“What Happens in Vegas…”

“What Happens in Vegas…”

The man behind the tagline, Rossi Ralenkotter, talks travel, trends and tips about his hometown.

You may never have heard of Las Vegas native Rossi Ralenkotter, but you certainly have heard of his brainchild. Twelve years ago, he spearheaded the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) “Vegas Stories”—the most successful branding campaign in tourism history—and its celebrated tagline, “What happens here, stays here.”

Insider_Rossi LVCVAWe recently sat down with Ralenkotter, the LVCVA president and CEO who has been with the organization for 42 years, to get his insider tips about everything from entertainment and fine art to off-the-beaten path spots and hidden gems.
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FAVORITE FREE ACTIVITIES:
The Strip itself, the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, the Fountains at Bellagio, the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Roman details at Caesars Palace, downtown’s Fremont Street Experience, and the atrium at The Palazzo.

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LITTLE-KNOWN LAS VEGAS GEMS:
Look beyond the neon. Las Vegas is an easy jumping-off point to a number of recreation areas, including Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead, Valley of Fire and the Grand Canyon. Also, check out downtown’s cultural attractions, including the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

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HOT SPOTS FOR ART ENTHUSIASTS:
Check out the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the amazing public art collection at Aria, impressive sculptures at Wynn and Encore, the neon artistry on display at the Neon Museum—and to see some local talent, don’t miss First Friday or the 18b Arts District downtown.

Yellow thought bubbleFUN FACTS:
Las Vegas is home to The High Roller, the tallest observation wheel in the world. The city issues more marriage licenses annually than any other metropolitan area in the country. The majority of the Las Vegas Strip is not located in the city of Las Vegas, rather in an unincorporated town aptly called Paradise, NV.

Heather Steinberger

Heather Steinberger is a Contributing Writer for Here & Beyond, where she writes feature stories, interviews experts for in-depth Q&As and insider articles, and covers a variety of news items and vacation trends. Heather holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she has been a professional magazine editor/writer for nearly 20 years, with articles appearing in nationally circulated titles such as Backpacker, Boating, Cabo Living, Islands, Sailing and Sport Diver. Her work has taken her from the United Kingdom and Germany, to the Mexican Caribbean and the Sea of Cortez, to Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga.