aside from a quick wedding, why should Wedding Planners choose Las Vegas over Los Angeles, San Francisco or Miami, which also have many great resort & view hotels?
A5: Las Vegas is the #1 wedding location, particularly for beautiful elaborate weddings. No one else can touch it.
Q6: I think I know why Gal groups and Pal groups choose Las Vegas, but what is something specific to the city that many Gal and Pal groups overlook in their planning for short getaways?
A6: Don’t get mesmerized by the Strip. It’s a real city with homes and crime too. You can visit other parts of the city, as you would when visiting Los Angeles, Phoenix or Dallas.
Q7: Given NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s position on sports gambling and the construction of a large arena on the Strip, are you making a stronger reach-out to the NBA or NHL?
A7: Everything in due time. We must build our infrastructure first to be in position to handle it when the opportunity arises.
Q8: When will the stalled mega-projects on the northern part of The Strip expected to resume? When will Las Vegas Monorail being expanded?
A8: Las Vegas is weathering the storm. Some of the projects got ahead of themselves during the great recession. I’m happy to say however, that SLS replaced the Sahara. Rockin’ Rio Music festival for 300-400,000 people is also coming.
Q9: What Downtown attractions are most under-appreciated?
A9: We have dealt with a bad perception of downtown, but that has changed. Mayor Goodman got us to believe in downtown. Seeds were planted. We attracted World Market Center for furniture distribution — its the largest in the nation. Recently opened Smith Center for Performing Arts attracts touring Broadway plays. Tony Che attracted Zappos development. Live, Work and Play. The Neon Museum is downtown.
Q10: I’ve interviewed people on the Pioneer Trail who care about historic Black Las Vegas. They feel forgotten by Las Vegas marketing. When are you planning to expand specific marketing using media outlets that can help them?
A10: We as a people have to learn to work together. Historian Clay T. White is his “Go To” person for the Pioneer Trail.