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Nevada leaders remember Vegas trade show, hospitality pioneer Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson.PNG
Posted at 8:45 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 16:47:58-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Several Nevada leaders have shared their thoughts on the passing of casino mogul and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

The 87-year-old passed away on Monday from complications related to his treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to his company.

PREVIOUS: Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands CEO, dies at age 87

Adelson helped developed the COMDEX trade show, which became the premier trade show for the computer industry in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

He also purchased the legendary Sands Hotel in 1988 and immediately built the Sands Expo and Convention Center with partners.

Adelson then made room in 1996 by imploding the Sands for his $1.5 billion Venetian Resort that opened in 1999.

RELATED: A look at Sheldon Adelson's life and his influence on Las Vegas and beyond

The Las Vegas Sands founder is remembered by many to help shape modern-day Las Vegas from the convention industry to creating two of Vegas' most iconic resorts.

The following responses were sent to 13 Action News on Tuesday and stay with us for further coverage.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak released the following statement on the passing of Sheldon Adelson:

“I was very saddened to hear of Sheldon Adelson’s passing. Sheldon was a man who believed in, succeeded in, and invested in bold and daring ideas that changed the State of Nevada.

He came from very humble beginnings and rose to international prominence as an entrepreneur, a builder, and a philanthropist. He started as a customer, by building the preeminent computer convention in the world hosted by Las Vegas. He saw an opportunity, which many dismissed, and built the first convention center and resort complex on the Las Vegas Strip.

His vision of Vegas as a premiere business destination had a dramatic impact, as other resorts adopted this new business model and conventions and business have become a critical part of our success.

Sheldon led the charge to bring the NFL to Las Vegas, and largely through his determination and leadership, we are now the home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

There is no doubt that the Adelson family has been among Nevada’s most charitable residents. From programs to help the homeless and hungry, support for our universities and schools, developing addiction clinics, building the Adelson School, the family’s generosity has touched every corner of our State.

For me, in these difficult times, one act stands above all. Despite suffering significant economic losses due to the global pandemic, the shutdowns and limited business, due to mitigation protocols, Sheldon made a commitment to keep all of his Las Vegas employees paid and insured. That commitment helped keep thousands of Nevadans afloat during the most difficult of months, and Sheldon’s commitment will never be forgotten.

Kathy and I extend our deepest sympathies to Dr Adelson, his children and all of his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman released the following statement on the passing of Adelson:

“Beyond the public image and a Horatio Alger rise, Sheldon Adelson took Las Vegas to a new level of limitless tourism and convention success by bringing COMDEX (CES) into reality and building a five star hotel/casino empire. Little known but of enormous impact in our City was his enormous philanthropy and generosity. Mr. Adelson was a caring and religious man who quietly made lives much stronger and meaningful. Our prayers and condolences to Dr. Miriam and the Adelson family,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Las Vegas, Nevada."

The Republican Jewish Coalition National Chairman Sen. Norm Coleman and Executive Director Matt Brooks released the following statement:

"The Republican Jewish Coalition mourns the passing of RJC Board of Directors member Sheldon Adelson. We have lost one of the most consequential figures in American Jewish history: an American patriot, a dedicated defender of Israel, an extraordinary philanthropist, and a dear mentor and friend.

Mr. Adelson, together with his beloved wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, gave generously of their wealth, knowledge, and time to support causes they were passionate about, including education, addiction recovery, and medical research, as well as supporting pro-free market and pro-Israel candidates and organizations. A strong defender of Israel, Jewish life, and American opportunity and freedom has departed the Jewish community and the American political scene.

The Republican Jewish Coalition benefited not only from Mr. Adelson’s generous financial support, but very significantly from his leadership and his counsel. His friendship, encouragement, and wisdom will be sorely missed. His death leaves an empty place where a vibrant, committed, and caring man once stood. We are all diminished by his passing.

May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May his memory be a blessing for us all."

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford issued the following statement on the passing of Sheldon Gary Adelson:

“Sheldon Adelson is a man who has served our community in many ways: he was a pioneer in the casino and convention industry, a skilled businessman, and a philanthropist who funded a school, medical research, and countless other causes,” said AG Ford. “A man not born into wealth and privilege, Mr. Adelson was the son of immigrants who grew up sleeping on the floor of his family apartment in Boston. By the age of 12, he owned his first business and looked to the future with big dreams and a work ethic to match. By the end of his life, he had amassed over 50 companies.”

“Mr. Adelson was a man who worked hard to further religious causes. His work within and for the Jewish community is world renowned and will be a legacy for generations. And after the death of George Floyd, he invited me to discuss race issues with his employees to foster unity within our community, resulting in Sands-sponsored programs in the community to improve race relations. I will be forever grateful for that.”

“Through his deeds, Mr. Adelson has left a lasting mark on our community, and our Nevada family is grateful for his contributions. To his wife, Miriam, his children Gary, Mitchell and Shelley, and to all of his friends and family, I extend my deepest condolences.”

U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen issued the following statement on the passing of Adelson, founder of Las Vegas Sands:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Sheldon Adelson,” said Senator Rosen. “Sheldon and Miriam’s efforts to combat addiction and substance abuse in the Silver State changed the lives of many. As Jewish leaders, we also shared a deep concern for the rise in anti-Semitism and joined efforts to help combat hate. My thoughts are with Dr. Miriam Adelson and Sheldon’s entire family during this difficult time.”

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto issued the following statement on the passing of Adelson:

“Sheldon Adelson’s vison helped transform Las Vegas from a small desert city into a world-class tourism destination. The Silver State’s massive business, entertainment, and convention industries are what they are today because of his life’s work and his dedication to building a Las Vegas that can cater to everyone from entrepreneurs to international travelers. My thoughts are with his family during this time.”

Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick released the following statement upon the passing of Adelson:

“My deepest condolences to his family and the team members at his properties. We are thankful for so many of the wonderful contributions he has made to our community. He was committed to our veterans and Nellis families across the valley and to fighting opioid addiction, assisted his team members with building numerous community gardens, and has long been a pillar of Nevada’s Jewish community. May his memory be a blessing”

Former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid released the following statement on the passing of Sheldon Adelson:

“Few people have had such significant an impact on the hotel and gaming industry and on Nevada’s economy as Sheldon Adelson. He came to Las Vegas as a master of the convention business. Adelson became one of Nevada’s giants in gaming, conventions and hospitality. He was instrumental in transforming Las Vegas into the iconic destination it is today.

He also left an indelible impact on Asia, where he brought Las Vegas-style resorts to people in the Far East, helping to build the thriving international gaming market that exists today.

In the nearly four decades that I’ve known him, Sheldon Adelson has been outspoken with causes important to him. His advocacy for the state of Israel and Jewish causes was without equal and made a difference in countless lives both at home and abroad.

Landra and I offer our condolences to Dr. Adelson and the entire Adelson family.”

Vegas Chamber CEO Mary Beth Sewald issued the following statement on the passing of Las Vegas businessman Sheldon Adelson:

“No one shaped modern day Las Vegas more than Sheldon Adelson. From transforming the convention industry and creating two of Las Vegas' most iconic resorts, to becoming an international leader in sustainability practices and supporter of the men and women who have served our country in the military, he leaves a legacy that few, if any, will ever match.”

Congressman Steven Horsford released the following statement on the passing of Adelson.

“Sheldon Adelson left an undeniable mark on Las Vegas. Through his vast philanthropic efforts, he created new educational opportunities for Southern Nevada’s children and helped thousands of teens and adults struggling with opioid addiction overcome their illness. His legacy will live on through the Adelson Educational Campus and the Adelson Clinic, and Nevadans will continue to benefit from his generosity. I send my condolences to the entire Adelson family during their time of grief.”

Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District released the following statement regarding the passing of Sheldon Adelson:

“Sheldon Adelson helped make Las Vegas a top international travel destination,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “He played a key role in making our city a premiere sports town. I hope the Adelson family will carry on his philanthropic legacy and I am thinking of them in their time of grief.”

Rep. Susie Lee released the following statement on the passing of Adelson:

“I’m saddened to hear of Sheldon Adelson’s passing. He was a gaming giant who helped shape modern Las Vegas and employed thousands of Las Vegas families for decades. Most of all, I appreciate his and his family’s invaluable investments in our community, from opening clinics to help those struggling with opioid abuse, to founding the Adelson Educational Campus, a vibrant school that’s now a cornerstone of the Las Vegas Jewish community. His legacy will most certainly live on in every corner of southern Nevada. Sending my prayers and deepest condolences to his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, his children, and the entire Adelson family. Rest in Peace.”

Station Casinos released a joint statement from Frank Fertitta and Lorenzo Fertitta on the passing of Adelson:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our good friend Sheldon Adelson. Through his entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Sheldon helped inspire and transform Las Vegas into the world class destination it is today.

Sheldon was and will always be a legend in the gaming industry. Not only did he build incredible resorts for the enjoyment of his guests, he unequivocally set the bar when it came to taking care of his team members. He recognized that a property is only as good as its team.

He will also be remembered for his many great philanthropic efforts here in Las Vegas, throughout the county and around the world.

We send our condolences and sympathies to Sheldon’s wife Miriam, the Adelson family and the entire Las Vegas Sands team on their loss.”

Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine issued the following statement on the passing of Adelson:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sheldon Adelson, an industry icon, dedicated philanthropist and extraordinary entrepreneur who shaped Las Vegas into the No. 1 tradeshow and convention destination it is today.

Mr. Adelson’s leadership, tenacity and business acumen have been evident since his first business opportunity at the age of 12, and the gaming industry, here in Nevada and throughout Asia, has benefited from his exceptional vision and commitment to success. From his pioneering work in creating COMDEX, the world’s largest trade show for the computer industry, to his industry-leading innovations in developing integrated resorts, Mr. Adelson will be remembered as one of our industry’s great minds.

Mr. Adelson leaves a mighty legacy through his innumerable charitable contributions and the work of the Adelson Family Foundation which have changed the course of untold lives through his extensive support of Jewish causes, advancing educational possibilities and groundbreaking medical research. Many nonprofit organizations around the world have lost a true friend and champion.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Miriam Adelson, his children and family, many friends and the entire Las Vegas Sands Corp. team during this difficult time.”