In 2009, two of the more popular stories in Las Vegas were the opening of CityCenter and the hubub over President Obama's comments about business travel to the popular destination. Both converged early in 2010 as the President delivered a speech today to tourism officials at ARIA.
"I love Vegas," Obama said. "What happens in Vegas reflects what’s happening across America." Touching on his recent comments that some families shouldn't spend college savings on a vacation to Vegas, he added, "I think everybody here would agree that the only place people should spend their college savings is in college."
In the spirit of Sin City, he also joked that he, "just last night drew a flush on the river and cut the budget deficit in half."
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, applauded the President for his remarks. "The travel community appreciates President Obama's recognition of the importance of travel promotion to stimulate the economy and create new jobs while helping us compete with other countries in attracting high-value international travelers," he said. " His support of Senate Majority Leader (Harry) Reid's leadership in gaining final passage of the Travel Promotion Act comes at a welcome time for America's great cities and destinations, which are the lifeblood of a travel community that directly employs 7.7 million workers. We look forward to working closely with Senator Reid and the White House in the coming weeks to ensure passage of this important legislation that can do so much good for America."
This is the second time Obama has visited Las Vegas after traveling to the city in May 2009.