Cities to Watch: Las Vegas

Insights» Cities To Watch

August 1, 2018by Taylor Miranda

Las Vegas is named the “Entertainment Capital of the World” and rightfully so. It is well-known around the world as the epicenter of gambling, exquisite dining, shopping and entertainment. The city has numerous casino resorts and entertainment centers on the Las Vegas Strip that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in profit each year. To no surprise, the Las Vegas gaming industry alone made $814 million in 2017.

The economic growth is driven by the Las Vegas Strip, which houses most of the city’s entertainment facilities. It is home to some of the largest Fortune 500 companies, mostly resorts that offer a wide variety of adult entertainment. MGM Resorts International, for example, has diversified its offerings to include all types of casino gaming, entertainment by award-winning celebrity guests and entertainers (Shakira, Ozzy Osbourne and George Strait are on the fall schedule), dining at world-class restaurants, and resort lodging in suites with breathtaking views. Las Vegas is a growing leader in the hospitality industry in the United States, which in turn attracts many investors to the Las Vegas Strip.

Economy:

o  Major industries: tourism, hospitality, gaming

o  Minimum wage: $8.25 per hour without health benefits

o  Cost of Living: 3% above the national average

 

Housing:

o  Median Household Income: $63,789

o  Median Home Price: $280,000 — 15.7% increase from last year

o  Median Rent Price: $1,028

 

Job Market:

o  Forbes List: #59 Best Place for Business and Careers

o  Unemployment: 5.1%

o Job growth from 2016: 2.8%

o Loan originator average salary: $93,531 (36% above national average)

 

Must-Visit Locations:

The Strip — The Las Vegas Strip has been described as an adult playground. If you’re driving in from the south, you’ll see the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, and soon after you are greeted by giant skyscraper hotels, resorts and casinos on every corner; music; clubs; and many entertainers dressed up in costumes. Whether you’re driving or walking down the Strip at night, you will witness the magic of Las Vegas. The buildings are dripped in lights, spotlights dance throughout the sky, and the music has everybody walking to a beat. The live street shows and shops along the way are often entertainment enough.

Taxis and rideshare services are the most commonly used transportation, but pedestrian and street traffic can be extremely congested at peak times. To lighten the load, the city built the Las Vegas Monorail, with seven stops at major hotels and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Trains arrive every 4-8 minutes, and a 15-minute ride will take you the entire route, from the MGM Grand to the SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara Hotel and Casino).

Bellagio Casino and Fountain — The Bellagio Fountain is a must-see sight while walking down the Las Vegas Strip. Every 15-30 minutes, you’ll be greeted by a composed light and water show (similar to that at Disneyland, but the adult version). Inside you will find a beautiful art gallery and flourishing botanical gardens. The most popular attraction at the Bellagio is Cirque du Soleil; it’s a brilliant show involving incredible artistry and acrobats.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area — For those looking to escape the frenetic energy of the city for a while, this is the place to go. Just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, the Red Rock Canyon offers hiking and biking trails along the Mojave Desert. Too hot for a hike but still want to enjoy the scenery? You can go on a scooter car tour around the canyon. The convertible style scooter car has no top, allowing you to enjoy the views on the go, while catching a breeze with the top down.

Live Performances — If a live show is on your bucket list, you’re in the right place. Las Vegas has the most diverse entertainment acts in the country in one place. Choose from six Cirque du Soleil shows, magicians such as David Copperfield and Criss Angel, comedians, musical tribute bands, musical theater (Menopause the Musical), and family shows such as Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater. Concerts by current long-term residents such as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie and Donny and Marie are a big draw, too. And to ensure that Vegas retains its old charm, it still offers plenty of burlesque and other adult entertainment that the city is famous for.

Dining Raku is an excellent dinner choice for people who enjoy artistry as much as food. This Japanese restaurant has a tasting menu that allows you to try several of their most delicious dishes before placing your order. Carson Kitchen not only draws large crowds for their gourmet burgers and flatbreads, but also for their rooftop dining and live music. If you are looking for a little fine dining, Andiamo Italian Steakhouse is the place to go. Their menu has classic steak cuts and Italian dishes that are hearty and satisfying. Try their award-winning handmade pasta dishes and homemade Italian bread.

Nightlife — The nightlife in Las Vegas is very extensive — it is one of the top reasons why people attend the city. It would take you multiple trips to experience even half of what the Strip has to offer. The MGM Resort, as mentioned before, hosts its own nightclub called Hakkasan, which features many DJs and entertainers like Calvin Harris, Steve Aioki and Travis Scott. This is one of the resort’s largest attractions. Las Vegas is also notorious for their daytime pool parties — check out Daylight at Mandalay Bay for an experience you won’t forget! Dance in the pool to headliners like Rick Ross and DJ Duke Dumont.

Attractions — Las Vegas can be characterized as one giant amusement park on steroids, and the colossal roller coasters and other adventures prove it. From The High Roller, a humongous Ferris wheel at the Linq Hotel and Casino, to the Mountain Express roller coaster at New York New York, thrills abound throughout the strip. At Mandalay Bay, you can dive with sharks in the 1.3 million-gallon Shark Reef Aquarium, or simply stroll through the viewing tunnel and marvel at marine life.