Market Overview - Las Vegas Area

Las Vegas area overview

Clark County, the most populous of Nevada’s 17 counties, is home to more than two million residents, about 73% of the state’s population. The estimated average household income is approximately $62,201. The city of Las Vegas sits at the heart of Clark County and is internationally renowned as the world capital of entertainment. Las Vegas’ gaming, dining, shopping and business conventions are major attractions for national and international visitors. Las Vegas has approximately 150,255 hotel rooms. Over 41.1 million people visited Las Vegas in 2014.

Employment situation

As of November 2014, Las Vegas unemployment stands at 7.2%, which is about 280 basis points lower than it was in 2013 at 10.0%. Tourism is the highest economic sector for Las Vegas representing 31.5% of the market, however professional and business services and retail trade make a significant impact representing 13.1% and 11.8% of the market, respectively.

The strip and gaming

Since 2009, tourism has shown strong growth. In 2014, Las Vegas saw a record 41.1 million visitors and gaming revenue on the Strip reached approximately $6.4 billion. TTM February 2015 gaming revenue is up 1.0% from the same time period in the prior year. Las Vegas is the top U.S. convention and tradeshow destination, hosting over 20,000 conventions each year and bringing in about 5.1 million convention attendees. In 2014 Las Vegas’ average hotel occupancy rate was 86.8% compared to the national average of approximately 60%. The average daily room rate in Las Vegas is $116.73, up 5.4% from 2013.

Revitalization of downtown

A major revitalization of downtown is underway. Below are a few of the projrcts that have recently been completed:

  • In October of 2013 Zappos.com began moving into the renovated ±295,000 square foot former City of Las Vegas City Hall building. When fully relocated, Zappos.com will have about 2,000 employees.
  • The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a $485 million new facility that is now home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theater and features Broadway caliber entertainment.
  • The Lou Ruvo Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health has been in operation downtown since the summer of 2009. The highly specialized clinic’s mission is to advance the research, early detection and treatment of neurocognitive disorders that result from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s. The clinic has now served over 12,000 patients and their families.
  • The World Market Center contains over five million square feet of world-class furniture showrooms and is located downtown.

Retail

Las Vegas is known for its world-class shopping. Local retail includes four shopping malls, three premium outlet centers and high-end shopping opportunities throughout the Strip, including the Caesars Forum Shops, the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood, the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian, and Crystals, a new 550,000 square foot retail center at City Center.

Economic diversification

In 2012, North Las Vegas became home to the first Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital to be built in the United States in 20 years. The $600 million facility will serve approximately 60,000 veterans and has created about 2,000 local jobs in construction and medicine.

Las Vegas is expected to continue to grow as a retirement destination. In addition to the new VA hospital, Las Vegas continues to boast low housing prices and a relatively low cost of living, which are attractive features to retirees.

Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is moving forward with a $3.1 billion capital improvement program, which culminated in the opening of a new Terminal 3. Terminal 3 brought 14 gates and two million square feet in additional terminal space to the nation’s 7th busiest airport. Due to Las Vegas’ desirability as a destination, over 85% of McCarran’s traffic is origin and destination, which is amongst the highest percentages of any United States airport.

Over the past several years Las Vegas has seen an emergence in the tech sector. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, wants to create a tech hub in Downtown, and in addition to moving their corporate headquarters to the former city hall, he has created a $50 million venture fund for tech startup companies in Las Vegas. Last year, Take Two Interactive, one of the world’s largest video game developers, relocated their quality assurance testing studio to downtown Las Vegas from Northridge, California; and will add about 150 tech jobs. Switch Data Centers just completed the second phase of the Super NAP colocation data center bringing the current size of the project to about 600,000 square feet. They anticipate growing the project to about 2.2 million square feet.

Recreation

Just beyond the Strip, Las Vegas offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities:

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area consists of a 13- mile scenic loop, which includes over 30 miles of hiking trails situated on 195,819 acres.
  • Valley of Fire is a scenic hiking area within an hour’s drive of the Strip.
  • Mount Charleston, just north of Las Vegas, offers summer hiking, camping and picnic areas, as well as skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
  • Lake Mead, home to a variety of water sports, is Nevada’s largest man-made lake and boasts over 820 miles of shoreline and six marinas, eight campgrounds and five motels.
  • Golf enthusiasts have over 60 golf courses to choose from in the Las Vegas metro area.

Sports

Although Las Vegas does not have a professional sports team, it offers a variety of sporting events that attract both residents and visitors throughout the year.

  • The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) has men’s and women’s teams in 16 sports at the NCAA Division I intercollegiate level.
  • The Las Vegas 51s are the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The 51s play at the 9,000 seat Cashman Field near downtown Las Vegas.
  • The Las Vegas Wranglers are affiliated with the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes. The Wranglers host games at the Orleans Arena.
  • The Las Vegas Locomotives are the reigning two-time UFL champions, and host games at Sam Boyd Stadium, which seats 36,800.
  • The National Finals Rodeo is held annually in Las Vegas.
  • Many world championship boxing matches, as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship matches are held in Las Vegas.
  • The Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located just north of Las Vegas along I-15, is a major venue for racing events, such as the Indy Racing League and the NASCAR Nextel Cup.

Education

Las Vegas offers a variety of post-secondary school opportunities, including the following.

  • UNLV is a major university with over 27,000 students and 220 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, including a highly ranked law school, and one of the world’s top hospitality programs. It was first established in 1957 and the main campus encompasses about 337 acres.
  • College of Southern Nevada (CSN) is the 3rd largest multi-campus 2-year college in the country.
  • Nevada State College
  • The Art Institute of Las Vegas
  • University of Phoenix (satellite campus)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (satellite campus)
  • Regis University (satellite campus)

Transportation

Las Vegas is located at the major junction of I-15 and US-95, and is within a one day drive of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City and Reno.

  • McCarran International Airport is conveniently situation just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, and is the 7th busiest airport in the country. Over 34 airlines provide non-stop service to 144 domestic and international destinations.
  • The Citizens Area Transit (CAT) serves Clark County with 51 bus routes and operates with a fleet of 364 full accessible buses that are equipped with wheelchair lifts.
  • The Las Vegas Monorail is an elevated train system that connects major hotels and attractions along a 7 stop, 3.9 mile route on the Strip.

Attractive tax structure

The local tax structure is attractive to individuals and businesses, as Nevada imposes no personal income, estate, business, or gift tax. Another positive for Las Vegas is the local economy. Las Vegas’ economic recovery was expected to trail the national recovery; however, Las Vegas has grown at a faster rate than the national economy.

In 2014, the Las Vegas economy continued its robust improvement and the outlook continues to advance for 2015. unemployment declined, the housing market surged and Las Vegas will continue to be a top destination for california and retirees.

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