Top 3 Most Economically Lethal Threats to Las Vegas by Michael G. Hutchings
Las Vegas has dropped quite few levels since being dubbed the “1st Great City of the Millennium” in the year 2000. It was said that Sin City showed more potential for growth and quality of life than any other major municipality on the continent at that time. It was barreling into the modern digital future. With a robust economy and glistening new high rises designed by world famous architects ascending from the desert floor, along with nearly 80,000 collective annual home sales, adding 12,000 new residents monthly and posting job numbers that came in figures totaling hundreds of thousands, not hundreds or even a scant dozen or so in reports; like today.
The opportunity in the air was palpable. An electrifying, electronic city of the future was unfolding right before our very eyes! It seemed everyone from literally everywhere wanted a piece of Las Vegas from about 1998 to 2008.Then, of course; came a massive jolt of reality. The global economic downturn brought the Belle of the Ball, begging to her knees. Now that future has become the past; of nearly two decades ago.
A tremendous amount of that promise, and the fruits of generations of labor was dismantled and for the most part deconstructed in a few short months. It was an incredibly fragile existence when exposed for how delicate an imported, growth based economy actually was in real terms.
What seemed bullet-proof was really just an old tired wizard behind the curtain, tinkering with knobs and levers trying to keep the old gambling town alive on life-support.
But, like it has so many times before; the core of the community began slowly patching things back together like they had in prior recessions and crises. And, this time fortunately the metropolitan area had grown to a local population base that could at least survive if not thrive until the national and global economies began to show green shoots and breathe life back into the resort corridor and beyond.
With time, many years in fact; both the tourist numbers and the new sprawling suburbs returned to a somewhat normal level of commerce as the post-recession cycle droned on. Almost as long if not longer now than the length of the actual hyper-boom that landed us all here to begin with.
The job growth has not returned to anywhere near what it once was, nor has the home building or commercial sectors. Nor, really has the spirit that drove the boom. Ironically, it is a more serious city now. With serious big-city problems. However, Las Vegas has for the most part reinvented itself and in some ways it has even healed some of the social and economic wounds and eked past prior levels of maturation. In other areas, things have never been worse.
For example, in the extreme high-end, real estate sales and construction of colossal mega-luxury housing has well surpassed levels seen prior to the economic downturn. Yet, on the opposite end of the spectrum poverty, crime, social unrest and the remnants of urban blight are far worse than they have ever been before.
Here are what we believe are the Three (3) Most Lethal Threats to Las Vegas and Custom Home Life’s recommendations for effective solutions geared towards saving our fair city:
#1 Threat: Water – Solution: Build the Northern Pipeline – In fact, build both the Northern and Southern Pipelines. We don’t actually believe there is a water shortage. We believe there is a Water Management issue. There is a plethora of water in Northern Nevada and beyond. Furthermore, the Pacific Ocean is only a few hundred miles away. The solution aside from building a pipeline to California would be to complete the Northern Pipeline Project that is already underway. We waste enough water through intrastate mining operations up in Humboldt County alone to re-supply over a third of our annual water use in Las Vegas. Finish the pipeline which would employ tens of thousands of Nevadans, treat the mining water which otherwise lies stagnant and contaminated and pump the clean water down state into the Lake Mead Reservoir.
Threat #2: Sprawl – Solution: Building Moratorium & Impact Fees – Las Vegas like a mini-Los Angeles is a victim of Suburban Sprawl. Sprawl hurts an already vastly underfunded School System, Road System & all of our Police/First Responder entities. A three year moratorium prohibiting development of any undeveloped land would incite a building boom with strong price increases. Consider the Building Moratorium in Orange County, Florida along International Drive in South Orlando around the late 1980’s. Those sanctions created a real estate boom unlike most have ever witnessed in the history of our country. The housing market would dramatically accelerate leading up to the moratorium and would thrive on pent-up demand once it was lifted. And, in the interim developers, builders, speculators & investors would concentrate on blighted areas within the inner-city (like Downtown) and clean up the messes mostly created by loose governance due to a heroin-like fix on growth for the sake of growth. The greedy culprits of sprawl are the “usual suspects” that in fact left behind the very same neighborhoods and communities that they actually created en route to the ‘burbs in each progressive cycle. Thus, casting a wide swath of deteriorating ghettos, crime and vagrancy at the urban and now suburban core.
Threat #3 – Quality of Education – Solution: A “Privately Appointed” School Czar & War on our Last Place Ranking – Isn’t thirty 30 years in last place in the country enough to embarrass the Clark County School District (CCSD) into orchestrating a massive upheaval of the current system? First the CCSD tried to throw money at the problem, through funds that they didn’t actually have; mind you. Your money. They perpetrated this by buying imported, high-paid administrators from all over the country that incidentally failed on a massive level. Then, the state has started an attempt to sell success in the form of a rebate by allowing parents to invest in private schools via AB 165. All in an effort to simply get as many kids out of the public school system, as possible; in lieu of improving it. We need something drastic in Southern Nevada and the rest of the state. My recommendation would be to appoint a couple of quasi-private School Czars and declare a war on last place. Let’s enlist a private task force, an educational militia, if you will; to literally start from scratch and declare a war on last place in the nation for our schools.
If you would like to share ideas or get more involved with “real” hard hitting issues that affect your community, in lieu of applying the proverbial Band-Aid. Please reach out to us at: Info@CustomHomeLife.com