Hall of Famers

Rossi Ralenkotter

Rossi Ralenkotter is one of the most accomplished executives in the history of Las Vegas. During his career at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Ralenkotter was responsible for marketing and branding Las Vegas and Southern Nevada as the world’s most desirable destination for leisure and business travel. Under Ralenkotter’s leadership, the LVCVA launched the most successful branding campaign in tourism history, which is best known for its oft-repeated tagline, “What happens here, stays here.™” It was selected the No. 1 campaign by the voting public and was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2011. The LVCVA owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center. With Ralenkotter’s oversight, Las Vegas has been the world’s trade show capital for 23 consecutive years, hosting 54 of the largest 250 trade shows.

Ralenkotter has been instrumental in the development of Las Vegas as a major sports destination, helping attract major events like the National Finals Rodeo, the NBA All-Star Game, the USA Sevens rugby tournament, two NASCAR race weekends, the Professional Bull Riders, and more. He was also an accomplished athlete himself as a four-year letterman in baseball and a letterman in basketball at Bishop Gorman High School. Rossi earned baseball all-conference honors in 1964 and 1965 and led the conference in hitting with a batting average of .452 in 1964.

During his career, Ralenkotter launched the Las Vegas Convention Center District, a transformational project that will further establish Las Vegas as a leading business destination in the world by reinventing and expanding the Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding area.

He was named the inaugural chairman of the Department of Transportation’s National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure. He was a technical advisory committee member of NV Governor Brian Sandoval’s Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Brand USA and a past Chair of the Board of Directors and current board member for the U.S. Travel Association. Ralenkotter recently completed his term as Chair of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Commerce and remains on the Board.

Ralenkotter was named “Employer of the Year” by the Employee Service Management Association in 2006, one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Meeting News in 2005, and in 2004, he was selected “Co-Brand Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek magazine. He was inducted into both U.S. Travel’s “Hall of Leaders” and DMAI’s “Hall of Fame” in 2014. Additionally, he served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism.

Ralenkotter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Arizona State University in 1969 and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 1971. He was honored with UNLV’s Distinguished Nevadan Award in 2009 and UNLV Alumni of the Year in 2008. He is a member of the Las Vegas Ad Club, which inducted him into the Las Vegas Advertising Hall of Fame for lifetime marketing achievements. He also received Lifetime Achievement honors from the American Marketing Association and the Travel and Tourism Research Association, and was most recently inducted into the UNLV Lee Business School’s Nevada Business Hall of Fame.



The Ralenkotter File

Born: April 04, 1947
Claim to Fame: A resident of Southern Nevada for more than 60 years, Ralenkotter has been instrumental in the marketing of Las Vegas and launched the Las Vegas Convention Center District project.