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Metro Chamber Applauds Governor’s Strong Opposition to Nuclear Waste at Yucca Mountain
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Las Vegas – Today, Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber, issued the following statement regarding efforts to resurrect the dormant plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, as well as transport waste through Nevada.

As Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval meets with federal officials and lawmakers, the Metro Chamber, as the largest business association in Nevada, applauds and supports Governor Brian Sandoval’s strong leadership in opposing any nuclear waste storage in Nevada.

“The Las Vegas Metro Chamber continues to strongly oppose a Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, as well as the transportation and storage of any nuclear waste in Nevada. Las Vegas is located within 90 miles of the Yucca Mountain site, in the 4th most active seismic area of the United States. The potential for transportation incidents and environmental impacts loom large. Given the close proximity of Yucca Mountain to the largest population area of the state, together with the critical significance of tourism and hospitality to our region’s economy, the safety risks are far too great. Any unfortunate incident would have an immediate and potentially irreversible severe and negative impact on our 2 million residents and 43 million annual business and leisure visitors.” Kristin McMillan, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Metro Chamber Cheers Approval of Raiders Relocating to Las Vegas
March 27, 2017

Las Vegas – Today, Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber, issued the following statement regarding the decision by the National Football League team owners to allow the Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas:

“Today’s vote by the NFL owners to relocate the Raiders franchise is another great score for Las Vegas. This decision expands our status as a major-league city, giving tourists from around the world another compelling reason to visit, our residents an NFL team to support, and UNLV a new stadium for its football program. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber was proud to be part of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, as well as a strong advocate for a new stadium during the special session of the Nevada Legislature, that opened this opportunity. We welcome the Raiders to Las Vegas, and we look forward to the jobs, the excitement, and the additional home town pride that comes with having an NFL team. Go Las Vegas Raiders.” – Kristin McMillan, president and CEO.

Nevada Legislature Formalizes Opposition to Revive Yucca Mountain
March 22, 2017

CARSON CITY — A resolution restating the Legislature’s opposition to any effort to license Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear waste dump was endorsed Monday by Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

Assembly Joint Resolution 10 was introduced last week just as the Trump administration announced a budget request of $120 million to restart licensing proceedings with the goal of making it the burial site for 77,000 metric tons of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel.

While there is strong opposition to Yucca Mountain among a vast majority of Nevada policy makers, an alternate position was taken by Nye County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen, who said a proceeding in front of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would answer scientific questions about the suitability of the site to store the waste.

The nation deserves to hear the science and have a decision made by an independent body, he said.

“Political science should not overshadow nuclear science,” Schinhofen said.

But Wes Duncan, representing Laxalt, said Yucca Mountain is an unstable site with a host of insurmountable problems that make it unsuitable as a waste repository. The attorney general’s office will do all it can within the law to fight the proposal, Duncan said.

The resolution was heard Monday by the Assembly Commerce Committee subcommittee on energy. No immediate action was taken on it.

In addition to concerns about the suitability of the site, Southern Nevada officials are concerned about the shipment of the spent nuclear fuel through Las Vegas to the site.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce spoke in opposition, and many officials are concerned about the potential impacts on the region’s tourism economy.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
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The Indy Explains: Southern Nevada Education Groups
February 1, 2017

Call it the education ecosystem.

In the past few years, a number of education-related organizations have sprouted to address varying concerns in Southern Nevada. Some are parent-led. Others boast heavy representation from the business community. Many advocate for similar policy reforms.

“The last couple of years, there has been a real bonding of nonprofits,” said Judi Steele, president and CEO of The Public Education Foundation. “We have so much work to do in this valley, and there’s a maturing, I believe, in the leadership of these groups, where we all see the value of working together.”

Source: The Nevada Independent
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Metro Chamber Applauds Court Blocking Overtime Rule
November 22, 2016

Las Vegas –Today, the U.S. District Court blocked the implementation of the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule that was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. The Court preliminary enjoined the new rule that would have significantly changed the current overtime rates for exempted employees and would have affected all private sector employers, including small businesses and nonprofits.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce strongly opposed the proposed administrative rule change that was being implemented by the Department of Labor. The Metro Chamber has advocated against the proposed rule for more than a year beginning when it submitted a letter of opposition on September 4, 2015. The Metro Chamber has advocated against the rule during its annual trips to Washington, D.C., and urged its members to contact their representatives to block its implementation. Additionally, the Metro Chamber was an early supporter of Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt leading a coalition of 21 states in filing the lawsuit challenging the new rule.

“This is an important ruling that benefits private and non-profit sector employers in all of Nevada, and the country as well. Preventing the overtime rule from taking effect was the number one priority when the Metro Chamber was in Washington, D.C. talking to federal legislators, and the Chamber has continuously opposed the rule by way of its advocacy efforts ever since it was proposed. We are pleased that the overtime rule is preliminarily enjoined and that employers will not have to implement the dramatic and burdensome increases in labor costs as of December 1,” said Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in Nevada.

Metro Chamber Applauds Approval by Voters of Question 5 – Fix Our Roads
November 9, 2016

Las Vegas –Tonight, Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, issues a statement regarding the approval by voters of Question 5, the renewal of Fuel Revenue Indexing.

The Metro Chamber has been a strong proponent for this ballot initiative. The organization endorsed the ballot measure in December 2015, and has been an active part of the Nevada Economic Development Coalition that was actively promoting the ballot initiative.

“The Las Vegas Metro Chamber thanks voters for renewing Fuel Revenue Indexing for 10 years in order to fund transportation projects in our region. By approving Ballot Question 5, Clark County voters have demonstrated their strong support of the transportation infrastructure improvements that are necessary for economic growth, and will also lead to improved road safety and the creation of thousands of good jobs in our community,” said Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Metro Chamber.

Las Vegas Metro Chamber to Honor Local Businesses
November 4, 2016

Mark Larkin was just out of high school in the summer of 1969 when his dad sent the family camping for a month in Big Sur, California. He didn’t know then that his father needed to be alone because he was fundamentally changing the family business.

At the time, as Las Vegas continued to grow, plumbers were flooding the city to install pipes and water systems in new casinos, houses and other buildings that were popping up across the Las Vegas Valley. Larkin’s father saw a void, however, in plumbers committed to servicing water systems, and that’s when he decided to forgo new installations and focus on service.

The decision would cost him most of his staff — plumbers who didn’t have much of interest in dealing directly with customers were quick to quit, especially when so many opportunities for new installations were available.

“He practically had to sleep at the office,” recalls Larkin, president and general manager of Larkin Plumbing. “But he could see the town was getting big enough to support a service plumber.”

Larkin’s uncle had started the company 80 years ago, in 1936, and after he died his aunt sold it to her brother, Larkin’s father, who then passed it down to his sons.

Larkin Plumbing, 1801 S. Industrial Road, is one of six businesses being honored with a Legacy Award from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s at their annual Business Excellence Awards luncheon, being held at noon Friday at the MGM Grand.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Click here to read the complete story.

Question 5 Vital to Local Economy
October 21, 2016

Growing communities need efficient, safe, well-maintained and convenient transportation infrastructure. The county’s current fuel revenue indexing policy, which began in 2013, is scheduled to sunset this year. Unless voters approve an extension in the November election, Clark County will not have the resources to keep up with our growing transportation infrastructure needs.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Click here to read the complete story.

Metro Chamber Applauds Approval of Funding for Convention Center, Stadium
October 14, 2016

Las Vegas –Kristin McMillan, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, issues the following statement regarding the passage of legislation to fund a NFL-quality stadium and renovate and expand the Las Vegas Convention Center:

“The Las Vegas Metro Chamber applauds the passage of this legislation. Investment in these two important infrastructure projects will fill significant gaps when it comes to keeping our global brand strong and continuing to attract visitors to Las Vegas,” says McMillan. “These are the next-generation opportunities that will propel our city forward, and the expected returns to the community will be significant: thousands of new jobs, significant increases in visitor spending, and more public revenue for our state’s general fund, for local governments and for education.”

McMillan serves on the LVCVA board; in addition, she was a member of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee representing the general business community that spent 15 months reviewing proposals, data and expert analysis regarding these two infrastructure projects.

After significant review of the fiscal and economic analysis, the Metro Chamber concluded that investment in these two world-class tourism infrastructure projects will strengthen and diversify economic opportunities, including for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as create significant numbers of jobs. The Metro Chamber has been a strong advocate for this legislation and has been in Carson City for the entire duration of the Special Session to urge lawmakers to pass the necessary funding for these important tourism assets.

Special Session Testimony by Kristin McMillan, President and CEO, Metro Chamber
October 10, 2016

Good Afternoon, for the record, Kristin McMillan, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you for the honor to speak to this body today as we discuss these unique opportunities before us that will set a new upward economic trajectory for our state.

It is our conclusion, after review, that investment in these two world class tourism infrastructure projects will strengthen and diversify the array of our core economic assets and open up a myriad of economic and community opportunities, not only for our large hospitality companies and UNLV but, importantly, to support and grow our smaller businesses and entrepreneurs.

In my role as president of as the broadest-based business association in the state, I have the privilege of sitting on the board of the LVCVA and participated as a member of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. In both situations, I represent the general business community. Given that role, I would like to take my allotted time here today to give you an idea of the framework we as the chamber used to review these infrastructure projects and to identify the most compelling reasons for our conclusion that they both should be supported.

First, we wanted to know whether there was a compelling need for these projects; whether there was something missing in the portfolio of our core economic assets that might affect our competitive future.

Las Vegas and its economy have grown up around significant milestones – the Hoover Dam, the Flamingo, the Mirage, UNLV to name a few. These and other large infrastructure projects have fueled the growth and development of Las Vegas over the entire time of its existence. Innovation, ingenuity and sheer determination has gotten us to where we are today as the most notable tourism brand in the world. But the world is changing; we are in a race with other cities in the world. The global tourism market is hyper-competitive and our competitors have us directly in their sights.

Cities such as Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston have been busy upgrading their convention facilities to give shows more flexibility, provide greater amenities, the latest technology and a modern and friendly ambience.

Our competitors around the country have built world class stadiums and are using those assets to attract more visitors and pull them away from Las Vegas. Among peer tourism cities, Las Vegas is the only one without a 60,000+ seat stadium. These cities are gaining a competitive edge when it comes to attracting large special events and gaining new visitors.

The tourism infrastructure committee was presented with thousands of pages of information, data and analysis, but it was the testimony from numerous industry experts, including customers, trade show and events operators and others that was most compelling in the area of need. Bottom line, we risk losing stature in an ever expanding trade show and events economy by not taking advantage of opportunities that make sense. Each of these projects will fill significant gaps when it comes to keeping our Las Vegas brand strong and continuing to attract visitors to the destination.

Second, we wanted to know if there was a strong case for economic and fiscal benefits to be returned to the public as a result of these projects. In other words, did the proposals in front of us make sense?

There looks to be tremendous opportunities for high returns from the projections we saw. The public benefits are strong in terms of fiscal and economic impacts including, in particular, job creation. The increase in jobs and the related economic boost will be felt by the entire region, including retail, restaurants, commercial and residential real estate, general business and more.

Plus, both of these projects create opportunities for incremental fiscal revenue generation that would not exist but for these projects. Significant incremental tax revenues that can be used for state general fund revenue and for funding public services and education. In fact, combined, these two projects would generate more than $84 million per year in incremental tax revenues.

One other important component of our analysis, relative to the public financing for the stadium: if for some uncontrollable reason the room tax does not perform as anticipated, whether the legislation includes sufficient protections for the taxpayer public.

We believe there are sufficient safeguards in the draft legislation. Mr. Hill and Mr. Hobbs provided extensive testimony on this earlier today before the Senate and it is my understanding they will present this information before the Assembly, as well.

In closing, three things: First and foremost – Jobs. Many businesses, including small businesses, depend greatly on Las Vegas continuing to stay a top tourist destination and we cannot risk losing our status. We have invested a tremendous amount of infrastructure and resources – human and otherwise – in Las Vegas. But there are some gaps, areas that if not addressed, will hold us back in the quest for increased share of global tourism. Having done that analysis, I can confidently say on behalf of the Metro Chamber and the business community that there is a strong business case for support of both of these projects and there are sufficient taxpayer safeguards in place.

Second, it is a compelling example of government and business coming together – addressing big issues and figuring out how to move our economy forward. It is a template for what we can do together as a state in other areas – if business and government work together.

And finally, the intangibles cannot be ignored: In my role at the Metro Chamber, I interact with individuals across the country who are genuinely excited about the idea of attracting an NFL team to Las Vegas. They want to see it happen and they want to be a part of it. Imagine what it will mean for our businesses and residents and families who have exhibited the resilience to stay in this community, rebuild and help improve our economy and quality of life when they have just gone through the worst recession of their lives. The energy, the boost to our economy, the community pride will be absolutely contagious.

We have the next-generation opportunity in front of us. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber commends Governor Sandoval for his vision and for convening this special session. On behalf of our thousands of members and their employees who depend upon a thriving economy, we urge this legislature to approve the proposed funding for these important assets that will increase jobs and drive economic development for our community and entire state.

Stadium, Convention Center Investments Make Sense
October 9, 2016

This week, the Legislature will consider approving an investment of hotel room tax dollars into two world-class tourism infrastructure projects that will strengthen and diversify the array of our core economic assets — the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the construction of an NFL-ready stadium that will also give the UNLV Rebels a much-needed new facility.

Before the Legislature is a tremendous opportunity to boldly step up and invest in infrastructure that Las Vegas needs to make its position as a top tourism and trade show destination much more secure. The global tourism market is hyper-competitive and our competitors have us directly in their sights. We cannot risk losing stature in an ever-expanding trade show and events economy by not taking advantage of opportunities that make sense.

Las Vegas must stay at the top.

Source: Las Vegas-Review Journal
Click here to read the complete editorial.

Experts Urge Las Vegas Business Leaders to Take Cyber Security Seriously
August 1, 2016

How does cybersecurity affect businesses big and small?

That’s the question security experts discussed with local business leaders Friday, one day before the Black Hat information security conference at the Mandalay Bay.

Cara Clarke, associate vice president of communications for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event, said cybersecurity had become a more important issue for the organization in the past five years.

Ian Ballon, an Internet litigator with Greenberg Traurig’s Palo Alto and Los Angeles offices in California, said businesses that find out about vulnerabilities after a breach, are too late to the game.

“When companies don’t plan ahead, that’s when you have problems,” Ballon said.

Ballon recommended that businesses get an audit to assess security issues and plan for what to do if they are breached. Cybersecurity planning is “scalable” and not out of reach for “mom and pop” operations, he added.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Click here to read the complete article.

Metro Chamber Applauds Decision to Grant Las Vegas NHL Expansion Team
June 22, 2016

Las Vegas – The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce applauds the decision by the National Hockey League to grant an expansion team to Las Vegas, and is issuing the following statement of support:

“The selection of Las Vegas as home to a new National Hockey League team is great news for our city. An NHL team will not only broaden the types of attractions that visitors and residents alike can experience in the Entertainment Capital of the World to include major league sports, but also it will help create new jobs and expand opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome NHL hockey to Las Vegas, and to have worked with the “Vegas Wants Hockey” organization by hosting an event in 2015 to build business community enthusiasm and support for an expansion team.” Kristin McMillan, president and CEO, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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