Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 5:10 p.m.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman downplayed concerns Tuesday that a recent scandal involving the federal General Services Administration is hurting Las Vegas. In fact, the mayor said the spotlight focused here as a result of the investigation was helping the city.
Goodman said the benefit was twofold: National media outlets have come to town to cover the story, giving city officials an opportunity to tout Las Vegas’ attractions; and the spending being condemned by federal officials spreads well beyond Nevada, highlighting the fact that excessive spending can take place anywhere.
Earlier this month, a senior GSA official resigned after a report concluded her agency improperly paid for an “over-the-top” training session in Henderson. The $820,000, 300-person conference at the M Resort featured a mind reader, bicycle giveaways and lavish after-hour receptions for federal workers. Investigators also found that GSA officials took taxpayer-funded trips to Hawaii, Napa Valley and the South Pacific.
“Don’t make us a scapegoat for how our tax dollars are misspent,” Goodman said Tuesday. “Darn it, Washington. Get your act together and don’t waste our dollars.”
Goodman shared her thoughts on the GSA scandal after a speech she gave to members of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. A business leader had asked Goodman whether she thought the investigation had hurt the city.
Goodman spent more than a half an hour at Aria speaking to chamber members about ways to improve the city’s economy and business climate. Goodman echoed much of what she said during her State of the City speech, proposing that small businesses be rewarded with a favorable tax structure and encouraging more research opportunities at UNLV. She also advocated for bringing an NBA team to Las Vegas and building a large stadium near the university.
“We are on the verge of a really fabulous time,” Goodman said. “We have the brain power. Now we need the investment.”
At M Resort, locals reign supreme. Anthony Marnell III opened this casino with value in mind. With affordable drinks and meals and lots of incentives to play, it's no wonder why M has been a hit since it opened its doors in March 2009.
The property is decorated with dark wood, rich colors and amber-like light fixtures. Gaming offerings include more than 1,800 slot machines and 60 table games, as well as a poker room and race and sports book.
The resort houses 390 guest rooms, including 39 luxury suites. Designed with a modern and contemporary feel, M’s rooms feature dark wood, chrome fixtures and white linens, and are accented by blue or burgundy throws and pillows. Rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the mountains or the Strip.
M dining options include Studio B, a show kitchen buffet; "twisted farm food" at Hash House a Go Go; Baby Cakes bakery; Anthony’s Burgers & Brews, serving gourmet burgers and fries; Vig Deli; Anthony’s Prime Steak & Seafood; Marinelli’s Authentic Italian Dishes; and the Hostile Grape Wine Cellar, where guests can taste more than 160 types of wine. Plus, 32° Draft has one of the largest beer selections in the valley, with 96 different beers on tap.
The four-star awarded, 23,000-square-foot Spa Mio offers a variety of treatments and services with saunas, Jacuzzis, 16 massage and facial rooms and a full-service salon and barbershop complete with built-in ESPN in the mirrors. Locals also receive 25 percent off all regular price services.
DayDream Pool Club heads up M's adult pool party scene offering the only locals pool party in the Valley.