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The Death Of Las Vegas

There are quite a few U.S. cities that are complete and utter economic disaster zones in 2010 (Detroit for example), but there is something about the demise of Las Vegas that is absolutely stunning.  In recent decades, Las Vegas has become a symbol for the over-the-top affluence and decadence of America.  But now it is a microcosm of the economic nightmare that has gripped the entire nation.  When the subprime mortgage crisis stuck, no major U.S. city was more devastated than Las Vegas.  When the recession went from bad to worse, Americans decided that they really didn’t need to gamble so much and casino revenues plummeted.  Suddenly unemployment started to increase dramatically in Vegas and even today it continues to soar.  Like so many other cities that are highly dependent on tourism and entertainment, Las Vegas has gone from boom to bust.  Local officials are hoping that the worst will soon be over, but the truth is that the worst is yet to come.  As the U.S. economy continues to unravel, average Americans will be spending what little money they do have to put a roof over their heads and to feed their families.   The truth is that the glory days of Las Vegas are over and they are not coming back.     

Already, the number of unemployed in Las Vegas is reaching unprecedented levels.  Unemployment rates for the state of Nevada and for the city of Las Vegas both set new records during the month of April.  In Las Vegas the unemployment rate in April was 14.2%.  For the entire state the unemployment rate was 13.7%.

Of course those are just the “official” numbers.  We all know that the “real” unemployment numbers are much higher.

For example, the “official” unemployment figure is about 14 percent in the state of Michigan right now.  But if you actually believe that 86 percent of able-bodied workers in the state of Michigan are employed, then perhaps you would be interested in an offer to purchase the Golden Gate Bridge as well.

Elliott Parker, an economist at the University of Nevada, Reno says that the record-setting unemployment numbers in Nevada are just part of a larger trend…. 

“Nevada has been losing jobs since March 2008, and we are continuing to do so.”

But where the state of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas have really been hammered is in the housing industry.

It is estimated that a whopping 65 percent of all homes in the state of Nevada are underwater.

Let that sink in for a bit.

65 percent of all home owners with a mortgage in the state of Nevada owe more than their homes are worth.

Talk about an implosion.

Nationally, the number of homes that are “underwater” is about 24 percent.  That is an all-time record for the entire nation, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the nightmare that is unfolding in Nevada and in Las Vegas.

And the number of foreclosures taking place in Nevada is absolutely breathtaking.

According to RealtyTrac, Nevada is still ranked number one for foreclosure filings.  In fact, one out of every 79 Nevada homes received a foreclosure filing in the month of May alone. 

Nevada’s foreclosure rate is now five times the national average.

By just about any measure, the economy of Nevada is a complete and total disaster.

A reader recently sent an email describing the economic horror that is unfolding in Las Vegas.  No matter what you may think about the city, the truth is that it is sad to see any great U.S. city fall to pieces like this….

“Las Vegas is a goner. The homeless population is out of control. The real estate is far worse than I have seen in the media (no surprise there). The towers of condos are ninety five percent vacant with zero activity. The streets and parks are in decline. Local governments are busy making cuts and fighting unions. When I ride the streets they are deserted, a big change from 2006. The major casino companies have all but moved the casinos out of Nevada. Rooms and restaurants have been closing for years, even while they finished the new projects. The entire town is a skeleton staff providing substandard service and decaying properties. I still work for one of the majors which is in bankruptcy. When the next wave hits there is nowhere to cut. It will be a game of dominoes with the Wynn properties the only ones left standing. I see the ninety nine cent breakfast making a comeback. The bullet train a day late and a few billion dollars short.”

So is there any hope for Las Vegas?

Well, if the U.S. economy gets back up off of the operating table and roars back to life there is little doubt that millions of Americans would once again soon be flying there to gamble away their discretionary income.

But the truth is that any “revival” that is going to happen in Vegas is going to be very short-lived.

The U.S. economy as a whole is caught in a death spiral, and we are about to see a repeat of the housing crash that devastated Las Vegas so badly the first time around.

No, there really isn’t any way that the death of Las Vegas can be avoided.  Just like the U.S. economy as a whole, it is inevitably doomed.  The numbers don’t lie.

The grand total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.  That is a far greater level than the U.S. ever approached during the Great Depression.

The entire U.S. economy is a house of cards built on a gigantic pile of debt and paper money, and it is only a matter of time until it all comes crashing down.

But of course that isn’t stopping the U.S. government from spending even more money and getting us all into even more debt.

According to a recent Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.

But as many of you who have experienced this on a personal level know, getting into continually increasing amounts of debt never ends well.

So do any of you have a tale to tell about the city where you live?  Do you find yourself caught in the middle of an economic nightmare?  Feel free to leave a comment telling us what is happening in your area of the United States….

****UPDATE****

A number of readers have chimed in with some very insightful comments.  A sampling is below….

Vegas Bob:

I lived here in Vegas from 1998-2006 and moved back at the beginning of 2010. I worked in Corporate Finance for one of the largest casino operators up until I retired.

The article is spot on. Compared to its heyday in 2005-2006, Las Vegas today is an economic disaster zone. The condo I sold in 2006 for $172,500 now goes for $48,900 – a 72% haircut.

It’s not getting any better. Real estate prices are resuming their descent, now that the $8,000 homebuyer tax bribe is gone.

The so-called economic recovery is for wealthy people only. Everyday people just keep getting the shaft. Obama is just another Republican with a ‘D’ after his name.

I’m glad I was smart enough to rent a place instead of buying one. I’m getting the hell out of this hellhole when my lease is up at year-end.

Tiara:

I am born and raised Vegas. When I say I was raised in Vegas I don’t mean a casino. I mean the middle of the dessert 30 miles north from the strip with the lizards and tumbleweeds. Vegas and I have a love hate relationship. I have seen this the growth in this town blow up in my face and now it is imploding just like an old worn out casino. It has been a crazy ride but due to the economy I will most likely be leaving Las Vegas soon. Growing up in this town has been interesting and leaving it will be bittersweet.

Craig:

I lived in vegas in 2006 and have been back to visit many times. I was there recently for the first time after the economy imploded in late 2008—That town is a shell of it’s former self.

On any given night there are half the people on the strip that there used to be. The service even in the 5-star hotels has declined. You can see the lack of morale, sucked from the faces of the wokrers.

I loved this town in its hay day. Right now, it’s pretty sad.

Dolly:

Vegas was, and is, easy to understand. I’m in the musical equipment business– audio– and we go to Trade Shows.

These are held all over the world, but let’s contrast just two places, Los Angeles and Vegas:

If you go to Los Angeles, you will visit with the worlds best engineering talent, and a solidly-grounded people that are there to PRODUCE something OF VALUE. You have small manufacturers, Farm and Ranch people, Oil people, the film industry and plenty of unspoiled, honest, clean-living young people who work hard, and then play hard. Many are Surfers, etc., and are a breath of Fresh Air.

In short, a business convention or trade show in this city is a TREAT.

Now, let’s look at Las Vegas. Everything that’s big there is built around money manipulation and power. No one gives a damn about anybody else. Got a brilliant idea? One that Los Angelinos would want to encourage you to develop and succeed at? NOT in Vegas! Any Casino in town handles more money than that in a microsecond. Besides– who are YOU? YOU don’t matter. Vegas gets all the big shows and all the big stuff– so YOU DON’T COUNT.

Want to hold a convention in a DECENT CITY– say L.A., or Denver? SORRY– Vegas will move right in– bribe the show principals and it WILL be held in Vegas. Look at what happened to the National Finals Rodeo– Oklahoma City was GREAT, but VEGAS has STOLEN it.

Vegas deserves the worst that can happen to it– GOOD RIDDANCE!

Bob:

LV was built by losers. I’ve lived in & near LV since ‘89, watched it grow cancerously, and now the tumor is shrinking… good riddance indeed to a grand delusion. This city is not electrified by the dam — it is fed with coal-generated power from Moapa. Fake Lake Mead is dying too ( and the city is fed by one old pipeline that can break down at any time … There is no primary industry here, just gambling and military — everyone here (except me, of course ) is living the Big Lie. The place is a death trap… stay away!

BD:

I recently went back to visit my old neighborhood (moved out of vegas and sold my house in summer of ‘08) and talked with a few of my neighbors. Apparently its so bad they dont even park their cars on the streets anymore because “these damn people siphon gas out of your gas tank”.  No lie.  And this is a nice gated neighborhood in Henderson….

  • de malfosse

    *Opinion*

    I live in the 23rd Congressional District of NY. The political & finacial influences, having destroyed their own NY nest, have no other plan than to collect welfare payments from the rest of the US via the “economic engine” – as called by the local paper – Fort Drum.

    What these have done is to use for a foundation an entity that is funded entirely through taxation; that is, money that is either stolen, borrowed, printed, or any combination thereof.

    Obviously this cannot last. It is a failed economic scheme. It does nothing to create wealth. The gap between those with gov’t jobs vs those without is growing both in numbers and economic power.

    One third of the jobs in the 23rd district that pay $85,000 and more annually are all located in one place – Ft Drum.

    So keep sending those welfare checks to New York even as my fellow hypocrite New Yorkers bitch about paying for NYC.

  • Fred

    Vegas convention business was damaged by a few careless comments from president Obama. I’m amazed that he had any support at all from Senator Reid or the SEIU after that.

  • Patrick

    Would like to report on the death of the musical arts as a way of life for professional full time musicians. Live in the San Diego area now. In 1971, I got a job playing guitar at a bar/restaurant in Sterling, IL for $50 per night, 5 nights per week. Made a decent living. Enough to pay rent at a small boarding house, buy a $100 Chevy (that I drove for 15,000 miles then sold for $100), buy some musical equipment. Threw my guitar in my covered Chevy and headed west. Played various gigs, then decided to go back to college. No need to unveil the past 30+ years, but I do alright as a small business owner. Fast forward the videotape to 2010 where the dollar has lost 85% of its purchasing power compared to 1972 when Nixon took America off the gold standard. Meanwhile, have resurrected my musical talents and interests. Was able to get a decent gig in 2001 playing for $100 per night. Since 2006, things have deteriorated badly for full time musicians. After 2.5 years of playing at a nice restaurant (2008-10) in Oceanside Harbor, was replaced by open mike night. Why pay any musician, when you can get dozens of musicians to spend $20 each in drinks to get their 10 minutes on stage? At a nice restaurant nearby, there are 80 bands vying for 30 spots per month. If you are lucky, you get to play once every other month for $25-$75 per person. But it gets worse. At another nearby coffee house, there are brilliant musicians (studio quality) who wait patiently for their turn to play for FREE. Entertainment is booked for 3 months in advance, with musicians required to sign a waiver form stating that they play only their original music, because the predatory licensing fee attorneys are continuously trolling for anyone playing copyrighted music, which requires the restaurant to pay a quarterly licensing fee to the music house (ASCAP or BMI). You may be a brilliant musician, but you ain’t getting paid in San Diego (or other places, probably), because there are plenty of brilliant musicians who will work for free, just to have a live stage.

  • MrPotato

    I wonder if Vegas will one day be totally abandoned, like I mean if it gets worse and then if power and gas prices go up vegas would be badly located (need for strong AC and so much light, and located so far out that you need gas to get there).

    I REALLY want to experience Vegas before that,
    but so far despite you guys saying it has economic problems I see little evidence of any price-drop.

    I really hope that the dollar will fall slightly then I will be on my way from euro to Vegas immidiately, but so far everything there is super-expensive compared to UK (mostly because of the strong dollar atm I suppose)

  • http://www.bottlerocketws.com Craig Mason

    I lived in vegas in 2006 and have been back to visit many times. I was there recently for the first time after the economy imploded in late 2008—That town is a shell of it’s former self.

    On any given night there are half the people on the strip that there used to be. The service even in the 5-star hotels has declined. You can see the lack of morale, sucked from the faces of the wokrers.

    I loved this town in its hay day. Right now, it’s pretty sad.

  • Matt

    Good riddance vegas – can’t say I’m sad to see you go.

  • Rade

    What can one say, the US is getting back what it did to others for economic growth.
    This is sad but it’s a fact one cannot ignore!

  • D

    Good riddance, den of iniquity.

  • sharonsj

    Isn’t the Republican woman running for senator in Nevada against gambling and liquor? I find that truly bizarre.

    Anyway, when people are going broke, they can’t afford to travel to Las Vegas to gamble or eat in fancy restaurants. The only people making money now are the rich, and there aren’t enough of them to support all the casinos and high-priced stores and four-star restaurants. Maybe big business should have thought of that before they sucked the life out of this country.

  • LaughingatU

    So what who cares about Vegas. I hope it gets swallowed up in a big sinkhoel and all the money whores with it.

  • BD

    I recently went back to visit my old neighborhood (moved out of vegas and sold my house in summer of ’08) and talked with a few of my neighbors. Apparently its so bad they dont even park their cars on the streets anymore because “these damn people siphon gas out of your gas tank”. No lie. And this is a nice gated neighborhood in Henderson….

  • msVegas

    Vegas is a ****hole. plain and simple. a destroyer of lives. a place for the rich and famous, not ordinary folk who vacation there just to lose all their money then jump from a hotel window. suicide rate is double the national average. leave the “strip” area and you risk your life. this is really a place full of gangs, homeless, druggies, you name it. they wander the streets aimlessly 24 hrs a day. i know one would say there are other cities that are worse, but they are already dead places. Vegas is alive and the media blackout is strong. this place was built on other peoples blood and money. like Matt, i say good riddance to the toilet bowl of ameroca…….

  • http://www.internationalrealestatelistings.com/list_property Taylor White, P.H.D.

    I love me some Vegas – to visit.

    My favorite – was on that Dr Rey 90210 show – a “stripper” who was getting a boob job – owned something like 5 houses.

    Of course, each one with a pay option arm, little down, the usual.

    Vegas real estate still has a long fall to go.

  • Jeff

    I’d have to say good riddens. I went to Vegas 4 years ago and there was nothing but scum of the earth out there. Buffet meals cost $56 for two people. People were rude and invaded your personal space, cut in front of you in line, everyone smoked. The place was just filthy and trashy. But being that there’s nothing but gambling and smut out there, the only people that are going to flock to that place are all the same people that will get to see each other again when they go straight to hell where they all belong. Definitely not a place to take a family and I’m glad I didn’t do that.

  • sherry

    Its called Sodom and Gomorrah

  • http://www.digitaluniverse.net/MonSanc/ William Blight

    In Montana, some of us have begun preparing for the inevitable collapse. With planning and group cooperation, ranch and farm people can live quite well. If you would like to know how to prepare, just go to my site.
    By the way Montana has a balanced budget. We are a commodity-based state and people will always need food, petroleum and minerals.

  • JLouise

    This is a great article, and I totally agree. I lived there from 1999-2004, and even though the economy suffered after 9/11, I never dreamed it would fall apart.

    How long until it is a ghost town? Also, the stories from the other posters were insightful.

  • Ella

    In April of 2010, I went to Vegas for a convention. (not as a retailer) Stayed at the Venetian and the service was awful. The room was priced at $239 at night, as a special. The city was crowded as were the streets. The food was way over priced and not good quality.

  • Mark

    Socialize topless dancing and send the girls to Afghanistan to support the troops. A win/win for both.

  • James de Juste II

    Matt, I’ll say amen to that. I just hope that those out of work will find work elsewhere doing other things.

  • http://www.prophecies.org Mark

    America is just beginning to receive payback for her great sins.

    Read the astounding prophecies at Prophecies.Org

  • Joe W

    I returned recently from a trade show in Vegas. While I believe that the circumstances of the average “Vegan” are as dire as described, tourism has abated only slightly. The taxi lines are much shorter, but the casinos are still full and it is still necessary to push through crowds to do anything on the weekends.

    I expect though, that there has been a “hollowing” of demand. Weekends are full but weeks are vacant. Next may come less weekend demand, etc.

    So, the tourism business isn’t dead – although the residents are close!

    -J

  • Vegan

    I live in Las Vegas and this report is absolute BS of the highest order. The city is doing fine considering the overall economy and continues to be a great place to live and visit. Article was probably written by a sore loser or bible thumper wishing the wrath of god on us, get over yourselves and find something productive to right about like how the republicans destroyed the economy.

  • http://www.rc-bearings.com Paul

    I lived in Phoenix, AZ until just recently. I took a job in the UK in 2007 so decided to sell my home there. A year before I sold it, the value was $300,000. I sold it for $249,000. The ONLY reason mine sold in 4 days (while others on the market for a year or more) was because I invested $25,000 in upgrades and improvements prior to putting it on the market. Fast forward to today. You can now buy that same house for $98,000.

    One major thing that many people forget is that you don’t need to worry about housing prices unless you need to sell.

  • William

    I used to drive an 18 wheeler over the road and the funniest thing I ever heard over the CB was as I approached Vegas. A “lady of the evening” came on the air advertising her business and proclaimed free coffee for drivers! After a moment of silence, a very Sam Elliot voice replied over the speaker….”Yeah, the coffee is free, but the cream and sugar will cost you an arm and a leg!”
    Will the last person in Lost Wages please turn off the light?

  • http://www.rense.com Mike

    I recently left West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in the Northeast. For years, I lived in downtown West Palm Beach, working as a cook at various restaurants, in Palm Beach, downtown WPB, and WPB.

    In the mid-90’s, I was working as a line cook at The Poinciana Club in Palm Beach, a members-only club with a theatre attached. About a year after working there, many Haitians began working in the kitchen. For the most part, they were excellent workers, and the the Haitians started having problems working with the blacks, saying they were lazy. At that time, I was making $9.50 an hour as a pantry (salads, sandwiches, desserts, cold section) cook. For a few years after that, I continued working in restaurants but my pay remain the same, or less, $9.50 – $8.50 an hour, and during this time many immigrants began working in restaurants and I suspect that they accepted lower wages, thus declining the wages for the entire kitchen crew. After exiting the restaurant jobs, I worked delivering furniture, delivering pizza, and odd jobs–usually small construction efforts. Ten years later, I decided to return to working in restaurants and could not find a job. And the jobs available started at $8 or $8.50 an hour. I was bothered that ten years later, wages remained the same or less. I blame this on the number of illegal immigrants that have infiltrated the job industry that, although they are often hard workers, work for lower wages.

    Thankfully, I have moved to the Northeast, where jobs are abundant, pay is higher ($10 and up), crime is lower, people are friendlier.

  • http://redux.50webs.com/ Watcher

    No matter what city your in, a bad scenario will develop. There are solutions, extremely good ones, but they require us to start thinking differently instead of just rebuilding the same monster and dying with it again.

    Please look at this instruction manual, its designed to provide you with some tools for adapting and creating prosperity in a world without leadership.

    http://redux.50webs.com/
    or
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_manualnewexistence.htm

    Everyone is at a different stage in this process; if you are not ready to change the way you live, please pass this on to others in case they are.

    Thank you.

  • charles

    hate to say I told ya so about OBAMA. he is a number one factor in the demise of vegas economy as well as that of others and there is far more to come. california is one of them

  • MAG

    I live in Sonoma County—you know: wine country. Here in Sebastopol housing remains strong. You think you’d get a nice home for a half a million but no. Wrong! You wouldn’t get squat.

  • Ray

    Bummer … for six long years, Vegas has been offered a new fresh water Source that can be developed (JOBS) to keep Lake Mead FULL and generating 2000 megawatts of RENEWABLE ENERGY from a structure that is already built. In addition a FULL Lake Mead ( 26.8 million acre feet) could serve as an emergency supply for California in the event of earthquake, drought or contamination of existing supplies.

    No one in Vegas ( Southern Nevada Water Authority or the Bureau of Reclamation) is willing to confidentially LISTEN for FREE ! Development of the Source has been guaranteed to be economically feasible, legal and won’t damage the environment or the water rights of anyone, anywhere.

  • chris

    Sorry vagas, It couldn’t happen to a better place. I think you need to re-elect Harry! At least he’ll provide the train for everyone to leave. Last one out turn out the lights!

  • dolly

    Vegas was, and is, easy to understand. I’m in the musical equipment business– audio– and we go to Trade Shows.

    These are held all over the world, but let’s contrast just two places, Los Angeles and Vegas:

    If you go to Los Angeles, you will visit with the worlds best engineering talent, and a solidly-grounded people that are there to PRODUCE something OF VALUE. You have small manufacturers, Farm and Ranch people, Oil people, the film industry and plenty of unspoiled, honest, clean-living young people who work hard, and then play hard. Many are Surfers, etc., and are a breath of Fresh Air.

    In short, a business convention or trade show in this city is a TREAT.

    Now, let’s look at Las Vegas. Everything that’s big there is built around money manipulation and power. No one gives a damn about anybody else. Got a brilliant idea? One that Los Angelinos would want to encourage you to develop and succeed at? NOT in Vegas! Any Casino in town handles more money than that in a microsecond. Besides– who are YOU? YOU don’t matter. Vegas gets all the big shows and all the big stuff– so YOU DON’T COUNT.

    Want to hold a convention in a DECENT CITY– say L.A., or Denver? SORRY– Vegas will move right in– bribe the show principals and it WILL be held in Vegas. Look at what happened to the National Finals Rodeo– Oklahoma City was GREAT, but VEGAS has STOLEN it.

    Vegas deserves the worst that can happen to it– GOOD RIDDANCE!

    Dol.

  • Tiara

    I am born and raised Vegas. When I say I was raised in Vegas I don’t mean a casino. I mean the middle of the dessert 30 miles north from the strip with the lizards and tumbleweeds. Vegas and I have a love hate relationship. I have seen this the growth in this town blow up in my face and now it is imploding just like an old worn out casino. It has been a crazy ride but due to the economy I will most likely be leaving Las Vegas soon. Growing up in this town has been interesting and leaving it will be bittersweet.

  • bigdrill

    las vegas would be a great place if there was no gambling-what a way to make money-stealing other peoples money-they call it “gaming”-rot in hell all you casino thieves-i hope you all starve-we can turn all the empty casinos into housing along with the empty hotels-what a bunch of filthy maggots

  • Jeff Ray

    I prefer Reno anyway

  • hold ya horses

    here’s de oddah side odda coin my bru..

    what else is vegas STILL a top of?

    #1 city with the most 4 star restaurants on earth
    #1 city for clubbing in the world..
    #2 most visited city in us w/39 mil visitors..
    #1 top grossing restaurant in the us
    Tao las vegas ($59,292,345 in 2009)
    #1 buffet city in world
    #1 highest retail rental per sq ft in the world – caesar palace forum shop..

    so, yeah, it’s down a bit, but right now,
    it’s still beats 90+% of other tourist destinations on the planet!!

  • Rick

    Thanks for that brilliant insight Matt.Las Vegas happens to be the home of Nellis Air Force Base and the home of 98% of the Nevada Test Site employees.You obviously couldn’t care less about those of us engaged in national defense but we have been hurt tremendously, not just casino owners.

  • D

    Yes, Vegas is going through some tough times because of the lack of tourists, yet it is important to realize that tourist towns don’t do well in a recession. The state of things there is temporary and all the bull about how “awful” it is and how “terrible” it is going to become is most likely sponsored by someone trying to sell gold or someone who gets their kicks by trying to scare or depress others. These doomsday profits aren’t gods and they certainly don’t know what the future will bring. I believe that if too many people believe the government “should” quit spending just don’t know enough about Kenzian economics and we could have a very serious depression yet in time that too will pass. Realize that in times like now those with money to invest are making far more profits than they ever do during prosperous times. Follow the money and then organize with others and demand jobs for the unemployed. Those with money pay for so much media propaganda that most people now are afraid of having a national health care program because it will be too expensive, well think of the money spent on our wars and imagine what that money could do to make the world a better place to live for most of us. Follow the money.

  • Rocker

    That’s such b.s ,, the editor makes Vegas out to be falling apart at the seems,, such bs.

    There are multiple offers going down hard on any home for sale that is bank owned r.e.o
    its so hard to open an escrow up on any reo home sale today.. There are more real estate sales now then any other year for Clark county this is a fact backed up by the board of Realtors.

    The editor has no hands on buiness experience with this city at all,, he’s another mindless follwer in luv with his tv set.

  • silversabre

    No nation in the history of civilization
    has devalued itself to prosperity!

  • Dan

    I live in Vancouver, Wa and when I go to the store or go out to the movies, a dinner, you name it…I see no difference.

    If I never read it on the internet, I would not know there was ever a problem.

    That said, what’s scary is knowing there are those that actually live in that fantasy.

  • AE Designer

    How often has South Florida suffered a “Boom and Bust” economy based on speculative retirement communities and building complexes, seasonal tourism, exclusive hotels and clubs, and the entertainment industry?

    The infrastructure of South Florida still survives despite the many social and political changes that have plagued the tourist economy for a half century or more.

    Given the environmental conditions brought on by Hurricane Katrina, the current BP Oil spew, and the future ecological deterioration of the Gulf region, one might consider Las Vegas as a potential haven for disenfranchised populations.

    The existing infrastructure of Las Vegas could easily be transformed into a city of the future beyond Disney World.

  • http://www.rexresearch.com Bob Nelson

    LV was built by losers. I’ve lived in & near LV since ’89, watched it grow cancerously, and now the tumor is shrinking… good riddance indeed to a grand delusion. This city is not electrified by the dam — it is fed with coal-generated power from Moapa. Fake Lake Mead is dying too ( and the city is fed by one old pipeline that can break down at any time … There is no primary industry here, just gambling and military — everyone here (except me, of course ) is living the Big Lie. The place is a death trap… stay away !

  • Cynthia

    I stopped going to Cegas when all the workers were replaced with illegal immigrants. Greed finally destroyed Sin City!

  • James

    What a bunch of dooms day junk. I was in Las Vegas three weeks ago. Yes it has been hit hard and the strip had much less traffic than it did a few years ago maybe 80% less. Yes, that is a big drop, but, as the excess works out, Las Vegas will be back because it is the lowest cost fantasy getta-way on earth. Maybe 5 years to recovery.

  • VegasBob

    I lived here in Vegas from 1998-2006 and moved back at the beginning of 2010. I worked in Corporate Finance for one of the largest casino operators up until I retired.

    The article is spot on. Compared to its heyday in 2005-2006, Las Vegas today is an economic disaster zone. The condo I sold in 2006 for $172,500 now goes for $48,900 – a 72% haircut.

    It’s not getting any better. Real estate prices are resuming their descent, now that the $8,000 homebuyer tax bribe is gone.

    The so-called economic recovery is for wealthy people only. Everyday people just keep getting the shaft. Obama is just another Republican with a ‘D’ after his name.

    I’m glad I was smart enough to rent a place instead of buying one. I’m getting the hell out of this hellhole when my lease is up at year-end.

  • Jennifer Scott

    Well, no tears here – they were born by sin and should die by sin – I’m no bible thumper, but the city is filfth from top to bottom ..

  • johan

    As one who worked lv before corp/greed flooded
    the town w/illegal mexicans .I love it!

  • redd

    A big part of Las Vegas losing, is that Indian Casinos are on the war path, and they are closer to urban areas. Why go all the to Vegas when you can drive only 15 minutes away from home. Woo Hoo!

  • ChewyBees

    The writing for all of this was on the proverbial wall even in the dot com bubble of the nineties. I have no reason to believe that the economic demise of (what the citizenry believes to be) the United States is anything but purposeful sabotage by foreign agents bent on our destruction. Every one of our politicians has sold out to foreign interests. All of the media is controlled by foreigners. All telecommunications are owned by foreigners. Believe it or not (and I’m sure most wont because you still have a semblance of a life left) the District of Columbia is foreign owned land. I’m not saying any of this because I think anyone can stop the the train wreck, but to ask you all to stop believing anything you hear or read or see from the corporations, most notably the Federal corporation. They have lied about the economy, about the laws, about the BP economic disaster, about their international under the table dealings, about the war on (for) drugs, about the constitution, about Health Care, about the Bill of Rights, about Income Taxes, About The Federal Reserve Banking Scheme, about the UN, about the National Debt, about the CIA, about THEIR wars, about THEIR allies, about THEIR enemies, about God, about Global Warming, about free energy, about ownership of the planet, about Immigration, about the election process, about your family, about your future, about your past, about, about, about all lies. Believe any of it and you are a sucker. You think Vegas Gambling is suckers betting? Hah, at least you had a percentage chance against the house. The house of Cards called FEDCO has all the advantage and will see to it that you are stripped of everything and thrown out on the street. You can’t stop the deceptive fiction, but you can make the choice to not support it any longer. Give it some contemplation before you are unable to support yourself or your family anymore. God’s Blessings and Wisdom to you all…

  • Mike

    The fall of Rome all over again-a culture of greed, sex, and crime. Such societies decimate over time. History has a tendency to repeat itself.

  • http://www.squareandc.net VivekAnand

    AE Designer up there has the best idea. Will anyone listen though?

    I’m Indian, spent 12 years in the US and saw the Boom-Bust period from 1995 to 2006. What a ride. Feel bad for the programmed population at large, caught like deer in the headlights of what is coming straight at them.

  • Larry

    I don’t gamble because the odds are heavy against the player. Attended several trade shows there over the years though. The last one five years ago. Everything there is vastly over priced. When we left, I told my wife that we would NEVER be there again.

  • Steve

    I used to go to Vegas with friends and family usually twice a year for 15 years. We stopped going a couple of years ago because most of the friendly white faces have been replaced by cold brown faces. The casino we used to stay at replaced most of the White counter staff and black jack dealers with Mexicans and other foreigners. We didn’t feel as safe as we used to when walking around Vegas at night. White people want to be around White people while on vacation, not in a multi-racial hell.

  • Enzo

    Whomever said Vegas has the best nightclubs in the world have never been to an Ibiza, Moscow or many other Euro nightclubs. Vegas is weak. Vegas bows to European nightclubs.

  • http://www.accessvegas.com Access Vegas

    I’ve lived in Las Vegas for 17 years and you couldn’t pry me out of here. As others have noted, this article is completely amiss.

    Las Vegas went through a boom. Too many people moved here. Too many people bought investment property here. Too many new hotel rooms were built. Houses were bought at 300% over normal value.

    People who bought during the boom were unwise and thought it would last forever (no boom lasts forever). Those of us who have been here forever saw the boom and bust coming from a mile away. (I sold my house at the top, have been renting, and now am looking to buy again. Sell high, buy low).

    Note: I realize that a house is worth at any given time what people are willing to pay for it. Realistically speaking, homes are closer to actual (long term) value right now.

    First of all, visitor numbers are up for 8 straight months. Visitors write us when they get home and say “I thought it was going to be a ghost town… and it was jammed”. Don’t take my word: Check out video from the past couple of months:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tazVAtCHxk (random crowd shots a couple minutes into the video)

    We are doing 2004 numbers in both numbers of people actually employed and in the number of visitors. 2004 was considered to be a banner year. We simply had too many people move here for construction jobs. Now they are leaving.

    The high unemployment is due to construction workers who are still in town. They will eventually leave as no new construction is on the horizon and their unemployment isn’t going to last forever. When they go, you’ll see the unemployment rate drop back to around the national average here.

    I’d like to know where these deserted streets are when I’m out sitting in traffic. Don’t I wish. And, the streets and parks are in fine shape, thank you very much. I can’t remember the last time I saw a pothole driving around town.

    Thousands of new rooms were added to Las Vegas this year, and the opening of Cosmopolitan later in the year will add 3000 more. The only room closures were a few hundred at Binion’s and The Sahara. So, anther serious error in this article.

    Restaurants are opening all the time. I know, because we get the press releases. A new restaurant at Town Square (south end of The Strip) just hired 250 people.

    So, all the hard data plus empirical data are at odds with what this article presents.

    In fact, the housing “crisis” here is making Las Vegas a VERY affordable place to live and do business. Homes are dirt cheap. Commercial rents are dirt cheap. Entrepreneurs who can do their business from anywhere they have a computer and cell phone are coming starting to move in slowly but surely as the word gets out. And since they come here employed, they aren’t driving up the unemployment numbers.

    I am a betting man, and if the author would like to contact me and place wagers on the movement of statistics noted (visitor volume up, unemployment numbers down, number of rooms open and other hard stats that we can revisit in 12 months), by all means contact me. I’ll be happy to take your money!

    Ted Newkirk
    Managing Editor
    Las Vegas Insider Vibe

  • Lennie Pike

    Hey Vegas: You might help yourself out a little if you start treating your customers better like the Mob did. A good starting place would be to stop stacking the decks in your Blackjack games by intentionally clumping all of the high cards and low cards together by using shuffling techniques and frequent changing to new cards. That is cheating which equals fraud and theft. What goes around comes around. Maybe just that one thing is causing YOUR loss. From and ex great lone wolf Uston Advanced Point Count player who is way way way up on you from years of full time play in the 70’s and 80’s. Shuffle the decks and I will come back and do business with you.

  • http://www.theamericansheeple.com TellMeNoLies

    Here’s a great idea; sell you house in Vegas that used be worth $480,000 (inflated, of course)and now worth $130,000 (deflated, of course) and move to the Gulf Coast.

    You can get beach front property there that used to be worth $990,000 (inflated, of course) and now worth maybe, say $36,000 (real value). You’ll need to like oil in your back yard (soon to be in your living room) because that’s what all the property there comes with now. No extra charge!

    http://www.theamericansheeple.com/specialpublication.html

  • john

    How did it get this way. 35 plus years ago
    church leaders would speak to the church members and politicians about SIN and those things of wrong doing i.e. moral conduct etc. But 301 C rules came about to shutdown churches from speaking on political issues and advising their members of right and wrong concerning up coming laws and such. This rule started to get the anti christian folk a different meaning of the separation of church and state. It was changed from what it really meant to oh! can’t have any public display of Christianity because it might hurt another persons faith and a proposed separation between church and state on these matters. So the ten commandments were removed from the courts and other public places and school was not allowed to have public prayers even to read the bible for literature due to activist Judges. Our founding fathers formed this great country from many bible faiths and deemed that there should be a separation of church and state meaning that the state would not sponsor a church i.e. compel all to follow a particular faith but made it a choice by giving everyone inalienable rights to be free and choose to follow the faith they desire. Congress and the Both houses made a public law decreeing the Bible the ‘Word of God’ and that all Americans should follow it, public law 97-280. This law is not spoken about by those who oppose Christianity nor by the politicians of our day. So here we are, just a short time later in years where political, religion, and ethic corruption is the maximum, honesty is nowhere, and if challenged, then you are ostracized in every way possible so the they can Win. People Read the Bible and see if God did not strike judgment when he said he would on those who disobey Him. Greed is just one of many SINs. Lets call it what it is. Not some political name that waters down what it is….Politics, I misspoke…No He lied, actually lied to get a favor, or political points. A murder, thief, lire etc. all have one common syndrome. They all Sinned. To take America back we can not be just go through politics at the poles. It must start with The Word of God and all obey it. Have a Change of heart to Put God first in our lives. Las Vegas and other places like it will reap judgment in due time.
    John

  • Rev Reggie Jackson

    It is a horrible thing what the new world order antichrist beast system is doing to America. They are the International Banker/Bilderbergers/Illuminati and the Freemasonry devils who are bring America to economic ruin so that they can bring us into their new world order antichrist beast system. And this system will eventually require everybody to take their zombie making and mind stealing and mind controlling mark of the beast chip in their forehead or hand in the very near future.

    But first they must crash the banks and our economy and dollar to totally enslave us and make us their zombie beast chipped drones. And if you take that mark (chip); you will forever be cursed by God because it will mean that you have given your soul and life to Lucifer and his antichrist beast leader son. Read Revelation 14:9-11.

    And if you don’t take the beast chip; they will kill you and martyr you. But don’t worry. You will go to heaven and live like a god or goddess if you deny it because you believe in Jesus and His Fathers salvation!! While they will be defeated at Armageddon and be judged and thrown into the great lake of fire and brimstone. Where they and those who took the mark of the beast will be in the great lake of fire and brimstone screaming and yelling their heads off forever and ever and ever!!

  • http://electromeds.com Michael Alpough

    “The fall of Rome all over again-a culture of greed, sex, and crime. Such societies decimate over time. History has a tendency to repeat itself.”

    Yes, history really does repeat itself because those in charge make sure that we never find out what really happened. So we seem doomed to repeat, by design…

  • ew_keane

    The party is now over.
    Now what will you do?

  • Vegas Paul

    I’ve been living here in Vegas since March 2007, and can honestly say that the truth is someone in the middle between what Ted NewKirk described and all of criticism frm everyone3 else. It’s not a total disaster yet. It does have it’s share of many problems (all correctable) as well as alot of upside. There is a new world class art museum called the Smith Center under construction. The Fontenbleau hotel/casino was bought not too long ago and will eventually employ 4,000 people once completed. There is talk of a high speed train connecting the LA area to Vegas which ought to bring in alot of people who otherwise would spare themselves the long car ride over the desert. The are also serious plans to build a new state of the art 20,000 seat sports arena to host an NBA and/or NHL team as well as a new Pro baseball/football stadium. There is still construction going on here and there. It’s not totally dead in that area either, albeit nothing like it used to be. We have a new bridge that is going to be completed by the end of this year that will go over the Colorado river and by pass the hoover bridge.
    It’s true the city is filled up with alot of corrupt assholes, but there are a good number of nice people who live here too. It’s just that they are a little standoffish and afraid to open up and talk with others because of all the con artist and predators ought there, So brush up on your telepathy. By the way, does your City have one of these? It just opened up. http://www.atomicnumber7.com

  • SpiceyMunchikin

    Vegas is Awesome. Go see the following, they will make you happy! :)

    1) Le Reve, at the Wynn #1.

    2) Ka, MGM Grand.

    3) Love, MGM Mirage.

    4) Viva Elvis, Aria Hotel

  • Yaqui Doodler

    Yes it is sad what is happening here. My family has been here since the 50’s and I hear the stories of how things are dying here. Yes, the water is going down and true we get our energy from coal stolen from the Navajo Nation. We shouldn’t be here. But I was born and raised here and it is my home. I always hope to leave but I always meet some good people. We of Las Vegas are not swindlers.It’s always some jackass who screws it for us. I do hope more people leave this place. Have a small vacation here but don’t move here.

  • Phuc Mi Lo

    Good riddance to the thieves, whores, and sodomites

  • deepblue

    I’m in Vegas now, and I agree with what “Access Vegas” have said about what’s really going on here. Other negative comments might contain certain truth in them, but they’re overly exaggerated.

  • Awake

    @ Steve You said :
    Steve
    “June 12th, 2010 at 2:39 am
    I used to go to Vegas with friends and family usually twice a year for 15 years. We stopped going a couple of years ago because most of the friendly white faces have been replaced by cold brown faces. The casino we used to stay at replaced most of the White counter staff and black jack dealers with Mexicans and other foreigners. We didn’t feel as safe as we used to when walking around Vegas at night. White people want to be around White people while on vacation, not in a multi-racial hell.”

    Your a dinosaur mate. There are more brown people on earth than whites and they are becoming wealthier than us whites.Infact if it wasnt for those brown people in China lending our country money then the USA would have gone bankrupt many years ago.Dont discriminate because you will end up demonising those who would wish to help you just because they are brown skinned and embracing those who could not give a damn about you just because they are the same colour as you are.

  • patrick Bateman

    Man, I gotta get out there!The deals and comps have got to be outrageous!Where’s my travelagents number…..

  • Bill Batchelor

    The people who think that it will ever return to the way it was are morons. The American “dream” was destined to fall because it was built on fantasy. The chickens have come home to roost and Americans are getting one big reality check now and they don’t like it. It will never be the same again so get used to it!

  • Bill Coles

    That is the ebst news I’ve ever heard. I hope the place falls to the ground. It’s the most filthy place on earth. Gambling, whores, drugs and all kinds of crime. People making money dealing cards and the worst are the put bosses with their slick back hair. Hopefully Atlantic City will fold and the casinos used as warehouses. But what hurt them a lot had to be the casinos opening in other states. Because the high rolelrs will go to Vegas, but the small town gamblers which the casinos need stay home to the local casinos. So the popularity of the casinos lead to Vegas to fold.

  • Jim Bassett

    This coutnry really has nothing has nothing. It has no culture, except hip hop and rap. Europe is the place to be they have culture and they have beautiful cities. This country has nothing but skyscrapers. You can walk around European cities. Here you can’t even walk around a small town. The way they have laid out these cities here is awful. I can walk around small cities in Europe betetr than I can walk around large towns in America.

  • greg holland

    I have lived in Las Vegas since 1999 and it was a affordable to live when I first moved here. Then in the early to mid 2000s the affordability was replaced by Los Angeles like cost of living. Unfortunately the housing prices was artificially inflated by the great white,black,and American Hispanic escape of California. They sold their over inflated houses in southern California and came here to become little Donald Trumps buying three and four houses for the price of 1 in California. That started the home flipping craze also. In 2005 65 percent of all home sales in the Las Vegas area was speculators and investors. The new homes that was going up back then was being pre-sold 4-10 at a time to these speculators with bad loans. Due to reckless crooked buyers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and real estate agents the prices was artificially inflated. The home prices today are the actual prices should be for this area. The home buyers today are for the most part are single home buyers. I don’t think Las Vegas’s best days are behind us. I do think a Smarter,Leaner and more Common Sense days of Las Vegas will help us recover.

  • Von Rader

    Been to Vegas twice this year. Must of been unlucky because both times it was packed every where I went. Or person who wrote this article is trying to sensationalize it with half truths rumors and manipulated data.

  • Rebootd

    And you haven’t even mentioned the draining of the aquifers out West either, upon which cities like Las Vegas depend (the Colorado River as well.) Water may turn out to be an even bigger issue than financial crisis or Peak Oil. Water could be the ultimate renewable resource, but we blindly keep trying to irrigate deserts into gardens and crapping into drinking water and pouring agricultural chemicals into the rivers faster than nature can repair it. We are only screwing ourselves. The Earth itself could care less if we die of thirst or not and will simply shrug us off like so many fleas. For an incisive and humorous take on this subject, check out the George Carlin: The Universe Wanted Plastic video.

  • Rebootd

    For the “shake us off like fleas” reference from George Carlin, see his Saving the Planet video, which includes the previous part about Plastic. Excellent.

  • Jeff

    Las Vegas is a pathetic cesspool of hedonism. The place makes me sick, and I’ve never gone there and not left wishing that God would just smite the whole damn city(and I’m not even religious.)

    What does Vegas have to offer? Gambling, whores, drugs, transients? WOO-*******-HOO!!! Go crazy! Spend the kid’s college fund! Cheat on your spouse! DO SOME CRACK!!! After all, “What happens in Vegas…”

    Such a lovely place to live. I know I damn sure wanna raise my kids in Fantastic Las Vegas! Maybe my daughter could become a stripper and help dad out with the mortgage!

    We would be doing the world and the human consciousness a favor if we turned the whole place into a glass parking lot. Again, not religious, but Satan is alive and well in that hellhole.

    Screw Las Vegas.

  • Chilly Sands

    I love Las Vegas. I stay at the Bellagio, and it isn’t empty. Las Vegas bit off more than it could chew a few years back. Yes, the quality suffered.Some of the apartment buildings are flimsy. I watched them go up. There are bargains to be had right now in most every department. I stay away from the trendy “in” places, and aim for quality. I wish I could live there. The shopping is better. Vegas will survive.

  • xander cross

    @Steve. Why exactly are you a racist. Why would someone be dumb enough to gamble their money (savings) away in the first place? You making this about race while the government continutes to steal from you. You fight against “brown” people, but not “white” people in the government. Were were you during the Bush and Regan years?

  • FEDUP

    I live in So California. Ive been in the same house for 22 years in a town of 40,000. The last 6-7 years everything has changed here. Everything is in Spanish. All my neighbors give me a blank stare when I say hello. I think I’m one of a few who actually speaks English here.
    As far as the US goes,GODLESS nations will fall.
    We are on a slippery slope of no return.
    GET RIGHT,ITS ALMOST MIDNIGHT.

  • http://theforeverfamily.com Les

    All Vegas needs for a real comeback is ONE good rock and roll revue show (not an established limited audience oldie act) with rock hits from the 50’s to current, featuring a band with TWO Vegas reality-based TV shows running, one reno HGTV based where the band rehearses and lives in a trashed Vegas mansion and the other show about putting together the live show. Oh, the band has to have a major Oscar-winning movie star with three decades of pop music fans for all-ages across the board appeal. That tie-in triple-threat combo would bring tourists from all over the world back to Las Vegas in any economy and eventually with enough worldwide hits recall the years of Elvis at the Hilton. I’ll bet my life on it.

  • roberto

    Look at it this way – a dead American city is still better to live in than a live Russian city.

    That’s why they still flock here like lemmings.

  • JLouise

    Access Las Vegas is wrong. The article is spot on. I have no doubt that Access Las Vegas loves the city and is talented at promoting tourism, and will in fact probably be one of the last tourism promoters standing. But you WILL be one of the last ones standing.

  • Hie

    I am totally in shock of these California native bashers of Vegas. This town still OWNS anywhere in Kalifornia (The land where everything but dope is illegal)

    I will stay here for the rest of my life.. the town has everything. Fools bet against Las Vegas.. lol and we will be laughing as NYC and Kalifornia go bankrupt.

  • David

    32 American states are insolvent
    the rest of the them save 2 are floundering on insolvency.
    The worse has yet to hit them.
    in a year to 18 months things will be much worse and in 2-3 years even the last to know Americans will be aware of their plight.

    lost wars , oil stained beaches for decades if not more and no jobs.
    its going to be a mad max situation I feel bad for the Americans they are my neighbors but they have been living too long in the shadows of reality .

  • Glen Boogie

    I lived in Las Vegas for 2 1/2 years in 1991-93′ and really loathed the place in the end. Too many transients from everywhere else, the constant gambling, the ugly brown landscape, the corrupt government(mayor is a jewish mob lawyer, “Call Saul!”), the fascist cops, the melting heat.

    Rents then were expensive, which is unreal since Vegas is in the middle of a desert and one could build a city 20 times the size of Houston if they wanted too.

    I do not understand parents who would raise children in that pesthole. I wouldn’t raise a dog there.
    Nevada is number one in alcoholism, consumption of cigarettes and suicide. It is the only state with prostitution.

    I left “Lost Wages” in June of 1993 and never went back. Don’t want to go back.

  • bloodworm

    The problems with Vegas are going to be VERY long term. Their main source of sucker money came from the baby boomers of southern cal.

    These boomers have their own problems now and need to prepare for retirement. Putting money into tight slot machines is not part of the plan.

    RIP Vegas, you had a good 30 years or so.

  • A.M.F.

    I’d like to know where all these deserted streets are too. I remember driving around here about a year ago thinking “we’re in the middle of a recession? It sure doesn’t seem like it with all the traffic and shops and restaurants full of people.” That hasn’t changed. The people who wrote the article and many of the ones who commented after the ‘update’ (which is most likely written by whoever wrote the article) obviously do not live in this city.

    Like the one guy who said he came here expecting to find a ghost town, reading the article would lead me to the same conclusion. There has been some stores closing, yet it is nothing at all like what the article would lead someone to believe. But hey, media likes to scare people so I suppose they’re just doing their job. Good work, buddy. Hit me up next time you come here to visit in all the “deserted” clubs and casinos. Peace out.

  • rodeo rosie

    Wow! Certainly not a diverse group of responses here. Let’s see…we have major bible thumpers, lots of losing gamblers, tons of mommys who thought they could bring their kiddies there and sip a few while the kids were playing…

    C’mon! Be for real people. Let us not forget that there are many families that live there, for many reasons other than gambling or drinking or sex. Some are military, some are gov’t, some are teachers for the children, doctors…believe it or not there is life beyond the Strip. So, all you thumpers and losers…BACK OFF!!!! And if you are REALLY into the “word” you would have compassion for the lives that thrive there. The lives that depend on their jobs (whatever they are). Because…thumpers…who are you to judge? Isn’t that somewhere in your “good book”? Or is it that you cannot practice what you preach???

    If you don’t like the Strip, don’t go there. Period. Not hard to avoid. Don’t go there. But don’t be so quick to judge the residents of a city and wish it to sink into a big hole because you don’t agree with some parts of it. There are casinos, prostitutes, smokers, drinkers, gamblers, liars, homeless, thiefs all around you….Go easy on one individual city there, buckaroos. What happened to brotherhood? If Vegas gets “blown up”, “sinks into a big hole”…or any of the other rotten things said, you kill a lot of innocent people.

    You are no better than Hitler.

  • roberto

    –“I’m Indian, spent 12 years in the US and saw the Boom-Bust period from 1995 to 2006. What a ride. Feel bad for the programmed population at large, caught like deer in the headlights of what is coming straight at them.”

    Feel bad for yourself -you’re included.

  • G Nichols

    I agree with Ted Newkirk’s comments, well said sir! Vegas is doing quite well. Wife and I were in Vegas April 26 to May 3rd and were amazed at how busy it was. We arrived on a Monday afternoon and it was already quite busy. We visited many casinos and hotels and all of them were packed! Freemont street on a tuesday night was super busy. We stayed at the Riviera and it was also very busy, lots of people even at 5 am! I know lots of good people were hit hard, I lost 1000’s on my mutual funds and my place of work suffered as well 40% loss of business, as did many fields of industry. But the worst is over and the economy is starting to thrive again. Prices have stabalized and are now reflecting current economic reality. I live in Canada, and if I could Vegas would be the place I would move to. Already planning on comming back!

    G Nichols

  • http://capitalisthero.com Capitalisthero

    I moved to Vegas in 2006 and there is definitely a change. Gone are the days when strippers and valets made $200,000 a year(pretty much tax free); now they make about $100,000. It is certainly not a ghost town yet driving down the strip on any given night and you will be bogged down in traffic unable to make a right turn because of all the tourists walking down the sidewalk. Check out the clubs on industry night and the chicks are still outrageously hot, but definitely less stuck up as the income has dropped.

  • Rick

    Lennie Pike thanks for the laugh. My wife has dealt blackjack for 20 years, the last 14 at a major casino I’ll leave unnamed. The dealers WANT to see the players win most of the time that is when they receive tips, not when your losing. You think they care about the houses money? BWAHAHA Trust me, my wife can’t even cook a hamburger properly let alone “stack the deck.”

  • DAW

    I recently purchased a condo in Vegas. 0 income tax, a capitalist and conservative frame of mind, great winter weather, and all the shopping conveniences.

    I looked at New Mexico -way too liberal, already high state tax, and everybody seems to think govt is the answer.

    I looked at Arizona – too close to Mexico, with Phoenix now the kidnapping and car theft capital of the country. With Obama saying he is going to sue to prevent them from protecting themselves.

    Cheers to Vegas, they attracted my capital and my physical presence.

  • Mark Anthem

    Lived here since 2004. This city will thrive to the degree that it leaves businesses alone to discover what people want. There will surely be an adjustment due to the ravenous mouths of the public sector. The decline that is being spoke of can be likened to Elizabeth Taylor’s “decline” in beauty from age 20 to age 25. They’re both still pretty attractive. Miami is in some ways an up and comer. If the powers that be in LA Chicago Detroit and so on ever started to serve customers actual wants this whole country would be better off.

  • Tarik

    My contrary instinct is saying Vegas is a buy.

  • DK

    just left vegas last night. things get bad, they will likely get better. Steve who wrote he wants to be around white faces…stay home you friggin racist. I can’t believe you would even say that. OH, and to the guy who thinks the clubs in other cities are better – you’re just a European who wants to talk down to America because it makes you feel good. I’ve been to clubs in Paris, Berlin, Ibiza, Rio, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Bombay, Singapore, and Moscow….not a single one holds a candle to the vegas clubs….not even close.

  • Josh

    Funny thing about Vegas. My great-grandfather was one of the first to build a casino there, the Pioneer Club. This was in 1946 or so, when Vegas really was a ghost town in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Now I get to watch (from a safe distance) the collapse of old Bill Curland’s empire. Ah, well.

    So long, Las Vegas, it was nice knowing you.

  • John

    I have a job here in Vegas. I am not going to get laid off. I rent want to buy at the bottom. I can see shows cheap,eat cheap,drink cheap,movies cheap. Shop cheap,supermarkets cheap. Weather great,own some guns,go shooting,go swimming at any hotel,just walk in! Play golf cheap, go fishing, sightseeing easy. Roads good.Can go to three national parks in a half day travel . Can go to California and go swimming in 5 hours! Can go to Arizona,go to Mexico,go to Utah all at about 80 mph,no trouble! I can swim in my pool ,go to my gym for 21 dollars a month. The women are stupid but hey you can’t have everything. Lost in Paradise.

  • andrew

    WE SHOULD BE JOYFUL! THE DEATH OF CONSUMERISM!

  • Doubledown

    I always watch for news from Vegas so this article caught my attention. The

    gaming “industry”, casinos, clubs whatever you want to call them are a

    psychological mirror of our culture (or lack of) and as such are interesting to

    watch evolve/devolve. I worked at Harrah’s Tahoe for a year in ’70s and it was a different world indeed. Bill Harrah would never allow hucksters to stand at a podium near the entrance to hassle his customers into a timeshare. You’d never, ever find a nasty stain on the carpeting, the wonderful chrome (manual) slots were polished every night and you’d always be welcome to just stand and watch / listen to the secondary entertainers like Paul Revere & the Raiders from outside the lounge. Sadly, it’s not like that anymore, it’s a WalMart mentality in every club you go to now. Even the Stardust on the strip used to have some friendly people in the ’80s and felt classy in a comfortable way. I have no desire to see the Bellagio or any of the other “high-end” clubs. The catering to the bottom fishers and the high rollers has aced out the average guy, he/she’s got no Flamingo, Pioneer Club, Harvey’s, etc. to go to anymore.

  • Steve

    @Awake, DK, and Xander Cross, I wish people could state an honest opinion without you fascists denouncing the person as a racist. America use to be a land of freedom of speech and association until you Marxists ruined it with political correctness. Not only is Vegas going down, but the rest of the U.S. is too, thanks to people like you three.

  • Lennie Pike

    Rick:

    The casino your wife works for trains her to shuffle the decks a certain way using a procedure that she must follow designed to stack the decks causing the cards to wind up in large clumps of small cards and high cards. She is not allowed to shuffle the cards any old way she pleases.

    This practice thwarts card counting because when a large clump of small cards comes out the dealer will hardly ever break with a total over 21 which is abnormal due to the intentionally STACKED DECKS! and the player will lose a lot more hands than normal. When a large clump of high cards arrives there will be an abnormal amount of ties between the player and the dealer because most of those cards will be 10 valued and the player will also lose a lot more hands than normal.

    Not only does this cheating by the Casino Management thwart card counters it also decreases drastically the house edge over players who are not card counters. This is the sad part because before this practice came into being a non card counting player had a lot better chance although still lost in the long run. He did have a lot more time playing to entertain himself though – the reason he went to Vegas. Now he loses his bankroll a lot quicker and has to wait around playing $1 keno with the little his wife gives him from her slot machine bankroll and is depressed until the plane leaves. The saddest part is most don’t even understand what is being done to them.

    You can leave the name of the major casino your wife works at unnamed because if what you say is true I will find it quickly and take the game back up for a living. She will be dealing at the table where there are seven players playing a face-up game with over 40 cards exposed and not a single card over the value of 6.

    I would like to know the name of the casino you work at though and your name. Just kidding, you know how it was between you and us long ago – all a game of cat and mouse in good fun. I do understand though why you needed to post your comment. I have seen that reaction many times by other casino personnel when I have exposed what casinos do. I suppose it all depends on which side you are on. I was fishing for someone on your side and got a bite.

    Back to the topic of the article, good luck in your efforts getting Vegas back to the way it used to be.

  • Lennie Pike

    Meant to say Increases the house edge, not decreases. It’s just that I am still programmed to think in terms of decreasing the house edge.

  • Lennie Pike

    She will not be dealing at that table, I meant. Maybe I should think twice about finding that casino.

  • Pandora’sBox

    flush the toilet bowl of Ameroca……

  • Vegas Paul

    I visited City Center for the first time today. It is basically a glorified hangout for rich tourist. Just another casino, some high end stores, and a few restraunts and nightclubs. Personally, I have found other places much nicer to visit for shopping, gambling, and dining both on and off the strip. It’s nice but way over hyped. Im not looking forward to go back there again. The walk ways that allow people to cross the strip are gross and even smell like **** and uron. That would be an area worth improving to get people to come back since they are used by so many. For the most part Las Vegas is pretty gross. If people and city collectively took more pride in being clean it would make a difference.

  • http://www.zombie-slayer.com The Zombieslayer

    Scary times indeed.

    I wish we had the real figures for unemployment. I also heard it’s a lot higher than 14.2%.

    I was there last year and the timeshare people really pissed me off. Took literally around a dozen “no’s” to get the **** out of there. Other than that, had a great time, but noticed that already things were a little bit depressed. Must be way worse now.

  • armyjim

    My story:

    I am from San Francisco. During the early 2000, it was impossible to buy a home here. Therefore I purchased my home in Vegas in 2002 for 165,000. We put 20% down. At that time, there were only a couple of loan programs available. Again, remember this was before the boom. I saw my home go up to $350,000. My wife didn’t want to sell since it was her home. Present time, we have homes on our block selling for $75,000. What a bad decision!!!
    There are a couple of things I learned from this journey:
    1. Schools in Clark county are terrible. My son was taught 6th grade work while he was a senior in a high school. This explains why Clark county is rated close to last in the United States.
    2. Jobs are impossible to come by. You really have to know someone to get a job in a casino. Currently most of the strip casinos have their employees work part time to avoid benefits.
    3. Pay scale is low compared to the bay area.
    4. Electricity ranges $300 to $500 a month during the summer months which last about 4 months.
    5.My neighbors were rude and didn’t care to associate.
    and
    6. Investigate before you relocate to this area.

    As of June 18, 2010, I moved my family back to the bay area where i had no problem finding employment.

    Good Luck Las Vegas!!! I hope things come back but I highly doubt it.

  • Rajesh Kumar

    Buy banknotes (world collectible paper money), cuz they are better investment than gold or real estate. One banknote’s value can go from $1 to $200 injust a few short years due to demand, destruction or sudden scarcity.

  • Phil

    i was in vegas a month ago… on the strip. you could have squeezed some more people in, but it wouldn’t have been easy. I know about all the problems, but in the 3 days i was there, the problems weren’t evident on the strip.

  • colonelgirdle

    Sad to see disaster overtake any American city. Although I’ve never been much of a gambler and have never been to Vegas, I feel the pain of the populace who, like the vast majority of Americans, simply lived their lives and trusted the government & its corporate owners to keep the economy on-track.
    Las Vegas is ruined but the rest of us aren’t all that far behind. I live in what remains of Dayton, Ohio, which was once one of the premier industrial cities of the world. I have seen decades of slide turned into a drop off the cliff in the past few years.
    But be ready for another drop for the economy. Congress appears ready to let the long-term unemployed twist in the wind without extended benefits. When those millions of former workers begin to default on their bills, the crash at the end of 2008 will look like good times in comparison.

  • Mr. Vegas

    Elvis has left the building!

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Las Vegas needs to legalize prostitution, regulate it carefully and tax it. Although legal in some parts of Nevada, prostitution is not legal in Clark County–and as a result, The City of Las Vegas is losing out on a potential source of tax revenue. But in order for prostitution to be legalized in Clark County, Nevada state law would have to be changed (under Nevada state law, prostitution can only be legal in counties that have less than X amount of people). So prostitution will remain illegal in Vegas, draconian “austerity measures” will be imposed on residents who are already struggling, and hookers on the Strip will continue to be carried away in those restrictive hinged handcuffs that the Vegas police use.

  • LV89119

    I am from Las Vegas..Let me tell you PEOPLE ARE VISITING VEGAS! The city right now is just readjusting itself from 20 years of boom.

    ** For the prudes on this site who say God will/should destroy such a filthy city like Las Vegas..Tell me why God hasn’t destroyed cities/countries that allow child prostitution, abuse of women, etc? Also there are religious, charitable people here that help people in the community. There is life beyond the strip.

    ** For the jerk who said he won’t visit because of brown skin people..I am glad you are staying home. I met many fabulous “non-white” people in Vegas. Yes I am white.

    Vegas does have problems with their education system and crime. Also I think they need to have a more diverse economy. Vegas isn’t for everyone but many pre-boom, boom, post-boom residents call home it home.

  • Bruce Steele

    I live in Vegas and love it here. I know from my friends across the country that things are still bad everywhere. The writer of your article obviously knows nothing about or has a bad feeling towards the city. Compared to the Vegas I used to visit in the early 80’s, it is still a thriving city. 6 years ago 8,000 people were moving here every month. Yes,the builders got crazy and overbuilt and overpriced. The availability of homes on the market became scarce and existing homes also were overvalued. Highrises, rediculously so. But anyone that is ready to count Vegas out, does not get the city and it’s appeal

  • Joe

    I moved out of Vegas in 2009. I’m not going to gamble with my future anymore. I wish you luck Las Vegas. I hope you are luckier than I was.

  • Virginia P.

    Ohio is in distress, despair, and stress due to lost of work. Muslims are buying homes in Parma, Ohio. Walmarts have stopped selling
    American flag print fabrics at there Parma, Ohio store where a large number of Muslims live. What is happening here in America ?

  • http://www.buyerbeaware.blogspot.com David Jeremiah

    OK, Bye, Bye Las Vegas.

  • richard

    Nevada has always gone through boom & bust cycles. Virginia City, NV went from 33,000
    to about 700 people. The west is littered with failed dreams. Vegas will decline, but how far is anyone’s guess.

  • Nichole

    People, why don’t you stop your complaining and buy something in Vegas, rent back at a resonable price to the people that are losing or have lost their homes for a resonable rate and HELP vs. just spend your time ***ching on the computer!!

    Besides, haven’t you thought – about your complaints that Vegas was too crowded? Now it’s not crowded enough? My gawd people – get a grip – everything rises and falls and rises again – did you not live through the 1980’s crisis? or the 1990’s crisis? Everywhere there are problems and if you can help – and in turn, help yourself – get a little place for family & friends to gather – buy your next car, boat or motorhome from someone in need of the money in Las Vegas instead of from a high end car dealership…

    You’re really looking at this in the wrong way – Opportunity is knocking, open the door if you dare and can… a $30K condo is $110 per month mortgage payment… cheaper than a storage unit – – 5 years from now – it might be worth 3x’s that amount, and if not – so what – who cares – you will have a 2nd home, a vacation home, a rental/income property – a place to go to – go to Lake Mead – go to Henderson and bike/hike/walk the trails, go to Red Rock or Mt. Charleston to do some snow skiing…

    Just take a moment to invest some time – and look at this from a different angle – as it really is our original Dubai – and yeah, it’s in a jam right now – and it’s a little sleezy – let’s do something about it – it is part of America and make it the family destination it should and could be once again…

    My only complaint is I miss hearing the money come out of the slots… When Vegas lost it’s sound, honestly, I think that’s when we all started to lose interest…

    Get your boat, your dirt bikes, your motorhome, your jet ski’s your bikes, your family & friends and plan a weekend out on Lake Mead… Stay at the cheaper hotels, or camp, or rent a house boat – you don’t have to opt for the most expensive – – buffet’s are still cheap – – and besides that – – have you even been on Eastern Avenue in Henderson??? If not, I suggest you get your booty in your car and drive on over to Lost Wages and have a little visit – stop by a realtor’s office, go see some foreclosures and make an offer – – then blog about that~!

    And yes, that’s exactly what I did – – and hopefully I’ll be having a nice little desert oasis for family & friends to join me at in the near future – -

  • http://www.Dan4VegasHomes.com dan mikolajczyk

    Kind of interesting coming across this article. I guess the thing that struck me the most was the pain in a lot of the people who left comments.

    I am a Realtor in Las Vegas, and I have people who visit here often.

    My mom and a friend of hers of 40 years just visited, and they are long time visitors of LV. They couldnt believe how many people there were everywhere. how many lines they had to stand in, or how expensive everything is.

    As far as my experience, I moved here, at the end of the boom to try and clean things up a bit. Sell off all of those foreclosures and short sales. And boy have we been selling. It seems funny to me that every article that mentions statistics about how many under water homes in Vegas there are, always fail to mention the fact that since the bust we have set records in sales. consistently. for 2 major reasons.

    1st and foremost, the investors that have bought and rehabbed or kept for rentals are vast. It is not unusual to have a candian or californian or a las vegan buy 10-20 houses in a year for investment. unlike during the boom (when the investors were really speculators that were just hoping not to be the last line of a ponzi scheme – todays buyers are INVESTORS).

    2ndly. a vast amount of people that had lived here for 10 years or so and couldnt afford to live here because of the inflated prices all of a sudden could afford to buy a home.

    So we had a double whammy of buyers, and buy they did. it was common during 2010 to have a listing come on the market on a monday and by friday have 35 offers on it. almost all of them over asking, and at least 50% of them cash.

    2010 closed as the year that more homes sold in Las Vegas than any other year in the history of LV. and for the first time over half were cash deals. I sold a $250,000 condo to a 24 year old that had been a server in the casino in Connecticut and when he applied at the Wynn before moving out here, it took him 4 months to get a comparable job here. no jobs? really?

    I will tell you that a large number of jobs that were lost here were in the construction industry. plain and simple. and most moved soon after losing their jobs and never came off the unemployment #s. its just the way construction workers are. they are essentially nomads. they go where the newest “boom” is, or they go back to where they grew up, but they never give up those unemployment benefits. id do the same. but it has made our numbers here inflated. having said all that, I came from Toledo Ohio. and the reports out of Toledo are much worse than LV and getting worse.

    I dont think LV is dead or dying. i think that the whole country is, but so far LV is doing better than most, I think.

  • SHARON

    LIVED IN VEGAS FROM 2004 THRU 2012. VEGAS IS A POLICE STATE AND THE SKIES ARE SPRAYED WITH POISONOUS CHEMTRAILS. THE AIR IS TOXIC AND ITS THE SUICIDE CAPITAL OF THE COUNTRY PER CAPITA. LAS VEGAS HAS NO SOUL AND IS A DIMENSION OF HELL. THERE IS A NEGATIVE ENERGY OVER LAS VEGAS NEVADA THAT MAKES IT THE PILL POPPING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. OH AND THE WATER IS LACED WITH SO MUCH CHLORINE AND FLOURIDE. ONE GOOD THING ABOUT VEGAS IS 24 HOURS CONVENIENCE, DINERS, CASINOS, CLUBBING ETC. BUT THAT GETS OLD TOO. LAS VEGAS WILL NOT GET BETTER BECAUSE THE ECONOMY HAS GOTTEN WORSE IN THE COUNTRY.

  • JustanOguy

    Sorry — You are completely wrong about Las Vegas and getting all of your information from news stories that like to sensationalize things. The comments shared in the post are probably more from the losers looking for handouts and have no idea where to look for the silver lining.

    Unemployment is high due to all of the Construction workers still hanging around thinking that the building is going to start up. (Fastest Growing City in the 1990’s through 2006.) The cost of living is cheap enough for them to hang around and live off of their unemployment checks. MANY of them are doing side jobs and being paid under the table.

    Underwater Homes — More of a Wall St. problem. The smart Las Vegans have short sold their homes or moved on. Really now, who loses when somebody walks away from a home with an inflated mortgage?

    Your statement: “It’s Estimated that 65% of all homes are underwater” should be modified to “It’s Estimated that 65% of all homes WITH MORTGAGES are underwater.” — Numerous Homes are PAID off with NO Mortgage. Over 50% of all real estate purchases for the past three years Have been CASH deals.

    Cost of Living — Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. I lived in Chicago and my property taxes alone were over $800 a month. In Vegas, my place is paid off and my property taxes are less then $3,000 a year.

    Has Las Vegas had it’s share of problems since the big boom? Of course… but it’s certainly on a positive track to Recovery and not the cesspool you describe trying to compare it to cities like Detroit.

    Do yourself a favor and visit before you write about something you know nothing about. The Strip is jammed, restaurants are filled and anybody with a degree has a pretty good paying job.

    The rest of the whiners are criers. They would have a much rougher time in the majority of other cities across the country where you have to have a degree to work as a Burger Flipper at McDonalds.

    Sure… no longer do they make $100K+ a year for jobs that only require a GED… but I still know plenty of Cocktail Waitresses, Bartenders and even food servers making $60k+ a year. What other city can you name where that’s possible?

  • kendall

    this article is misleading,i’ve been visting vegas since 1995 and have relatives that live their.i enjoy myself everytime i visit and plan on retiring there.sure i’ve seen the good and bad times,but everytime i visit i notice the resturants are full,the strip is crowded,i myself aviod the strip and visit the local casinos,so get off las vegas’s case,it’s a nice place to visit and live.

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