About the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce
The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Nevada. Founded in the early days of Las Vegas, the Chamber has a strong legacy of protecting and strengthening the Southern Nevada business community, helping its member businesses grow and thrive and providing a voice for those businesses in local, state and federal government.
The Chamber provides business-building programs, a full events calendar of more than 100 events annually to help members connect and do business with one another, cost-saving programs that help its members' bottom lines, exposure through the Chamber's website, in the Business Voice (the Chamber's monthly magazine) and social media, information and timely news updates to help its members make better business decisions, and advocacy and representation at all levels of government to ensure a business-friendly climate in Southern Nevada.
In December 2012, the Chamber revised its name to reflect the valley-wide focus of the Chamber, and the recognition that the region has grown into a true metropolis. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is committed to serving and supporting the entire metropolitan area.
The Chamber has thousands of member businesses from nearly every industry, representing more than 200,000 people. For its members, the Chamber provides a powerful variety of tools, resources, products and services so your business can be seen and heard.
The Chamber has a vibrant history steeped in the history and development of Las Vegas. Take a look at some of the major accomplishments and milestones of the Chamber throughout its 102-year legacy. For a comprehensive look at some of the Chamber's major accomplishments in developing and protecting the Las Vegas business community, visit Chamber100.com.
- 1929 - Work on Boulder Dam breaks ground. Chamber leaders, as well as its founding members, have been in discussions and negotiations to ensure that Southern Nevada receives a major boost in its struggling economy from the dam's construction.
- 1931 - Chamber officials campaign to have the ban on gaming lifted. Mayme Stocker's Northern Club is officially the first Southern Nevada gaming license procured.
- 1933 - With heavy pushing from Chamber leaders, the first post office and federal building are erected in Las Vegas.
- 1941 - The U.S. Army Air Corps Gunnery School opens in the space now occupied by McCarran International Airport. The Chamber and Senator McCarran are instrumental in the gunnery school's formation.
- 1945 - Chamber president Maxwell Kelch launches the Livewire Fund to promote Las Vegas as a worldwide tourism destination city.This is a major step forwards in establishing Las Vegas as the vacation and tourist destination that it is today. It is also an instrumental step in the formation of the Desert Sea News Bureau, now known as the Las Vegas News Bureau. Charles "Pop" Squires writes in the Las Vegas Age newspaper to rally support for the Livewire Fund, "All businessmen should join in the campaign to spread the fame of Las Vegas to every part of the country in preparation for the vast surge of travel which the end of the war will start."
- 1947 - The Chamber, as a part of its initiatives through the Livewire Fund, commissions the West-Marquis Firm, a West Coast-based advertising agency, to design an ad campaign for tourism. Their original design is the iconic "Vegas Vic," which inspired the famous neon sign still seen on Fremont Street today. Vegas Vic and his tagline, "Howdy podner" become one of the most recognizable symbols of Las Vegas.
- 1955 - The Chamber of Commerce forms the Better Business Bureau and United Way of Southern Nevada in a citywide effort to increase community stewardship.
- 1960 - With the growing popularity of the jet plane and United Airlines advertising service to Las Vegas, the need for a larger airport that can accommodate the jet plane becomes pressing. The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce holds a board meeting to endorse the airport in an effort to get it to pass bond election, a crucial step that helps McCarran International Airport become one of the United States' busiest airports today.
- 1983 - Community leaders through the Chamber, including future Chamber president Mark Smith, create Las Vegas Events to attract non-gaming visitors to the area.
- 1998 - The Chamber advocates for passage of school bonds to fund $3.5 million for school construction and renovation.
- 2009 - The Chamber publishes landmark studies on public employee pay and benefits, and is successful during the legislative session of having comprehensive reform measures passed to help reduce the state's unfunded future budget liability and shortfall.
- 2012 - The Chamber steps up when the Southern Nevada Water Authority proposed increased water rates to absorb the cost of the third intake pipe from Lake Mead. The Chamber testified that such an increase would have a potentially devastating impact on local businesses, and did not stop once the rates passed. Convening members of the business community, Water Authority officials and County Commissioners, the Chamber was successful in obtaining a 50 percent reduction on the increased rates of fire meters.
- 2012 - The Chamber successfully advocates for the designation of Interstate 11, an interstate connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas that would serve as an economic lifeline to the area, which was passed through Congress during the summer of 2012.