Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 12, 2007

Las Vegas: "An Environmental Pileup in the Making,"

Posted by detroit1051

"Fast Company" magazine writes that Las Vegas is growing too fast, has low quality of life, low quality employees and faces major water and environmental issues:
"The talent base in Las Vegas is not college-educated, it's not young and it's stuck in low-income jobs," Hammonds said. "That is not a recipe for economic sustainability. At the same time, you're getting remarkable population growth and a building boom. We worry about the quality of that growth if it's not supported by expansion of the talent base."

Las Vegas bashing is becoming a more frequent focus of media. In a tourism-driven economy with 130,000+ hotel rooms, you're going to attract great numbers of workers to provide support at all the hotels, casinos, nightclubs and other entertainment businesses. I think the story is a little unfair, but there is no question Las Vegas is going through major growing pains which affect quality of life. Water will continue to be an issue in the entire southwest U.S. and Las Vegas must come to grips with its infrastructure and traffic/mass transit challenges.

Report Says LV Growing Too Fast

Fast Company Magazine


Read archived comments (6 so far)
July 12, 2007 10:48 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Haven't we been hearing this for years? I don't disagree with some of this, but we've heard this all before, and yes, it will peak out at some point.

July 12, 2007 6:33 PM Posted by motoman

detroit, thanks for bringing this up! Wasn't sure how you stood on these issues, but it's certain that not enough people care enough.

It's become an economic issue as much as environmental, which should get leaders' attention.

July 16, 2007 11:55 AM Posted by historian

At one time, three or four years ago, I was seriously considering re-locating to the Las Vegas Valley. No longer, and that piece points to exactly the reasons I've changed my feelings. I like to think and hope the drought situation is a cyclical event and that the heavy snows will come back to the Rockies. At least five years of well above average snow depth is going to be required to get Mead back up to sustainable level. Other than that someone better start building a de-sal plant and pipeline to Vegas in San Pedro, CA.

The thing that really has me worried is the 'new demographic' we are seeing. Population growth, crime, homelessness, illegal immigration, an infrastructure that just can't keep up... I know a wonderful woman who lives in Town that tries her best everyday to make the place a little better. I fear she is doing nothing more than shoveling shit against the tide.

I will still relocate, but St. George, UT, above the confluence of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers, is looking better and better each week.

July 16, 2007 1:18 PM Posted by mike_ch

Although I like the town in principle, I must agree somewhat. I'm considering my future plans and having my own place closer to the middle of town would be appealing, but just getting the hell out and going off east or something would be nice, too.

Crime wise, most any larger city has crime rates closer to LV. What I think most don't have is the addictions.

July 19, 2007 12:53 AM Posted by motoman

Forgive me for sounding flippant earlier; in the Pacific Northwest we live & breathe this stuff. That said, some of the article's criteria were...odd to say the least, and it's notable that the casino resorts are overall small water users.

To keep this on the blog focus of Vegas and design: Of course these issues are not the responsibility of tourists or new Vegas residents. We're here to have a good time or get a good job, and I don't know anyone, myself included, who'd not come to Vegas for vacation because "they're not Green enough." That responsibility falls to local (and state) leaders, if they are indeed leaders and not merely facilitators.

I *love* -- LOVE -- coming to Vegas! detroit said that "green incentives" are an example of local gov't run amok, and it's a certainty that large entities like MGM Mirage or housing developers will "game the system." Yet there ought to be means in place to encourage and design for responsible growth, beyond "voluntary" removal of grass lawns and other such after-the-fact band-aids. To see the sheer randomness of the checkerboard subdivisions sprawling across the valley floor from an airplane or Google Earth is heartbreaking.

Pop quiz: (Locals not included. Hunter, Mike E, detriot, you guys are out too! ;)

How many know that what we call "Las Vegas" isn't one city, but several different municipalities along with much unincorporated area? And that The Strip, with all the biggest moneymaking properties, is not in the city of Las Vegas? No wonder they hadn't come up with workable regional water or transportation plans. And there are those who prefer it that way. (my Northwest roots showing again....see current "Travel & Leisure Magazine" on Portland, Oregon and livability, which is not achieved by accident or default.)

July 20, 2007 4:36 AM Posted by mike_ch

Water, like many services, is a county-oriented operation. LV, NLV, Paradise, Henderson, and surrounding towns are served by the same water group, Southern Nevada Water Authority.

SNWA has quite a budget, if I may say so myself. Their ads reminding you to water their lawn on certain days and other messages are flashy enough to not feel like local ads, and they recently opened up the large Desert Springs Preserve attraction on Valley View and Meadows.