Sexy Image Hurts Vegas as Companies Back Off

Sin City bad match for chastened America
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2009 6:00 PM CST
Tourists take pictures in front of the Las Vegas welcome sign in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Las Vegas has spent years feasting on its naughty image, but Sin City is going hungry in hard times, BusinessWeek reports. Home prices are at half their 2006 peaks, and unemployment has hit a lofty 9.1%. Vegas is reminding businesses that it’s still an attractive convention destination, but to little avail. Companies are going elsewhere “for no reason other than Las Vegas is viewed as overindulgent,”said a Wynn executive,

The hugely successful “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign has made Vegas a toxic destination for hurting companies. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo moved meetings out of the city after Barack Obama associated such trips with gaudy bonuses. "You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back," Obama said. "You can't take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime."