DC Mayor Bowser jets off for Las Vegas weekend 'mission' after ritzy Masters trip on taxpayers' dime

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and her entourage are set to travel to Las Vegas on a business trip, shortly after the Democratic mayor faced scrutiny for going on a taxpayer-funded trip to the Masters Golf tournament.

A description of the event on the mayor’s public calendar said that she would attend the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) on an “economic mission.”

“On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Mayor Bowser will attend the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) LAS VEGAS to attract retail to the District of Columbia,” the description said. “This economic mission is coordinated by the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, which has organized the District’s presence at ICSC since 2001.”

In a press release, Bowser’s office touted the benefits reaped by attending the ICSCS.

“We know that Washingtonians in every part of DC want access to fantastic amenities. From the Lidl in Ward 7 to the Wegmans in Ward 3, those are conversations that started at ICSC,” said Bowser. “Through programs like the Food Access Fund and the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, we have made good progress in filling amenity gaps, but there is still more to do to ensure greater accessibility and equity – and filling those gaps and supporting the continued transformation of Downtown will be a focus of this trip.”


D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a press conference after testifying for hours before the DC City Council outlining the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget in Washington, D.C., on April 03, 2024. (Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Bowser will attend the conference, which is held at Wynn Las Vegas, along with 14 other elected officials and staff members.

District government representatives attending ICSC will include:

Mayor Muriel BowserChairman Phil Mendelson, Council of the District of ColumbiaCouncilmember Kenyan McDuffie, At-LargeCouncilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 2Councilmember Zachary Parker, Ward 5Nina Albert, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic DevelopmentBeverly Perry, Senior Advisor to Mayor Muriel BowserLindsey Parker, Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the MayorBrian Hanlon, Director, Department of BuildingsSybongile Cook, Director of Business Development & Strategy, DMPEDPam Frentzel-Beyme, Director of Real Estate, DMPEDJamie Scott, Deputy Director of Business Development & Strategy, DMPEDSarosh Olpadwala, Office of the Senior AdvisorJonathan McNair, Deputy Chief of Staff, Councilmember McDuffieRachelle Roberts, Chief of Staff, Councilmember Parker

Elected officials’ goals at the conference include “expanding the Washington, D.C. brand as a premier business environment and investment opportunity; generating business leads for major development projects and DC’s neighborhood corridors, including Downtown; fostering business relationships and engaging with new prospects including retailers and brokers for later cultivation; and promoting the unique retail and restaurant opportunities in our neighborhoods,” Bowser’s office said in a press release.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during the Safeway ‘Feast of Sharing’ Thanksgiving event, at the Walter E. Washington Convention center in Washington, DC on November 22, 2023. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest trip comes after the Democratic mayor faced scrutiny over transparency about her trip to the Master’s Tournament in Augusta, Georgia last month.

According to the mayor’s public schedule, Bowser attended the world-renowned golf tournament, “as part of a sports and economic development visit.”

Her team said that the mayor was invited by a major real estate company that does business in D.C.

A sea of Masters chairs at the 18th green during the final round of  Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia. Mayor Bowser attended the Master Tournament as part of an “economic development visit.” (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Bowser had previously defended her taxpayer-funded trip to the world-renowned tournament, telling FOX 5 that they have “tried to be transparent.”

“We tried to be transparent, so I don’t know what questions you have that remain. We disclosed – I don’t know what questions you have that remain; we expect an invoice if it hasn’t – we haven’t received it yet from EDENS,” Bowser told FOX 5.


Bowser said that the trip to the Master’s tournament cost between $5,000 and $6,000 per person.

“… I believe that the estimated costs were in the range of $5-$6,000 and that’s for air travel … per person,” she told the local outlet.

The mayor did not say how much the trip to Las Vegas would cost.

Muriel Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, during an interview in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023.  (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The mayor defended her taxpayer-funded trip, saying that Washington D.C is the “sports capital.”

“Listen, voters have placed their trust in me to make the best decisions for the District for the last 15 years, including three elections as mayor. We made no secret about the fact that we make sports investments,” Bowser said. “We are the sports capital, and we are going to promote the District in every corner of the world, and that has been my experience as mayor.”

Fox News has reached out to Mayor Bowser’s office, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Councilmember Brooke Pinto and Councilmember Zachary Parker for comment.

Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. 

She is a native of Massachusetts and is based in Orlando, Florida.

Story tips and ideas can be sent to [email protected] and on X: @s_rumpfwhitten.

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