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Las Vegas - the other side
Old 05-15-2010, 09:17 PM   #1
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Las Vegas - the other side

Just completed my first "semi-" week of consulting in the Las Vegas region and was surprised on several fronts.

I am based in a suburb called Summerlin, about 20-30 minutes from the strip. This is a planned community partially founded by Howard Hughes. It's comprised of villages each with its own town center, parks, etc. There are hundreds of miles of trails, and some impressive mountain views. In addition to the usual big box retailers, there are a number of family businesses, restaurants, etc. The locals don't think much about "the strip" but appreciate its financial advantages. Overall it doesn't seem too bad.

Within a short drive is Red Rock Canyon. A 3 hour drive gets you to Bryce and Zion as well as St. Charles, UT. Lake Mead is right next door, and the Grand Canyon just a few hours away.

Then again, LV is suffering from high crime and a dismal housing market. Its population seems a bit transient, and the gambling hype is hard to avoid. Health care is a mixed situation, but not up to par with many major cities I know.

My bias about this area was fairly negative, but I softened a bit this week when I realized there are lots of "just folks" living a nice life here.

The w*rk gig went well and I am actually looking forward to my next 5-day visit in July. I am also looking forward to the 3 weeks off in between visits.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of "the strip", but the other natural attractions sound appealing. Sounds like a nice situation for you.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:13 AM   #3
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The w*rk gig went well and I am actually looking forward to my next 5-day visit in July. I am also looking forward to the 3 weeks off in between visits.
Mmmm, hmmm...being off is nice isn't it?

I'm glad it's w*rking well for you Rich.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:13 AM   #4
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I'm not a fan of "the strip", but the other natural attractions sound appealing. Sounds like a nice situation for you.
The natural attactions I like are sports books. What could be more natural than football betting?

Ha
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:16 AM   #5
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I occasionally get dragged to Vegas for weekends with friends for some special occasion (birthdays, etc). I hate the strip, I can't stand the smoky casinos but I am not much of a gambler and not much for clubs either. The only thing bearable about the Vegas strip is some good restaurants.

But outside Vegas is a whole different story - the surrounding areas are really quite interesting. I've done day trips to Red Rock, Zion, Bryce and Death Valley.

So I agree, I like Vegas a whole lot more...when I'm not in Vegas itself...
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:22 AM   #6
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Then again, LV is suffering from high crime and a dismal housing market. Its population seems a bit transient, and the gambling hype is hard to avoid.
Every place has a few negative aspects, as I am sure you know of course.

If you don't buy a house there, then you won't have the problem of trying to sell it. But then, it may be hard to resist the bargains that surely abound.

High crime and a transient population do sound like they are worth thought, and I'm sure you have given them some thought.

The natural wonders nearby sound spectacular. Maybe you can drive there in your RV, and then spend one or more of your three week "vacations" visiting them and camping. Sounds like fun!
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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If you don't buy a house there, then you won't have the problem of trying to sell it!
Not, not really in the plans. For 5 days a month I can spring for a nearby business-oriented hotel (no casino, decent breakfasts daily, WiFi, 3 blocks from work, can store stuff there between visits, etc. And it's on their nickel.

But you could do worse than LV if you wanted to move to the desert. As a former Tucsonian, I know that the lifestyle has its appeal.

As to the RV, we are trying to figure out how to pre-position it near LV, then use it as a jump-off point for the parks and visits to the San Francisco area. It's not simple: it's a full week's drive out there, gotta store it there, and probably avoid the weeks of > 100 degree weather; plus it sometimes freezes in the deep winter so that's a concern. Seems like the best timing will be early fall, maybe October. What a great area for RVing.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #8
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Couple of other interesting places in LV. Both out north, one is Lake Las Vegas, interesting area, with its own personal lake and boating, and also the Garden of the Gods, nice rock formations.
Las Vegas does have its charms.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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Great to hear from you Rich!

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Health care is a mixed situation, but not up to par with many major cities I know.
Please do elaborate if possible!
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #10
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It is indeed good to hear from you. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your working gig and look forward to the next time. You will have a lot of time to explore the area. I think that Bryce was one of the prettiest places that I have ever been.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #11
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The w*rk gig went well and I am actually looking forward to my next 5-day visit in July. I am also looking forward to the 3 weeks off in between visits.

Eak - last time I was in Vegas in July it was so hot my sandals nearly melted (they felt like was walking on flat pieces of paper)... Vegas in the fall or spring is much more tolerable!
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:03 PM   #12
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Glad to hear you are liking it. We loved all the attraction you mentioned on our RV trip last year. The Great Basin is also very nice in upstate. We were there in late June and it was hot but the RV air did not have a problem keeping up surprisingly. It did better than in the Southeast which was a couple of degrees cooler but a 100% more humid!

I would not worry about the winter. We have stored and camped in ours in the cold months down to 9 degrees with no problem and winterizing does not take long.

Lake Mead was shockingly low last summer. Is it up any?
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #13
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We lived in LV for three yeas in early 70's. At that time, and I don't think it has changed, Vegas had a tightly controlled press. The local paper controlled the major news feeds out and bad news just did not get out to the world. The owner of the paper admitted it in an interview.

One of the nice things about Vegas is you can get services 24 hours a day. The place never closes. The nursery on base was open 24 hours a day 6.5 day a week! They closed for 6 hours Sunday night to clean the place.

On the other hand the business of Vegas in money. They made nothing in the town so everything had to be imported. Stuff was expensive. Crime was high, but as I said, you would never know it if you didn't go there.

It is, however, a great place to visit, if only for people watching!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #14
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At that time, and I don't think it has changed, Vegas had a tightly controlled press. The local paper controlled the major news feeds out and bad news just did not get out to the world. The owner of the paper admitted it in an interview.
You mean what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:02 AM   #15
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Absolutely! Vegas is the one place the AF sent us we would not retire to!
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:10 AM   #16
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Within a short drive is Red Rock Canyon. A 3 hour drive gets you to Bryce and Zion as well as St. Charles, UT. Lake Mead is right next door, and the Grand Canyon just a few hours away.



.

That sounds like a great location for exploring !
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:09 AM   #17
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Does it rain as much in Vegas as it does on CSI?
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:15 AM   #18
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Eak - last time I was in Vegas in July it was so hot my sandals nearly melted (they felt like was walking on flat pieces of paper)... Vegas in the fall or spring is much more tolerable!
Tampa in July ain't much better.

Back in the day, it took me about 2-3 weeks to develop heat tolerance in Tucson, just long enough that casual visitors and vacationers never quite made the cut.

But yeah, hot is hot.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:24 AM   #19
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Sounds like a pretty good gig for 5 days a month. Not somewhere you would live full time, but fun for a few days a month. I would love exploring all the canyons near by.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Just completed my first "semi-" week of consulting in the Las Vegas region and was surprised on several fronts.

I am based in a suburb called Summerlin, about 20-30 minutes from the strip. This is a planned community partially founded by Howard Hughes. It's comprised of villages each with its own town center, parks, etc. There are hundreds of miles of trails, and some impressive mountain views. In addition to the usual big box retailers, there are a number of family businesses, restaurants, etc. The locals don't think much about "the strip" but appreciate its financial advantages. Overall it doesn't seem too bad.

Within a short drive is Red Rock Canyon. A 3 hour drive gets you to Bryce and Zion as well as St. Charles, UT. Lake Mead is right next door, and the Grand Canyon just a few hours away.

Then again, LV is suffering from high crime and a dismal housing market. Its population seems a bit transient, and the gambling hype is hard to avoid. Health care is a mixed situation, but not up to par with many major cities I know.

My bias about this area was fairly negative, but I softened a bit this week when I realized there are lots of "just folks" living a nice life here.

The w*rk gig went well and I am actually looking forward to my next 5-day visit in July. I am also looking forward to the 3 weeks off in between visits.
I think you mean St, George, UT. You also forgot Mt. Charleston complete with a ski resort. The great thing about Vegas, besides the stuff mentioned is that the casinos bring in some great dining and shows. Vegas has great food, both on the strip and off. The shows are top notch, and not just the Vegas style shows. All kinds of headline acts from rock concerts to comedians. Shopping is pretty spectacular too. The strip isn't bad if you learn to get around and avoid the crowds. Great place to people watch.
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