Some years ago when asked if I would ever consider living in Las Vegas, I would have said 'No way, there's only casinos and gambling there, and nothing else." I was suffering from not really knowing what was there, or the vision of what Las Vegas was to become. Fortunately the consultant, that is also my photographer / IT guy, who shares my office and my life was a business associate back then, and he revealed all it's secrets. There is not only amazing life and beauty beyond the Strip, there was an evolution taking place with a strong and redudant economy being built in the process. Las Vegas was changing it's focus from being a gambling town to a resort destination that spurred other growth in the community. Steve Wynn had started the transformation with his Mirage Resort in the late 80's, and it seems his 2005 Wynn Resort opening has fueled the next generation.
While these changes were being made on the Strip, more was going on beyond it. Las Vegas was diversifying as people began looking past the neon to an area with abundant recreation, plenty of sunshine, low to no taxes, and that strong and quick to bounce back economy. Yes, that's right, in spite of all the "bad news" in the media, Vegas is down, but not anywhere near out. There are still over 5,000 a month moving here, and a lot happening behind the scenes with 10's of thousands of jobs on the way.
It's bold future is just on the horizon, with the largest building boom in Las Vegas history, at $32 billion and counting in the hospitality industry. The building extends to downtown with developments and the growth, even of other industries and medical facilities with more coming to Union Park and other downtown construction. Out in Vegas suburbia a variety of businesses are joining the ranks of what has been here, like Ocean Spray Cranberries, Berry Plastics, Titanium Metals Corp, Levi Strauss, and many, many more. They're being joined by the latest in technology such as the recently opened Nevada Solar One, the 3rd largest solar power plant in the world. With energy one of the major issues facing the nation, there's another big plus from the new Ausra Thermal Solar Manufacturing Plant, the largest facility of it's kind in the world, that could add as much as $40 billion to the local economy, dwarfing this hospitality construction boom investment.
You may have read that MGM Mirage's IT / Data Center was ranked a Top 100 place to work by computerworld, but never heard a word about some of the other tech that's in the valley. Of course we have those military contractors working at Nellis AFB, the Nellis Range and test site. Then to the northwest of Las Vegas you'll find Creech AFB, home of the unmanned aircraft the Reaper and Predator, and where all their pilots are flying them around the globe. Now our allies, like the UK, are buying their own, and training here. You probably haven't heard about a private company that operates the "top secret" high tech superpower, Switch Communications, and it's major expansion of it's Las Vegas' megapower data center, SUPERNAP. Yes, there's even more to be found lurking around the Entertainment Capital of the World. It's pretty amazing what they've been hiding out here in the desert, and I'm not just talking about Area 51.
The same can be said of communities, homes, and lifestyles around Las Vegas. Living here can cover a wide variety of choices. From small town 'Mayberry' feel of Boulder City and the incredible Lake Mead views near Hoover Dam, to the numerous Las Vegas Golf Communities, such as Tuscany Village. Yes, in the 600 square miles of the Vegas Valley there are quite a few surprises, ranging the waterfront properties of The Lakes to various luxury home communities from builders such as Toll Brothers, that join a large number of others.
Of course the center of the valley is the Las Vegas Strip. While the casinos are still part of the entertainment package, gaming is a smaller portion of total resort revenues as there's a lot more than a warehouse 'box' of slots and tables. What has been growing is with choices in entertainment, shopping, dining and nightlife, art and architecture, making Las Vegas a 'Cruise Ship in the Desert'. Now it's continuing to prepare as the next urban neighborhood of Las Vegas. High Rise condominium living will be part of the next wave, with more units joining Turnberry Towers, Sky Las Vegas, Panorama and Trump Towers. MGM's City Center opens next year as a city within, along with Fontainebleau and the Palazzo luxury condos soon to follow, as will others both on and off the Strip.
The variety found offered on the Strip reflects throughout Las Vegas and it's many communities There is something for every mood, every style, and an ever changing feast for the eyes. For a little glimpse of just some of this central transforming neighborhood to live in, and where so many Las Vegas locals go to work, or for a quick vacation, use the player below. If you'd like to view them full screen simply press the HD button in the bottom toolbar, and your keyboard escape to close when done. Or just press play, and either way you can turn off the background music with a click of the toolbar speaker button. Enjoy your tour!
EDITED TO ADD: The hosting site for Photoshow is down for maintenance until Wed. 7-23-08 @ 6AM. PST. When it's back up, you should also be able to view it on their site.
Since it's up and running again, thought I'd also include this one from a few months ago, with some Las Vegas construction pictures.
If you are interested in relocating to Las Vegas or would like information on Las Vegas real estate, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from you!