During the pace-setting terms of Nevada Governor Mike O'Callaghan, his Economic Development Director, Bob Goodman, created more than thousands of jobs outside of the state's gaming industry.
Since that time, the state has wisely placed economic development and tourism on the desk of the Lieutenant Governor. Bob Goodman and a growing list of concerned Nevadans, believe it is time Goodman's experience should again be harnessed for the good of The Silver State.
Bob Goodman has a track record other candidates can only dream about. Here's a quick look at some of his accomplishments!
Brought representatives of New York's financial community to Nevada to get a hands-on look at this unknown industry. As a result, for the first time in history, a Nevada start-up casino was allowed to sell stock to finance its development. Today the gaming industry is well represented on the “Big Board.”
Between 1971 and 1977, three major resort hotel/casinos were built in Las Vegas while in Reno, three were completed and three others were under construction as 1977 came to a close.
When the Middle East oil producing nations refused to sell oil to the United States, Goodman had state employees rent mid-sized cars to prove visitors could drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and back, on one tank of gas. They repeated that feat from San Francisco to Reno. An aggressive advertising campaign followed and tourism held within profitable levels for our leading employers.
When the federal government recommended closing gas stations on Sunday, Goodman led the opposition and this silliness never happened.
Under Goodman's direction, data-files were created for each Nevada community giving corporate executives vital information on highway and air access, demographics and other facts at their fingertips. As a result, J. C. Penny, Levi Strauss, Buster Brown Textiles, McDonnell-Douglass and Admiral Corporation opened important job opportunities in Nevada. Others soon followed.
The Small Business Administration, recognizing the increased applications for start-up assistance created by the business-friendly environment in Nevada, named Bob Goodman Advocate Of The Year. Goodman also testified before the SBA leadership, resulting in a turn-about in that agency's resistance to assisting small businesses involved in the gaming industry.
Armed with a 12-page brochure, “We're Right Next door,” Goodman and his small staff reached out to Hollywood, opening our state to an ever-growing list of feature films, commercials and television specials. Several television series were filmed entirely in Nevada and this vast job-producing trend has never diminished. The state legislature advanced this effort by creating the Nevada Film Office that continues to bring this job intensive industry to all parts of Nevada.
Prior to Goodman's appointment, tourism promotion was aimed only at the gaming centers. He and his staff established identities for the picturesque rural communities and what they had to offer for the outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs who continue to create jobs in Nevada. Brochures are still being requested seeking information on Nevada-Stagecoach Country, Pioneer Trails Country, Covered Wagon Country and Prospector Country.
Promoting Nevada as a winter sport destination brought a cold weather Bonanza to the Reno-Lake Tahoe area, filling rooms that usually sat empty during periods of heavy snow.
Goodman spearheaded efforts to gain membership for Nevada in the Four Corners Regional Commission. Nevada was not only accepted, but also gained $115,000 in grants. A 22 square mile area in and around North Las Vegas was designated as a Special Impact Area by the Economic Development Administration, resulting in millions of dollars in grant money as a result of Goodman's efforts.
During the energy crisis of the ‘70s Goodman launched a campaign to bring people to Reno and Las Vegas to “see the dark.” As they came, he won the battle to have the lights turned on. Tourism remained profitable for Nevadans.
Bob Goodman developed a strong relationship with business leaders on both sides of the globe. His Nevada exhibit at the “Visit America” Exhibition in Sydney, Australia attracted a record 5,000 people in one day.
He arranged for a tour of Nevada by Japanese travel writers who went home and wrote scores of articles on the gaming centers as well as the rural hamlets of Austin, Eureka and Ely. A high point in that tour was a visit to The Ponderosa, a popular theme park based on the long-running “Bonanza” television series. Asian visitors to that attraction accounted for a major portion of their “guests.” The popular Western series ran on Japanese television for 14 years serving as a promotional vehicle for Nevada. The owners of The Ponderosa presented a replica of the ranch house to the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, promoting more visits to Nevada by Japanese tourists who wanted to experience the “Old West.”
As Lieutenant Governor, Goodman will strive to continue the legacy he began in the O'Callaghan years. He will take his role in the legislature seriously, working to strengthen Nevada's economy through the creation of long-term jobs, diversified industry and the passing of laws that enhance the opportunities of Nevada's citizens.
Bob Goodman is not looking for a stepping-stone to a loftier political position. He feels most comfortable home in Nevada. When a new administration moved into Carson City, Goodman was quickly selected as Economic Development Director of Wyoming from a list of 600 applicants. He went on to a stellar careerhelping American companies market their products in China and other Asian nations.
In 2006, Goodman astonished the political arena by garnering 21 percent of the Democratic votes in his bid for Lieutenant Governor with a campaign budget of only $9,500. That's a record setting bottom line of less than a dime a vote. This year, he is looking forward to reaching more voters who believe long-term jobs are the backbone of the state's economy.