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Local exposition company goes on global run

Xpert Exposition Services, a privately-owned Las Vegas-based exposition company, has partnered with Competitor Group, a global media and event entertainment company.

Xpert will become Competitor’s exclusive general service contractor for its Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series, which puts on 30 road-race events across the globe. Over $320 million in proceeds from the runs have gone to various causes since the events inception in 1998.

Attached to each event is a health and fitness expo prior to the race, which is free to the public. The show offers attendees a look at the newest running technologies, fitness apparel, health and nutrition information and interactive displays.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Xpert Exposition Services and take our expos to the next level,” said Josh Furlow, president of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We look forward to working as a team to provide runners with the best health and fitness expo experience in the industry.”

The marathon offers runners a long stretch of entertainment while they move down their path to the finish line. Runners will find live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations. Event producers say the course has a block party atmosphere for both participants and spectators.

That energy culminates at the end with a finish-line festival and post-race concert. Names such as Kid Rock, Macklemore &Ryan Lewis and Pitbull have been part of the event’s final show.

The next local marathon will take place in the Nov. 13, with events beginning Nov. 10. The three-day expo will be Nov. 10-12.

Las Vegas fifth largest gig economy

Las Vegas is on the top of the list for cities embracing the changing architecture of the employee and employer relationship. Many workers are moving from a bricks and mortar location to a virtual space, according to a new report by Thumbtack, an online space that connects professional workers with consumers.

The changing landscape is known as the gig economy. Several examples exist in the market already including Uber and Upwork, along with Thumbtack itself. The site features more than 200,000 skilled professionals.

The report ranked Las Vegas as fifth in the new economy. The city falls behind San Francisco in the lead spot, followed by Chicago, Nashville and Boston.

The study looked at cities with more than 1 million residents throughout the U.S. Thumbtack’s proprietary data was used, looking at thousands of small businesses, along with recent economic data, labor statistics and forecasts.

The new landscape has its pluses and minuses.

“Popular discussions about the gig economy have focused on the proliferation of on-demand, low-skilled jobs such as Uber drivers and Instacart shoppers, consisting mostly of people looking to earn extra income, but who are not building a lifelong career or achieving long-term economic stability,” said Marco Zappacosta, founder and CEO of Thumbtack. “But technology is also transforming work for individuals and small businesses, creating unprecedented opportunity for a growing class of skilled professionals.

The business is big in the gig economy: More than $1 billion was drawn by skilled professionals last year across the U.S.

“The skilled professional is the real future of the gig economy and is a sharp contrast from the low-skilled ‘gigs’ that currently receive so much media attention,” Zappacosta said. “It is important that policy makers, tech companies and workers come together in support of this growing class of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.”

Las Vegas gets a raise

The more than 8,100 Las Vegas Wal-Mart workers got a raise this month. The action is part of a nationwide raise the company is giving to more than 1.2 million employees.

The company’s planned initiative that will offer employees higher pay, better training, a clearer career path and additional educational opportunities at a cost of $2.7 billion over the next two years.

Associates hired before Jan. 1 were given a raise to $10 per hour March 10 as part of the new pay structure. And new associates start at $9 per hour, increased to $10 after they complete a new retail skills and training program named Pathways. Aassociates already earning above the wage received their annual pay increase in March, instead of waiting for their anniversary date.

Nevada associates shared in more than $2.6 million in bonuses earned in the fourth quarter of 2015. Last year, employees shared in more than $7.9 million in bonuses. Future bonuses may share in quarterly cash bonuses in the future, which is based on store performance.

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