After shooting, Las Vegas reaches out to tourists with a new ad

Thu, Oct 12, 2017 (1:16 p.m.)

Ten days after a mass shooting killed dozens and injured hundreds in Las Vegas, the city that thrives on tourists, gambling and good times launched an ad to encourage visitors to return.

The new ad, released Wednesday by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, features photos and Twitter posts from Vegas fans expressing support and vowing to come back.

"No one and nothing will stop me from going to Vegas," said one Twitter post shown in the ad.

"We love Vegas. Always have. Always will," read another post in the ad, which did not explicitly mention the Oct. 1 shooting.

Rossi Ralenkotter, chief executive of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, said the ad, which will launch this week on national television and social media sites, is intended to reflect the mood of longtime visitors to the gambling mecca in Nevada.

He said focus groups and surveys showed strong support for the town in the wake of the massacre.

"People were saying how much they love Las Vegas and they support us and the victims and the first responders," he said. "We really did see this pouring out of love and compassion from our customers and friends."

The Oct. 1 shooting killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others who were attending an outdoor country music concert.

Tourism is the city's biggest industry, with Las Vegas breaking visitation records for the last three years in a row. Las Vegas welcomed almost 43 million visitors last year, with hotel occupancy rates at about 90%, according to the authority. The tourist industry in Las Vegas employs about 400,000 people.

For years, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority relied on a tourism campaign with the motto "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." The motto has been incorporated into television ads that depicted Las Vegas as an adult playground where anything goes.

Ralenkotter said the authority will return to such ads "at some point in time."

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