Sandoval at CES: ‘I can see so many things I’d like to have’
Governor to network with tech execs as part of economic development thrust
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Gov. Brian Sandoval made his first visit to the floor of the International Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday and, like many visitors to the annual gadget showcase, saw lots of stuff he'd like to have.
Sandoval and a small contingent from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spent about an hour at the show, touring the displays of Motorola, Panasonic and Samsung.
"This is probably the most famous show on the planet, and for us to host it is wonderful," Sandoval said. "I think it's important for the governor of Nevada to be here."
Sandoval, believed to be the first sitting governor ever to tour CES, looked at microtelevisions from Motorola, lithium ion storage battery cells for electric cars at the Panasonic booth and smart televisions from Samsung that integrate TV programming with web surfing and social media interaction.
While touring the show was a treat for the governor, his networking with technology executives Wednesday night could be the greatest benefit to the state in his quest to recruit technology companies to Nevada. Economic development and diversification are among Sandoval's top goals since taking office a year ago.
Sandoval was scheduled Wednesday night to introduce John Donohoe, president and CEO of eBay, as a keynote speaker at a private dinner of the Consumer Electronics Association at Wynn Las Vegas.
"I want to show my appreciation for their coming here and at the same time get out that message that when it comes to technology, Nevada is the place to be," he said.
He said he would remind executives that Las Vegas is one of the nation's most technologically connected cities and is home to Switch Communications, which operates one of the largest data repositories in the world.
But like every other person seeing CES for the first time, Sandoval was dazzled with the gee-whiz aspects of the show. Asked what he wanted for the governor's mansion, he laughed.
"I want one of those TVs," he said, pointing to one of the high-definition Samsung televisions.
"I don't know where I'd start," he said. "First, I have to have the money. The televisions are wonderful, these tablet devices that are both phones and tablets are great. We looked at some of those electric cars and the lithium batteries they're producing and the applications they have to the homes and how efficient they are. I don't know where I'd start, but I can see so many things I'd like to have."
Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA, said he was pleased the governor found time to make the tour of CES.
"I think it shows his commitment to the conventions and meetings industry to be here," Ralenkotter said.
"It's also important for his economic development work, which includes some high-tech and green-tech strategies," he said. "There's certainly plenty of that here at CES."