'Fun' Cities Forbidden for Federal Travel

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2009 1:38 PM CDT
A worker changes ballasts and lamps on the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Government agencies have been warned not to hold meetings in cities employees might actually enjoy visiting, the Wall Street Journal reports. Places like Reno, Orlando, and Las Vegas are all considered untouchable. “We do have guidance that says avoid locations … that give the appearance of being lavish,” said one Justice Department spokeswoman. The Department of Agriculture and FBI have similar rules.

“We get the sense that these agencies are worried about scrutiny,” said an executive at the US Travel Association. “In the quest to demonize travel, we’re killing jobs.” Sen. Harry Reid agrees. With Vegas in trouble, the Nevada Democrat wrote a letter to the White House to complain. Rahm Emanuel replied that government travel “is not focused on specific destinations,” but on cost and efficiency.