Harry’s Clean Nevada

A friend/coworker and fellow blogger, Mike Van Houten, hinted I should blog something out about Harry Reid’s recent suggestions that Nevada should eliminate legalized prostitution statewide.

At first, I hadn’t really thought about the political pontification as a statement about branding, but of course, it most certainly is.

If Nevada, who’s brand is built on gaming, prostitution and “quickie marriages” is suddenly dropping one of its more iconic brand elements/industries – what does that do to the perception of Nevada nationwide – and worldwide?  How can we simply drop one sin in favor of attracting more industry?  The answer is, in my opinion, we can’t – and really don’t need to.

Nevada’s brand as the a vast desert highlighted by Sin City (sorry northern Nevada), is both well deserved, and protected. As a native Nevadan, I can tell you that the “dirty details” of living in our State are more marketing copy than reality.  Every community has prostitution at some level – we Nevadans just put it in trailers in the middle of nowhere and stick a neon sign on it so the visitors can find it.

Does it affect our quality of life in Nevada?  Threaten the very underbelly of our local society?  Hardly.

It’s a quiet little industry that many accept, some patronize, and few really care much about.

So to Harry Reid I must say – Nevada is the brand – like it or not.  We represent sin – all of them.  And until you can change the perception that Nevada is a bastion of devilish delights – you won’t really change the perception of industry’s morality concerns.  Which is in itself, a bit of an oxymoron.

Do you think Reid’s statements ring true?  Or is it more political posturing?

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