Film industry is an untapped boon for Las Vegas’ economy

Las Vegas is my home and where I was born and raised. It’s the place where I established my career and built meaningful relationships. It’s a community that continues to cultivate and see new developments year after year. And with nearly 300 days of sunshine, it’s no wonder our tourism industry is booming. We live in one of the best cities in America, and we continue to grow because of the number of jobs available, lower cost of living and beautiful weather.

Las Vegas is also an ideal environment to shoot commercials, television shows, movies and more. It’s been the site of many cinematic endeavors, and with a restored tax incentive, we’re starting to see bigger productions make their way to unique locations across the Valley. Ripe with film-ready spots, our proximity to LA-based operations makes travel cost-effective and accessible for production companies, thanks to McCarran International Airport’s daily domestic and international flights.

Film is good for the Nevada economy, too. Production companies hire local, qualified cast and crew members, they support service providers and they lease rental equipment. Many also reserve hotel rooms for their cast and crew during scouting and filming times, and can help fill midweek room occupancies, bringing business during slow season.

For the Silverton resort, filming has created an additional revenue stream and a way to promote our resort to new audiences—when a viewer connects with a television show or movie, they often want to visit the place where it was filmed.

During the past decade, Georgia has become one of the world’s top production hubs, and hosted more box office earners than any single U.S. city in 2017. With its robust tax incentive, it attracted new business and created thousands of jobs.

Similar to Georgia, I would love to see Nevada expand and develop multiple sound stage complexes and create education programs in specialty areas focused on film and television production. We can grow the Las Vegas talent pool if UNLV expands and develops a film production curriculum. For example, New Mexico has a Film Crew Advancement Program that gives an incentive to companies that help create job opportunities for local television crew professionals.

To help boost this industry further, Nevada could offer relocating TV series a non-transferable tax credit if they meet a minimum budget requirement of $1 million. Then, any additional seasons of the series would be eligible for an additional transferable tax credit.

A consistent and steady flow of large and small productions to Las Vegas would create a constant stream of revenue for the local economy. To propel the conversation, the Nevada Film Office recently launched a redesign of its website with a user-friendly database of filming locations that connects producers and location managers to potential businesses, properties and more. It’s a great way to make an introduction to a business that might not otherwise get noticed by production companies, and a great way to help shine a spotlight on our wonderful city.

Kimiko Peterson is director of advertising, public relations and social media at Silverton resort.