President of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation Martin Knauss speaks during the annual LVGEA State Of Economic Development event in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance hosted its signature State of Economic Development event last week at Four Seasons Hotel. The event brought together elected officials as well as community and business leaders from Southern Nevada and across the state to celebrate the Silver State’s advancements. One of the speakers was Martin Knauss, president of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation. 

The program began with remarks from Michael Brown, director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, who addressed the reshaping of GOED. He said it will focus on apprenticeship programs and raising wages. He said diversity must be built into state planning.

LVGEA President and CEO Jonas Peterson presented the economic case for the upcoming “Here, You Can” quality of life and workforce attraction campaign. He unpacked brand promises and utilized data to back them up, dispelling common myths about living and doing business in Southern Nevada. He unveiled the campaign’s first commercial, entitled “Sunday Funday,” which provides a look at all the activities open to Southern Nevadans. 

Representatives from every municipality shed insight on the investments being made in Nevada through economic development, in addition to updates on new developments and redevelopments throughout the region. The panel was moderated by  Derrick Hill, LVGEA 50 Chairman and VP of Cox Business and Hospitality Network. The list of speakers also included Shani Coleman, Clark County Nevada; Raffi Festekjian, City of Boulder City; William Arent, City of Las Vegas; Knauss; Colton Teerlink, City of Mesquite; Gina Gavan, City of North Las Vegas; and Derek Armstrong, City of Henderson. 

Knauss spoke about the recent leasing of the Laughlin Southland properties for solar energy generation and how the low cost of clean energy in the Laughlin area applies to potential new industries moving to the area. The Casino Drive widening along with the utility special improvement district were cited as allowing for a future development opportunity. He also indicated the great need the citizens of Laughlin have for basic services, such as a pharmacy, medical services, auto repair, grocery selection and other businesses.

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance is a public-private partnership dedicated to growing the economy in Southern Nevada through connectivity, community development, and strong business recruitment, retention and outreach. As Southern Nevada’s regional development authority, the LVGEA’s vision is to help residents thrive in a global economy by fostering a more prosperous, diverse and connected regional economy.

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