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BREAKING NEWS: NFR to Leave Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- The National Finals Rodeo is leaving Las Vegas. This comes after the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board voted to decline the offer from Las Vegas Events to extend their contract with the city.

The PRCA is now entering contract negotiations with Osceola County, FL to possibly move the event there.

Las Vegas Events said in a statement, Sunday, "We are disappointed that the PRCA has chose to pursue a completely speculative offer verses Las Vegas' proven 29-year track record."

Stay with 8 News Now for more on this developing story.

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Holidays Bring an Increasing Number of Las Vegas Tourists

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas tourism officials are taking steps to attract holiday visitors with two weeks to go before Christmas.

December is typically not a popular month for tourists, but as Las Vegas offers more events and entertainment options, that trend is slowly changing.

According to a new economic impact report released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the gap in tourism numbers between the busiest and slowest months is slowing closing.

In the 1980s, slow months such as December and January experienced approximately 33 percent less tourism than busy months such as October and March. In recent years, that gap fell to approximately 12 percent.

Analysts credit casinos and other businesses for hosting special holiday attractions – such as ice skating rinks – and popular performers – such as Britney Spears – to draw in the crowds.

Las Vegas Sands Cancels Spain Casino Resort Plan

MADRID (AP) -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. says it has scrapped plans to build a multibillion-dollar "EuroVegas" resort in Spain.

A statement on the company's website Friday said the project near Madrid did not fit with the company's immediate development plans, which will be focused on its Asian business.

The casino company led by Sheldon Adelson had considered investing more than 22 billion euros, or $30 billion, in the project that was to include 12 hotels, six casinos, a convention center, golf courses, theaters, shopping malls, bars and restaurants.

Spain, where unemployment stands at 26 percent, had hoped it might create some 260,000 jobs.

The plan had been fiercely opposed by many people who feared it would lead to a change in non-smoking laws, promote prostitution and provide only low-paying jobs.

 

Man Gets 2 to 5 Years in Strip Elevator Stabbing

Man Gets 2 to 5 Years in Strip Elevator Stabbing

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A 24-year-old man who was videotaped stabbing a California tourist in a Las Vegas Strip hotel elevator was sentenced to two to five years in state prison.

Carlos Heredia apologized in court Thursday for the early Feb. 16 attack on Eric Miller at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

He told Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time.

Heredia pleaded guilty in May to felony battery causing substantial bodily harm.

Elevator video showed the 43-year-old Miller and his wife, Diane Androvich, arguing with Heredia and Trent Joseph Wilcox before Heredia stabbed Miller.

The 26-year-old Wilcox pleaded guilty in July to an attempted battery charge for holding Miller during the attack.

Wilcox was sentenced to one year in county jail.

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Surveillance Video of Nightclub Shooting Released

Benjamin Frazier

LAS VEGAS -- Chilling surveillance video shows the moments leading up to the shooting inside Bally's nightclub in late October that left a man dead.

Court officials just made the video available Wednesday.

Police say it shows accused shooter Benjamin Frazier pulling a gun on two security guards and shooting clubgoer Kenneth Brown, who tried to stop him.

Frazier's attorneys do not dispute it is their client on the footage.

In the video, Frazier is seen reaching for his gun then pointing and shooting at three people. Prosecutors say the video could hold the answers to what really happened that morning.

According to Metro Police, the incident started around 5:45 a.m. Oct. 21 inside Drai's Afterhours Club.

Security personnel let Benjamin Frazier go inside and check out the crowd before paying a cover charge.

Slow Tourist Seasons Not as Slow as Years Past

Photo courtesy: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau

LAS VEGAS -- Tourism is the lifeblood of southern Nevada's economy, and new numbers show Las Vegas is filling hotel rooms, even during slow periods, more than ever before.

The top three months over the last year, drawing the most visitors, were March, October, and June.

December, January and November consistently have been the least busiest months since 1980. When a hotel room is empty, that is money the Las Vegas economy is missing out on.

While the city is in the middle of the slow time of year for tourism, there is a silver lining. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is a much-needed boost to the local economy during December.

"We come here every year for the rodeo," William Filpula from Butte, Montana said.

"Just love it. We have a good time," Joan Filpula said.

When it comes to travel and entertainment, Las Vegas is always a safe bet.

Driving You Crazy: Turn Light at Frank Sinatra and Russell

LAS VEGAS - A viewer says the turn light at Frank Sinatra Drive and Russell Road changes sporadically. Drivers often sit through five lights, waiting for it to change.

Many drivers use Frank Sinatra Drive to avoid construction work along the resort corridor and get to Strip properties. This enables them to avoid I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard.

This light appears to be counteracting the shortcut. Regional Transportation Commission FAST officials placed a work ticket with Clark County Traffic for this intersection.

Crews found a timing issue with this light. County workers made timing adjustments December 6, and continue to monitor the intersection for detection issues. Hopefully, drivers will see an improvement.

What's driving you crazy? E-mail your traffic questions and complaints to Brian Loftus.