Travelocity.com founder Jones talks Nevada tourism

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 6, 2012 at 8:43 am •  Published: December 6, 2012
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In helping to open the conference on Tuesday with Gov. Brian Sandoval, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki described Jones as "truly one of the pioneers" in the travel industry.

Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said they invited him to be a keynote speaker at the conference because of this year's theme, "Igniting Innovation."

Jones, who has a home at Lake Tahoe, said most companies are afraid of innovative ideas "because they don't know what change will do to them.'

"But change is inevitable, growth is optional," he said.

Jones said innovation is more like batting in a baseball game than competing in an Olympic event, Jones said. He said most Olympians start training at a very young age, often to compete in just one event and lose.

"In baseball, if you fail 70 percent of the time, you are good. We can experiment and fail," he said. "If you aren't failing, you aren't experimenting."

Jones closed his speech and slide show with an image of the famous tight-rope walking family, the Flying Wallendas, to help put the risk factors in perspective.

"I know all of you think what you're doing is hard, but it's not," he told the audience. "These guys have a tough job. I read their mission statement the other day and they have a tough mission statement: 'If you fall, you die.'"