Here’s what the p.r. invitation said:
Las Vegas is known for its casinos and nightlife, but the culinary scene is quickly becoming the rising star on The Strip.
Adam Rapoport, the new celebrity editor-in-chief at Bon Appétit, is visiting Las Vegas Wednesday, October 26, to meet with people like yourself and discuss Vegas Uncork’d 2012. Here are some things that Adam can speak about that would be a good fit for your readers:
Why Las Vegas is an important place in today’s epicurean landscape
How Vegas Uncork’d affects Las Vegas’ economy
The roles Las Vegas and Vegas Uncork’d played in incorporating food and dining into today’s lifestyle
Epicurean trends around the country
Please let me know if you are interested (in interviewing him) blah, blah, blah.
Here was our response:
I would love to interview him about the financial underpinnings of Bon Appetit’s past and future financial arrangements with Vegas Uncork’d. Please advise.
Here’s what came back to us:
Thank you again for your patience. Unfortunately, since Condé Nast is a private company, its policy is not to disclose financial information. Therefore, Adam would not be able to discuss financial subjects. Cathy Tull of the LVCVA would be a better person to speak to regarding your inquiry.
If you are interested in speaking to Adam on a more general basis, please let me know and I’ll be happy to arrange a meeting. Thank you again for your interest and I look forward to working with you as we prepare for Vegas Uncork’d 2012.
Leaving aside the issue (for the moment) of what, exactly, a “celebrity editor-in-chief” is, ELV is struck by several things about this correspondence, including, but not limited to (ELV loves to write like a lawyer-at-law):
1) Our culinary scene is quickly becoming a “rising star on the Strip?” ELV had no idea. Thanks Adam! We’d love to learn more about our “rising star” status from you…someone who ignored Las Vegas in its recent “Restaurant Issue” and, from what we can tell, has spent 3 days here in the past year.
2) “Vegas is a important place in (sic) today’s epicurean landscape?” We at ELV can’t wait to hear all about it! While they’re at it, they should explain these things to Bobby Flay, Ruth Reichl, Paul Bartolotta, Emeril Lagasse, John Mariani, Alan Richman, Josh Ozersky, Tom Colicchio, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire, Gordon Ramsay, Bradley Ogden, Rick Moonen, Costis Spiliadis, Shawn McClain, Sirio Maccioni, Scott Conant, the Wine Spectator, the Bromberg Bros., the producers of Top Chef, the Food Network, Wolfgang Puck et al.
3) “How Vegas Uncork’d affects Las Vegas’ economy?” Really? Isn’t the purpose of Rapoport’s visit to enhance how the event might affect Bon Appetit’s economy?
Now, ELV doesn’t mind being an unpaid shill for Vegas Uncork’d. There are probably only a few people in town who have been more unabashed in their cheerleading for the event. But this is not ELV’s first time at the rodeo. And he is privy to many things about the past and present status of this showcase, and knows that the LVCVA has (or will be) withdrawing its substantial financial support for the event (at one time, close to $1mil, and dropping by a third of that for the past year). This leaves BA and the individual hotels to cut their own financial deals to stage and promote what should be our yearly shining moment on the world culinary stage.
We also know that BA has never contributed any money to the event…only ad space that (we presume) was sold at some kind of discount to the LVCVA. What they originally donated was prestige and what they are now looking for is substantial ad buys from each of the hotels…if they are going to continue to bestow their culinary cred on us.
ELV thinks Bon Appetit needs Vegas more than Vegas needs Bon Appetit. Rapoport’s visit is to try to convince the hotels and the LVCVA and the locals otherwise. Maybe he’s right. Maybe we are wrong. We’d certainly love to talk to him about it.
Like the money involved, it’s really the only conversation about this event that counts.