Las Vegas revives ‘What happens here, stays here’ campaign

Flowers, candles and other items surround the Las Vegas sign on Oct. 9 as a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting earlier that month. The city has revived its famous slogan "What happens here, stays here."
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Three months after a mass shooting that killed dozens of concert goers on the Las Vegas strip, the gambling mecca has revived a lighthearted advertising campaign that once again paints the Nevada city as a place of reckless abandon and celebration.

Following the Oct. 1 shooting, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority halted all campaigns that relied on the long-held motto “What happens here, stays here.” It was replaced with the hashtag #Vegasstrong, and a message of unity and recovery.

The massacre killed 58 people and left more than 500 others wounded when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the window of his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Ten days after the shooting, the visitors authority released a new ad on national television and social media sites, featuring photos and Twitter posts from Vegas fans expressing support and vowing to come back following the tragedy. In one ad, tennis star Andre Agassi, a native of Las Vegas, talked about the first responders who helped during the shooting.


Gambling revenue and visitor numbers declined following the mass shooting.

The tourism board said Tuesday it is returning to the campaign slogan that it first launched in 2002.

“Our visitors are saying they want their Las Vegas back,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the visitors authority.

Tull said security in Las Vegas is more visible today but the visitors authority doesn’t plan to make that a topic of discussion in future tourism ads. The agency’s newest ad, launched Tuesday, depicts a man who travels from the past to visit Las Vegas in 2018, where he dances, drinks and celebrates before he is transported back to the past.


Nearly 43 million people visited southern Nevada in 2016, generating $35.5 billion in spending, according to an economic analysis drafted for the visitors authority by Applied Analysis.

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.