Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Marla Letizia by Barbara Tabach, August 26, 2015






In this interview, Letizia discusses her career, and breaking gender barriers in both broadcasting as well as in advertising. She also talks about how her family ended up settling in Las Vegas, and the evolution of her relationship with Judaism from childhood to adulthood, eventually leading to her leadership roles with Congregation Ner Tamid as well as Jewish Federation, where she is on the Board of Directors.

Marla R. Letizia is the founder of Big Traffic Mobile Billboards in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company operates mobile billboard advertising trucks and employs brand ambassadors to carry WOBI? walking billboards for retail, gaming, and entertainment clients such as Caesars entertainment, Tropicana, and Cirque Du Soleil. Letizia founded Big Traffic in 2001 after leaving a successful broadcast journalism career to raise her two children. She met her husband, Tom Letizia, while working at KLAS-TV Channel 8 as an assistant production manager. She later became the first female director of live television news broadcasts in Las Vegas at Channel 8. She also developed a TV show called "Las Vegas Turnaround" and a syndicated production called "The Parenting Network." Letizia grew up in Las Vegas, and is a former president of Congregation Ner Tamid and a founding member of the board of trustees of the Meadows School in Las Vegas. In this interview, Letizia discusses her career, and breaking gender barriers in both broadcasting as well as in advertising. She also talks about how her family ended up settling in Las Vegas, and the evolution of her relationship with Judaism from childhood to adulthood, eventually leading to her leadership roles with Congregation Ner Tamid as well as Jewish Federation, where she is on the Board of Directors.

Digital ID



Marla Letizia oral history interview, 2015 August 26. OH-02478. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





AN INTERVIEW WITH MARLA LETIZIA An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader?s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Marla R. Letizia is the founder of Big Traffic Mobile Billboards in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company operates mobile billboard advertising trucks and employs brand ambassadors to carry WOBI? walking billboards for retail, gaming, and entertainment clients such as Caesars entertainment, Tropicana, and Cirque Du Soleil. Letizia founded Big Traffic in 2001 after leaving a successful broadcast journalism career to raise her two children. She met her husband, Tom Letizia, while working at KLAS-TV Channel 8 as an assistant production manager. She later became the first female director of live television news broadcasts in Las Vegas at Channel 8. She also developed a TV show called "Las Vegas Turnaround" and a syndicated production called "The Parenting Network." Letizia grew up in Las Vegas, and is a former president of Congregation Ner Tamid and a founding member of the board of trustees of the Meadows School in Las Vegas. In this interview, Letizia discusses her career, and breaking gender barriers in both broadcasting as well as in advertising. She also talks about how her family ended up settling in Las Vegas, and the evolution of her relationship with Judaism from childhood to adulthood, eventually leading to her leadership roles with Congregation Ner Tamid as well as Jewish Federation, where she is on the Board of Directors. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Marla Letizia on August 26, 2015 by Barbara Tabach in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface?????????????????????????????????..?..iv Talks about family background, rooted in Chicago; moving to Vegas with mother as toddler, after parent?s divorce. Mentions attending Valley High School; recognized classmates; attending college in Arizona. Talks about mother?s career as cocktail waitress at Sahara Hotel and Casino; adoration for Sammy Davis Jr?????????????????????????..1-5 Discusses career in broadcasting; beginning at Channel 13 in production; becoming first female director; then getting in front of camera, with ?Las Vegas Turnaround? about local scene. Takes break when had children. Returns to TV with syndicated series ?The Parenting Network.? Reflects on impact of FCC deregulation under Reagan administration. Talks about returning to school for accounting; studying for CPA exam??????????????????..6-11 Talks about getting into the mobile billboard business; challenges and opportunities. Considers barriers to being a woman in broadcast, media industries. Recalls death of Frank Bluestein, who lived in same gated community. Remembers being at Kirk Kerkorian?s when decided to build Las Vegas International Hotel. Talks about father; selling carpet and drapes; then opening dress stores, Freddie?s, in several Strip casinos; other business ventures??????.......?????..12-22 Describes her connection with Jewish community; role of Temple Beth Sholom and impact of its instability on childhood; Rabbi Akselrad?s positive influence on synagogue. Mentions Catholic husband?s connection with Judaism; meeting Shelley Berkley. Remembers parents sending all the Jewish girls to summer Jewish summer camp in California as adolescents, which changes her relationship to Judaism???????????????????????????.23-29 Reflects upon becoming involved with Congregation Ner Tamid, after leaving Meadows School board once children graduated, eventually becoming congregation president. Discusses focus of presidency: managing move to new space; promoting membership and community; improving financial management. Considers the growth of congregations in the city. Talks more about the evolution of the local Jewish community, and its impact on her, over the years?????.30-34 Explains Jewish Community Center?s presence in Las Vegas; her involvement with Jewish Federation. Talks about relationship with Oscar and Carolyn Goodman. Recounts a riveting speech made by Hank Greenspun at synagogue, to raise funds for Israel????????35-38 Index........................................................................................................................................39-40 vi 1 This is Barbara Tabach. I'm sitting in my office today with Marla Letizia. This is August 26, 2015. How long have you lived in Las Vegas? All of my life; we moved here when I was two, so I've been here sixty years. Tell me the story about how your family came to Las Vegas. My grandfather, on my mother's side, was first generation American. His parents were from Poland, and came here right after the turn of the century. They lived on the South Side of Chicago. When he was thirteen or fourteen years old, in the eighth grade, he dropped out of school to help support the family, which was very common in those days. As he got older, in his late teens and early twenties, the speakeasies in Chicago, gaming?I guess all run by Al Capone in those days?were very big and, he worked as a dealer in illegal gaming for many, many years. Once they cleaned that up, the only jobs available in the only form of making a living that he knew was here in Las Vegas. I think he drove a truck for a few years in between them shutting down illegal gaming in Chicago and Vegas becoming an option. So he moved here in the early fifties. We got here in '55, but he came maybe even earlier than that, '49 or '50, '51. My grandparents divorced. So my mother and her mother moved to California from Chicago. She met my father at Fairfax High School; Fairfax is where all the Jews lived. They divorced when I was two years old. Then my grandmother and grandfather reunited and decided to get married again. So we moved here to Las Vegas in 1955 because of my mother's divorce and my grandparents being reunited. So you really were almost born and raised here. I think that my mom was thinking about possibly moving here with all that was going on, but didn't want me to be born in Las Vegas because when we moved here there were only twenty-five 2 thousand people. That's amazing, isn't it? It's hard to believe how fast it's grown over the years. Las Vegas is the only city in America that was incorporated in the same century that it reached over a million population. I didn't know that exactly that way. So did your grandfather share interesting stories with you when you were growing up? No, he didn't. I'm sure there were quite a bit. In those years it was a bit of an embarrassment, so most of it was always swept under the carpet and never talked about. There are so many different directions to go with you. There are a hundred, I know. Sitting with us today is Pat Holland. We may hear her voice on this in a little bit. We'll kind of fast-forward and then we'll go back and lay the groundwork with the Jewish community for this project. So you went to Valley High School. I did. You graduated what year? Nineteen-seventy-one. What was it like to go to Valley High School in '71? Valley High School and Clark High School were the new kids on the block. There was Las Vegas High School, Rancho High School, Basic, Western, and Gorman. Those were the five. In 1968, when I was in the seventh grade, Valley High School and Clark High School, which mirror are identical schools, were built. All of the kids that would have normally been going into eighth grade the year that I came in as a seventh grader?so eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh?were 3 pulled out of junior high and went to the high school because I guess there was not enough kids. Our class, the class of '71, was the largest class in the history of Las Vegas, and they saw that coming. Kenny Guinn was superintendent at the time. They looked ahead and said, "We need to move all of these kids out of the junior high area, just leave to it the class of '71." So we were the only class in seventh grade at K.O. Knudson and Hyde Park. Then we were moved to Orr Middle High, and Cashman Middle High was built. There was a seventh grade and we were the eighth grade class, and then they brought in seventh graders again and then we were the ninth grade class. So we spent three years being the oldest class. Then suddenly we were off in the tenth grade to Valley High School, which for the first time in three years we were the youngest class. Harry Reid went to Basic, but Richard Bryan, Sig Rogich and a whole gang of those guys went to Valley High School. Shelley Berkley was the class of '68; I was the class of '71. There are all kinds of notable people that were in our class. We had a sense of a really tight community. Our parents that were in business were sort of one sector of the school and the kids whose moms were hookers and gangsters were sort of another sector of kids. It was just how we all meshed. So there was sort of the typical high school cliques. Well, "You're mom's a hooker" is not exactly typical, but... A whole different definition of what was in that. It was. Some of the kids of those backgrounds were the first ones that fell into drugs?or maybe there was physical or sexual abuse at home that we really didn't recognize as kids, but when we look back we think, oh, my God, that's what was going on. Were you aware of how distinctive Las Vegas was in the scheme of things? No. But when I went off to college to ASU I didn't understand last call at one in the morning. It was like, what is last call again? 4 Right. Didn't understand that. Didn't understand a dry Sunday or that you can't buy booze until two o'clock in the afternoon on a Sunday, not that I cared because I never let an ounce of alcohol touch my lips when I was in college. It was just so interesting to me. Of course, when I popped into the first Circle K in Tempe, Arizona, I wondered where the slot machines were because I didn't recognize that a slot machine was a gaming device. I understood that blackjack, craps, and all the table games were gambling. But we had slot machines in the grocery stores. When we would leave Panorama Market, which was on the corner of Charleston and Arville, it was the only market up on the west side of town, my grandmother would always put a quarter in the slot machine on the way out; whatever change she had from the groceries she'd throw in the slot machines. So I never thought of a slot machine as a gaming device until I got to Arizona and then realized it was. That's interesting. Because it was part of your surroundings. So you went to ASU. How did you choose to go to Arizona State? I had no college counseling. I had wanted to go to USC, which I was accepted to, but my parents were getting divorced and there was no money for college. I thought that I could probably swing ASU, and I got in and I did. I worked as a cocktail waitress through my four years of college. I made a hundred dollars a night and was able to pay my tuition. That's what I grew up with. My mother was a cocktail waitress. So it made sense to me. Where was she a cocktail waitress? Sahara Hotel. She was there in the years when Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Danny Kaye, Sam Butera and The Witnesses were there. For my third, fourth and fifth birthdays, she would take me to the dinner show and they would always call me up on stage. They'd sing "Happy Birthday" to me. That was part of my growing up. The ma?tre d's all knew us. They'd always put us at ringside 5 and ma?tre d's would tell whoever it was?Danny Kaye or Donald O'Connor or Louis Prima and Keely Smith?that it was a common thing for me to go up on the stage and be sung "Happy Birthday" to, and they just happened to be there that year, so let's do it, guys. So I grew up always going up on stage, just part of the glamour even at the age of three, four, five years old, or being out at the pool on a Saturday. My grandmother used to always take me to the pool on Saturdays at the Sahara Hotel because my mother and my grandmother would have their hair done at the beauty shop. My mother worked four a.m. to noon, and then we would swim at the pool, and their hair appointments were probably one and two o'clock. I'd go in with them and maybe somebody would do my hair if they had time. We'd be out at the pool at the Sahara on a Saturday and Connie Stevens would be out there, Connie Francis, whoever happened to be staying or playing at the hotel at that time. We used to go out on the lake and Tom Jones used to come out there and Sammy Davis, Jr., who was my all-time hero. Why do you say that? I don't know why. See, I even get really choked up about it. He's the only star that ever passed away that I cried when I heard it. I watched him perform so many times as a child and the passion that he took up out on that stage when he performed; he gave so much off that stage. I just felt his energy. And yet, when he wasn't on stage, you could feel, even as a child, that he was a very troubled man. You could feel his insecurity; I could. He was such a loving man, but he was a very pained man. When he was up on that stage performing, whatever that pain was within him was erased. You could just feel the difference in the man. That's beautiful. So he was Jewish or he converted to Judaism. He did and we all knew it. He'd be at Temple Beth Sholom for the High Holidays and that was 6 always a draw. It always brought more people out to TBS in those years, or if Steve and Eydie would be there. There were other notables. You probably could name more than me right now because I was much younger. Yes. I would love to have heard him sing Kol Nidre. I heard that Sammy Davis did that. Oh, did he? Oh, my gosh. I've heard that. It was like, wow. So did Steve Lawrence. Did you belong to Temple Beth Sholom at that time? We did. I went to preschool at Temple Beth Sholom when we first came to town. That was the first thing that my grandmother, put me in the preschool there. We'll come back to those memories for sure. So with college, what kind of degree did you receive? Broadcasting. Did you pursue a career? I did. I came back to town in 1975 and was hired at Channel 13. I was in production at that time because I thought that's all I wanted to do. Within a year I became the city's first female director. I directed the newscast and directed several things. I directed the news during the nighttime. While directing the news, the talent was so unprofessional. Of course, everybody had old equipment. There were times when we'd be doing a live newscast and one of the cameras would go down, so we would just do a one-camera newscast. The news anchor was so unprofessional. He'd say, "Well, one of the cameras just went down, so I guess..." He would announce this. As I was directing the news, I would think to myself, no, it's your job to make it look like it was planned that way. Or a light would literally fall out of the sky. You have to, as live talent, make that look 7 like that was meant to be. As I spent more and more time behind the camera, it became very apparent to me that I actually belonged in front of the camera because I would allow the production staff to operate with the limited capabilities that they had while making it look like it was...whatever. I then got in front of the camera and had a talk show on Channel 13 for a couple of years, and then went on to do the weather on Channel 13 for a few years. I was the highest rated news personality on the air. I had the highest name recognition of anybody who was on the air throughout all those years. Then I got married and had my first child and never expected that that would make a hill of a difference to me. I just thought I was just going to have a dog and leave it with the babysitter. I didn't have any clue. I had worked all my life to have a career and finally had just gotten there, so I didn't think a baby would have any impact on that. But the minute that baby came there was no way I could walk out of that house every day and leave her with a babysitter just so I could be on TV. So I walked out on my career. So your broadcast career spanned how many years? From early 1977 to 1980. Then in 1989, I syndicated a new series. After I had my children I wanted to go back into broadcast. I thought, well, what can I do that helps me learn how to be a better mother, but I can still be a good broadcaster? I created a news series that we syndicated nationally called ?The Parenting Network.? It was the first syndicated news series that originated from Las Vegas?we have a lot of things that come out of Las Vegas now. Andre Agassi is from Las Vegas. We had a lot of very notable locals who grew up and had a national face. But this was the first time somebody on a local level had done something that got national recognition. Of course, national people came to Las Vegas and Las Vegas got recognition, like in the days when Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas did shows from Las Vegas. In fact, when I was doing my talk 8 show, I got on "Merv Griffin." Let's go back and talk about your first talk show, laying the groundwork for this future career path. What was your talk show on the local scene about? It was called ?Las Vegas Turnaround.? After spending four years in Arizona, I had this sense that if Las Vegas was a city that had grown up without gaming that we would be very similar to Arizona in who and what we were. Arizona has such a strong sense of culture and community, as I am sure every city in the country does. But for Las Vegas, it's all about gaming and it seduces everyone away from that culture that you've known from wherever it is you grew up. But I'm a child that grew up without that. So when I got to Arizona and saw all of that connectivity and culture...and Arizona at that time didn't have a performing arts center or anything, but they still had this sense of who they were much more than us. So I wanted to do something like that for Las Vegas, to give it a voice beyond gaming. So that's what the talk show focused on. We did things with the MDA, whatever was going on locally, even when Carolyn Goodman, Susan Molasky, and Judy Frank, who I think was president of the Women's Division at that time, went to Israel for the very first time as a part of the Jewish Federation Women's Division. When they got back they were on my talk show because that was something for the Jewish community to hear, right? I had people that came through town that just wanted PR in the Las Vegas market because they were selling or doing things here. Shelley Berkley was on the show. Of course, Shelley and I go back to when we were twelve and fourteen years old. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 1980, and I was a bridesmaid at both her weddings. She was working for Southwest Gas as an attorney at the time. So I had her on as a legal expert for people to call and ask legal questions. My set was a picture of Red Rock; it wasn't a scene of the Las Vegas Strip. We rarely 9 discussed what was going on on the Strip, but we discussed the Rainbow Company, the children's theater group that was very big in 1980. If you were to compare it, who fills that void today? Nobody. In the years that I was in broadcasting, the FCC had a rule that you had to have so many hours of community service on your broadcast station. When Reagan deregulated the FCC the old [requirements] of so much community service were relaxed. So there were no ascertainments that you had to do any more. Prior to probably '82 or '83, you had to do all kinds of community service. The FCC then ruled that news was enough community service. So these local talk shows [stopped.] "Good Morning Chicago," which is where Oprah started, went away. Those things went away in most of the local areas. In Las Vegas there was no strong reason to keep it going. So "Good Morning Chicago" became the "Oprah Show," probably because they wanted to get rid of the budget, and they just said, "Here, if you want it you can produce it yourself." Because there was a time, now I'm remembering, and it probably was in that seventies, when NBC had those "Good Morning" shows throughout the country, right? The networks have kept it because it's high ratings and high dollars for them. So the "Today Show" was just a community service show that they put on in the morning, and so was "Good Morning America." CBS did not have a morning show because in those years they weren't highly rated and they weren't big moneymakers. It was all about network prime time. So those early morning shows were more for fulfilling those hours of community service. So that went away. By the time it went away, on the network level, they had Barbara Walters. So they're not going to get rid of that. It was highly rated by then. So women's role in broadcast journalism? I was amongst the first. I was the one of the first part of an anchor team. Karen Galatz was a 10 weather girl before me. But, yes, there were only a few of us that were in broadcast. I was the very first woman hired in production in Las Vegas. Then I was the first woman director in Las Vegas. But by the time I made it to the anchor team, there were several women reporters in town. Andrea Boggs was the first woman reporter ever hired in Las Vegas at Channel 8. That's good to know. So then you decided to go back to that career after you've had your two children? Yes. You do the syndicated show. Yes. Channel 8 was my partner. So they got the series for free on their station. They gave me all the production for free and then we syndicated it across the country. We were in twenty-two markets. Then Lorimar-Telepictures bought us out of the product. The option was that a news station could purchase ?The Parenting Network? and could put its own local reporter in the cutaways. So if in Des Moines, they wanted to [include] a local reporter for those segments, they could take that option or they could use me as the anchor. That's how it was syndicated. In several markets they used me, and in other markets, they used their own talent. How long did you do that? Lorimar had it for about five years. I did it from '89 until '93 or '94. What came next for you career-wise? What led you to that? My husband's company had a bit of a meltdown, and I knew too much about broadcast and not enough about finance and accounting. So in 1994, I came back to UNLV and got a degree. The Nevada State CPA Association allows you to have any degree?sociology, broadcast, anything?and as long as you have a four-year degree and you can come back and take twelve to eighteen hours, somewhere in there, of graduate accounting classes, and once you fulfill that requirement, 11 you can then sit for the state CPA exam. It took me several years because I couldn't take twelve to fifteen hours at one time. By 1998 or '97 I think I was done. I took the CPA exam at the end of the year and failed it. It's a tough exam. It was and I was prepared for that. I was more concerned because you have to get 50 percent on all four parts in order to pass any two parts. So my goal was just to assure myself in the worst possible way I could end up with above 50 percent on all four parts. So I said to my husband, "Look, this is what I need you to do. I need you to make a commitment that you will take the kids to school every day, that you will pick them up every day, and that you will be there for me for just four months. And then I can kick this thing and I will get my state CPA degree. This is something that I really, really want." So he said, "I'm in; don't worry about it; we're good." I said, "Great." I went to my very first review course and all was going well. The only problem is my daughter called me screaming one morning that it was 32 degrees out and on the way to school Dad still had the air-conditioning on. Other than that...Who knew that men had hot flashes even in their forties? But, okay. Other than that everything was going swimmingly. We were part of the founding board of The Meadows School since 1984. My kids went [there] K through twelve. We had known Oscar all of our life because [he was] my mother's very first attorney for her divorce. So I met Carolyn and Oscar when I was fifteen years old. When Carolyn got ready to start the school, with my notoriety from being on TV and Tom's advertising expertise, she brought us right on to the board with her, which was a very smart decision because then the school never had to pay for PR advertising after that. From 1986 on, Oscar kept telling Tom one of these days he was going to run for mayor, 12 and when he did he was going to have Tom handle the campaign. So this became a joke from 1986. Then what do you know? In 1999, Oscar calls Tom and says, "I think I'm running. Carolyn and I are going away for the weekend and I'll call you when I get back." On a Wednesday afternoon Oscar calls Tom and says, "That's it; I'm running; I'm filing tomorrow; I need you." Tom said to me, "Hey, I know this is really important to you, but I think this is actually more important." Because Tom looked at it as great...It was his first entree into politics. He loves politics and he'd handled a few small races up till then. Tom was campaign manager for Oscar in 1999 and that win really did change our lives, as well as Oscar and Carolyn's. I gave up going for my CPA exam at that point. I figured I'd go back to it. In that process, Tom met somebody that owned a mobile billboard truck and we used it for the entire Goodman campaign. After that campaign I watched how impactful that mobile billboard was. With all of my broadcast knowledge, I applied that into the outdoor business and just really felt like...I just knew that I was meant to create something. So we bought that truck. One truck. One truck. I bought it in 2000, so a year and a half later. My daughter was still in high school. Once she left [for college] we started the process. I just created the industry here in Las Vegas...It was bashert. Talk about that industry. Outdoor advertising in this city is and has been so significant. It's very visual, the Strip, anyway. What were some of the obstacles as you tried to grow that business? It was a business that nobody felt they needed or wanted. I must have gone through a hundred and twenty no's every time I got a yes. Taxi tops was big and everybody thought they needed taxi tops, but no one thought they needed a mobile billboard. To me, why would you want a taxi top? You 13 couldn't control where it went or what it did. But with a mobile billboard, it can be directed and can be right in front of the audience that you want it. No one had ever counted it as a matter of ratings or numbers of people walking on the Las Vegas Strip or the hotel rooms that looked over onto the Strip; they only counted traffic that went from airport, which is how they were selling taxi tops. But they were not selling the walking population on the Las Vegas Strip. We hired Jeremy Aguero to do a study, [and after that] everybody jumped into the mobile billboards. But in the beginning I could only sell local clients because I couldn't get the resort corridor. It's a "me too" business. So finally you get that yes and then finally people start. It was the local entrepreneurs that looked at it. And you always know who those are because when you have a new product that nobody else sees, entrepreneurs that are entrepreneurs look, see it, get it, take it, want it before the next guy has it. So I started with the locals first and just was committed to making the Las Vegas Strip because I felt it was a better product, a cleaner product. Our people were uniformed. They were polite. They had nowhere to go. They were not in a rush. Where taxis were screamers, smokers, drove crazy. And we could control all that for them. It took a while to sell that message. But right as we began to sell it and people began to see the benefits of the product, I had somebody call me and say, "I own an escort service and I want to do business with you." I said, "Well, I'm sorry, but I can control this product and I am not going to take any of that business." He said, "Well, how much is it?" I said, "There is not a price that you could give me that would allow me to let you put your message on my product. It's just not who I am." So he said, "Well, I'll give you a thousand a day and I'll give you ten thousand a day and I'll give you fifty thousand a day." I know that game. "I'll give you a hundred thousand a day." I was still saying no because the game is, as you've always heard the joke, now that we've determined you're a whore, let's really 14 talk price. There just was no price that I would ever go to. I didn't care if it was a million dollars a day. I would not compromise on my values. Once he realized that it was an unlicensed medium, he just went out and bought five trucks on his own and ?Hot Babes? appeared on the Strip. I spent the next two years trying to overcome that. So that's how that message got on mobile billboards. Because I wouldn't take it. If I had taken it, I could have probably controlled it. Wow. That's hindsight, but interesting. It was a no-win either way. So I fought that. That really hurt and had an impact on me for a long while. Then it continued to grow. I grew from one truck to seventeen trucks. I had a large staff. Just recently sold it. How many mobile billboard companies are there now in Vegas? There's really only one when I sold now to the group that currently has it. There are a few small people, but for the most part, there's only one. Then there's anybody and their escort service that can build a truck and go out there and do it. So they can do that. They can. Is there licensing or any sort of [regulation]? No. I tried to get licensing on for the industry, but I couldn't get the support for it. I don't think they realized how much better we could control it if we licensed. But I also didn't have the money to push it, either. I tried. It really would have taken a large bankroll, which at one point I had. But when the economy fell...It's the old thing, if I had have sold three or four years earlier, I would have made a lot more money. It just is what it is. 15 There are no rules that guide where these billboards can travel? They can go throughout the whole city. As an industry, did you get complaints? There was a time when we did, but I fought it and won. There's first amendment commercial free speech. Pat, do you have any questions about the business aspect of all of this? PAT: I do. Did you have any problems with men as a woman in business? I didn't. I had a group of men. Most of the men that drove for me were retired veterans. The broadcast industry, the media industry, the advertising industry is very evenly populated these days. But what about when you first started? I was very naive to it. So if it was there, I didn't notice it. I had a few little issues, but I took them more just as difficult personalities as opposed to being pushed down as a woman. Andrea Boggs definitely would have told you that it was very difficult for her being the first woman. But I wasn't the first. I was the first in production. But I just was so young and so naive I didn't understand that's what it was. I just thought it was because I was to