Tag Archives: tourism

LVCVA states mass shooting slowed Las Vegas tourism in October

Suspended priest founded guilty of charges in sex tourism case


Todd Berkey/ via Tribune-Democrat through AP

Rev. Joseph Maurizio is led into Federal Court for jury choice in Johnstown, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, by U.S. Marshals. An essential witness in the trial of the U.S. priest charged with taking a trip to Honduras to molest bad street kids during missionary journeys has recanted on the stand.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015|6:04 p.m.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa.– A Roman Catholic priest accused of taking a trip to Honduras to molest bad street kids during missionary journeys was convicted on Tuesday of numerous charges.

Federal jurors founded guilty the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. of charges including 3 of four counts relevant to sex abuse of boys throughout journeys to a Honduran orphanage.

Maurizio was implicated of taking a trip abroad from 2004 to 2009 to have sex with three young boys, a charge referred to as sexual tourist. He also was founded guilty of ownership of youngster pornography and illegally transferring money to a charity to aid money the trips. Jurors acquitted him of another count of traveling outside the United States for sex with a minor and two other counts involving the transfer of funds.

The 70-year-old priest, who has actually been suspended from Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Somerset County, showed no response as the verdict was checked out to the stuffed courtroom. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

The priest repeatedly rejected the claims. His defense lawyer provided testimony recommending that job interviewers can plant ideas that lead to incorrect complaints.

Throughout the trial, a key witness recanted on the stand, affirming he was never molested by Maurizio as a 14-year-old child, however district attorneys argued that another youth had actually witnessed the abuse. 2 other Honduran guys testified that Maurizio abused them, one stating the priest offered him candy so the priest could fondle him and the other saying the priest asked to take his picture while he and another child, both about 14, were taking showers.

Defense lawyer Steven Passarello said he and his customer were “really dissatisfied” however respected the jury’s choice and would be dealing with post-trial motions and any appeals if needed.

Elizabeth Williams, president of ProNino UNITED STATE, the nonprofit that ran the orphanage between 2002 and 2011, stated the verdict was a recognition of the former orphans’ accusations.

“It sends out a clear message that you cannot cross the united state border to molest children,” Williams told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Tourism board approves $42 million Riviera demolition strategy

The Riviera will certainly be destroyed under a $42 million strategy approved today by Las Vegas tourism officials.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s board of directors unanimously authorized the Riviera strategy, paving the way for the shuttered hotel-casino’s ultimate demolition or implosion as the authority prepares to change it with more convention area.

It’s still unclear exactly when the hotel will be taken down, however authority personnel have said it won’t occur any earlier than six months from now.

Next, the authority will certainly choose service providers who will be in charge of the demolition. Terry Miller of Cordell Corp. informed the board that while the precise approach of demolition still needs to be figured out, he expects the hotel towers will be imploded, while other parts of the property will certainly be taken down.

An authority committee previously approved the Riviera plan last month, deciding to take the hotel down sooner instead of maintain the existing structures for a while. By getting rid of the structure in the near future, the authority will be able to momentarily rent the empty land.

Board member Chuck Bowling, who chairs the committee that initially authorized the demolition strategy, said the faster timeline will permit the authority to instantly gain from bringing in more visitors. He said it will also send a clear public message that plans for the Riviera site, which the authority bought for $182.5 million in February, are moving forward. The home has actually been closed because May 4.

Local resident Kelden Engel, who’s about to begin classes at UNLV, desired the board to go a various route.

Donning a “Save the Riviera” T-shirt, he advocated for the preservation of exactly what he said is a crucial piece of Las Vegas history.

“The Riviera was among the last down-home, customer-service-oriented properties,” he stated after the board conference.

However the Riviera site is a key component of the authority’s vision to preserve Southern Nevada’s status as a premier convention market. With other cities vying for a piece of Las Vegas’ convention business, authority personnel state expanding the Convention Center to the Strip will certainly permit it to stay competitive.

Moving forward, the specific prepare for the Riviera website must also be formed by the work of a brand-new tourist committee just recently convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Among that committee’s objectives is to examine Southern Nevada convention centers and make recommendations regarding brand-new area. That group is expected to send out a report to the governor in about a year.

Helicopter business has metamorphosized into tourism giant


L.E. Baskow

Brenda Halvorson is president and CEO of Papillon Group, which runs a helicopter tour business and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Sunday, July 12, 2015|2 a.m.

Describe your business.

Papillon (French for “butterfly”) is a helicopter trip company commemorating its 50th anniversary this year.

Exactly what is your most popular tour?

The Grand Canyon is a leading location for domestic and global visitors. We enjoy being able to supply them with an awesome experience.

What websites do clients see on the helicopter tours?

Papillon Group

Address: 1265 Airport Road, Stone City

Phone: 702-736-7243

Site: papillon.com

Hours of operation: Flights start departures as early at 5 a.m. and conclude around sunset. Trips are offered 364 days of the year (closed Christmas Day).

Owned/operated by: The Halvorson household

In company considering that: 1965

We fly the whole Grand Canyon from Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk, to Grand Canyon National forest and approximately Page and Lake Powell. Clients have more than 40 trips from which to pick.

How do you deal with customers who hesitate of heights?

Even those hesitant to fly are willing to put their rely on us and their fears aside to see the Grand Canyon from this perspective. Flying in a helicopter is an exhilarating experience. We likewise provide motorcoach trips for those who choose to see the Grand Canyon from the ground.

What is the hardest part about doing business in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas, by nature, is a short-term city. With 400 of 600 workers based in Southern Nevada, bring in skill dedicated to this location can be a difficulty. We are lucky to have so many loyal and long-lasting staff members.

How has your company evolved considering that it started in 1965?

Our fleet has enhanced from 2 helicopters to more than 75 helicopters and planes. Our trips have ended up being “bucket list” products for visitors.

What is the very best part about working here?

Las Vegas is an international location, and we travel the world to draw in brand-new consumers in addition to preparing to serve the existing 40 million annual visitors. We are fortunate to have wonderful partnerships with regional companies such as McCarran International Airport, Stone City Airport, Clark County, the city of Las Vegas, Stone City and the LVCVA.

What barriers has your business conquer?

We have effectively adapted to developing ecological standards, such as implementing quiet technology.

How can Nevada enhance its business environment?

Decreasing the sales tax rate and reducing registration charges would be a great start. Clients don’t always realize the quantity items are taxed by the time they reach the market.

What have you learned from the recession?

The economic crisis verified our concentrate on worldwide clients, who helped get us through those times. As the economy remains to rebound, we are seeing domestic visitation increase as people re-engage with the experiences we have to provide.

Tourism officials expecting big crowds, more travel for July 4

Discuss dynamite.

With Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year, some authorities are anticipating travel to the Las Vegas Valley to take on Labor Day for the greatest weekend of the summertime, and with the Mayweather-Pacquiao weekend in May, Memorial Day and New Year’s for among the greatest occasions of the whole year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is forecasting about 321,000 visitors from Friday to Sunday– an increase of 4,000, or 1.7 percent from 2014, representative Jeremy Handel stated. Relatively speaking, the authority put Memorial Day weekend travel at about 330,000 visitors, the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match at 310,000 and New Year’s Eve and early Brand-new Year’s Day at 300,000.

“With the Fourth of July falling on a weekend, you have a lot of companies that may be offering a vacation on Friday, effectively making it a three-day weekend,” Handel stated. “So it offers a fantastic opportunity and extra time for visitors in Las Vegas, similar to Memorial Day or Labor Day.”

A TOP 10 DAY for ’15

On Thursday, with an estimated 78,876 seats available for inbound flights, McCarran International Airport neared its 2015 high for biggest 24-hour seat ability, spokesperson Christine Crews stated. On May 21, the airport set a seven-year high with 80,477 seats.

Although 4th of July weekend will not break any 24-hour capability records, Thursday’s numbers will put July 2 in the leading 10 days of 2015 so far, Crews said.

“4th of July isn’t always a traditionally high-demand weekend like Memorial Day is,” Crews said. “However we’re most likely going to see more individuals here this year than if the vacation fell on a Tuesday, for example.”

In total, inbound industrial air traffic for the five-day span from Thursday through Monday trailed somewhat similar five-day capacities for Memorial Day and the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Crews stated.

About 360,410 seats were available from Thursday to Monday, compared to 365,500 seats May 21-25, and more than 361,000 seats April 28-May 2.

“It’s not the most significant, but it’s absolutely a more appealing travel duration this year,” Crews stated.


On the ground, 4th of July travel is expected to near three-year highs in the Mountain West, AAA spokesperson Cynthia Harris stated. Specific numbers for the Las Vegas Valley were not offered. But more than 3 million residents in the Mountain West region, that includes Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado, will certainly drive 50 or more miles over the weekend– about the exact same number as 2014.

It’s the greatest Fourth of July travel numbers given that 2012, Harris stated, partially since of lower gas prices and a healthier general economy.

“We’re seeing more consumer confidence for travel since the nationwide recession,” Harris stated. “Unlike before, individuals now feel they can pay off their travel expenditures.”

Both Harris and Handel said despite record-setting heat in June and sizzling, 108-degree temperatures in the weekend projection, tourists won’t likely be prevented from visiting the Las Vegas Valley.

“Individuals go to Vegas for the casinos, for the pool and for the night life,” Harris said. “Heat is not a deterrent at all.”

“The dry and steady environment right here really provides a great incentive for individuals,” Handel said. “They understand exactly what to expect and they do not need to fret about anything catastrophic turning up.”

Businesses in the valley, from water parks to strip clubs, are preparing for one of the most profitable weekends of the year.

At Wet ‘n’ Wild, Assistant Supervisor Lindy Frye stated hotter-than-usual temperatures and a higher traveler awareness of the park, which opened in 2013, have staff getting ready for crowds near its 6,000 visitor capability.

“It could be record-breaking numbers for us, particularly since it’s so hot,” Frye said.

Likewise, Little Darlings strip club Supervisor Rick Marzullo called Fourth of July weekend among his “leading 3” weekends of 2015 to this day– just behind New Year’s and Mayweather-Pacquiao weekend.

“It’s various since everyone runs out school,” Marzullo said. “It combines all type of people from across the nation.”

Although Fourth of July marks one of the year’s top tourist weekends so far, it’s only the middle of a stuffed 2015 travel period, Harris stated. Valley tourism marks might be equaled or gone by Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving and the Christmas and New Year’s travel period, she stated.

“We’re at a stable rate now, and individuals will remain to travel,” Harris stated. “There’s no need to believe these numbers will not keep growing– even this year.”

Hotels in the valley are at 95 percent ability for the weekend, Handel said, meaning nearly 9,400 of the valley’s 149,347 hotel rooms are still available. It’s a 1.2 percent boost from last year’s 93.8 percent tally.

The representative said there’s still lots of space for last-minute travelers looking for a Fourth of July destination.

“There’s room for any person and everybody in Las Vegas,” Handel stated.

Contact Chris Kudialis at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-383-0283. Find him on Twitter: @kudia lisrj