MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming have announced significant donations to help Las Vegas Airport change its name to honor former US Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), but more funds are still required. On September 1, William Boyd, cofounder of Boyd Gaming and co-executive chairman of the casino giant’s board, made a contribution of $1 million.
A few days later, the Murren Family Foundation made a donation of $50,000. Jim Murren, a member of the foundation, formerly served as chief executive officer (CEO) of MGM Resorts.
Brownstein Hall Faber Schreck – a lobbying and law firm connected with the gaming space – also announced even a bigger contribution of $75,000. Brownstein Hall Faber Schreck partners include Frank Schreck, a Las Vegas-based gaming attorney who formerly served as a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC).
Through the end of last month, include an August 19th contribution of $1 million from William and Susan Walters. It is interesting as well as surprising to note here that William Walters, who is also known as Billy Walters, is a Las Vegas-based gambler who was convicted in the year of 2017 on count of insider trading. Former President Donald Trump pardoned him before leaving the White House.
According to the agenda for the commission meeting on 19th of October, the County Commission had received $2.13 million in contributions/donations for the name change through 30th of September.
The cost to changing signs at the airport and to perform related administrative functions has been estimated at $7.2 million. Concerned officials have announced that the changeover will start when they will receive at least $4.2 million. Thus, more money is still required.
According to County officials, the money for changing names on signs at the airport will come from private donors, and not from taxpayers.
Earlier this year, Diamond Resorts International founder Stephen J. Cloobeck claimed in an interview that he would start a nonprofit to raise funds for the name change. At the time, he had pledged to donate $1 million from the foundation. However, his pledged donation doesn’t show up under “Airport Donations” in the October County Commission spreadsheet.
Earlier this year, the County Commission voted unanimously to change the name of the airport to honor former Sen. Reid. Currently, the airport is named for Pat McCarran, a former Democratic U.S. senator who supported civil aviation and the U.S. Air Force, but was severely criticized for his alleged racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.