Former Vegas gov. defends building more hotels

LAS VEGAS -- The 10 largest hotels in the world are located here and four more -- adding about 20,000 rooms to the city's inventory -- will become operational early next year. The construction spree has led critics to suggest that Nevada's gaming capital is overbuilt. The critics, according to former Gov. Bob Miller, are absolutely wrong.

Vegas strip "[In the last year], I've visited countries throughout Asia, Latin America and Europe with delegations from our local tourism, hotel and airport industries to promote Las Vegas," Miller told a record 1,065 delegates at the annual Nevada Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism.

"I can tell you first hand that the demand for Las Vegas hotel rooms far outweighs the supply.

"Although residents of foreign countries may not know all that Nevada has to offer," he said, "they know enough about us to be eager to come, that Las Vegas is the gateway to all of [the state], from cowboy country to historical mining towns to the waters of Lake Tahoe."

Nevada's hiking, skiing, golf, skydiving and other facilities -- plus gambling -- make Nevada a dynamic and diverse state and Las Vegas a "unique" city, according to Miller.

"Our challenge is to spread the word about Nevada," he said.

"We must combine marketing creativity with vision and foresight."

Miller was speaking to the conference for the last time as governor; he left office last month after 10 years as the state's chief executive.

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