About Las Vegas
The city itself is the very definition of the phrase “Diamond in the Rough,” with its trademark neon lights glowing against the empty backdrop of the surrounding desert. Las Vegas is a global destination, with visitors flocking in from all over the world as a testament to the city’s singular reputation for indulgence and excitement … for spectacle and showmanship.
Alternately called ‘the Gambling Capital of the World’ and ‘the Entertainment Capital of the World,’ Las Vegas is a playground for adults where you can live out all kinds of fantasies. From sitting in the front row for world-class musical performances to sitting at one of the top tables in the World Series of Poker—Las Vegas offers excitement that no one else can match.
But it’s not just about the excitement. It’s not just about the short-lived, once in a lifetime binge vacations made famous by films like The Hangover.
Instead, Vegas is home to a thriving local community, a solid and growing market for vacation homes/condos, and a surprising amount of history and local culture. Indeed; if you take a closer look, you’ll start to see the desert come alive in Las Vegas …
An Oasis in the Desert
Located in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is kept dry—even by desert standards—by the mountainous peaks barricading the area on all sides. Sitting almost half a mile above sea level, the city is about as hospitable as the desert could hope to be, with its wild swaying grasses and desert spring waters.
Nevertheless, humans have been occupying and passing through this area for no less than 10,000 years; when ancient paleo-Indians first passed through, followed eons later by the Anasazi and finally by Rafael Rivera, a Mexican scout who was the first non-Native to lay eyes on the valley in 1829.
Inspired by those wild, swaying grasses, the Spanish called the area “the Meadows,” or Las Vegas, and the name has stuck ever since.
Energized by the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, Las Vegas was officially founded in 1905 and incorporated as a city in 1911. It wouldn’t be until twenty years later; in 1931, that Las Vegas hit the biggest jackpot in the young city’s history … a jackpot that would change the city’s fate forever—
The State of Nevada legalized gambling.
Combined with the influx of construction workers from the nearby Hoover Dam, Las Vegas was beginning to establish its fledgling reputation as the ultimate getaway … a town of indulgence and excitement for one and all.
By the 1950s, the rest was quickly becoming history …
A New Wave of Business & Culture
A generation later, one of Las Vegas’ boldest risk-takers and entrepreneurs—a man by the name of Steve Wynn—took it all to the next level when he opened The Mirage, the city’s first Casino & Mega-Resort.
It was an instant success.
Where Vegas once appealed to a smaller demographic of gamblers and jet-set weekend warriors, Wynn’s new version of Vegas—one that can be seen all over the strip these days—made the city accessible to retirees, to families, businesses and more.
Suddenly, the city was a friendlier destination … a place to host your next business convention or take the family for some great entertainment. Then the Fremont Street Experience opened in 1995, solidifying this new vibe with a dazzling overhead celebration of the city’s lights and attractions.
From the celebrity chefs with their pet restaurants to the year-round performances from award-winning singers like Celine Dion, the appeal is truly universal.
During this same time, the city was forming its own very unique, very ‘Las Vegas’ kind of local culture. A kind of culture that could cherish the city’s rich history while still participating tongue-in-cheek with the modern day spectacle … one centered around places like the Neon Museum and the Old Mormon Fort.
The city’s thriving scene for local arts—from painting & sculpture to interpretive dance—dominates the Downtown Arts District, where events like “First Friday” allow even tourists to take a peek behind the scenes and see what everyday Las Vegas can be like.
Owning a Piece of the Magic
With such a bustling local service economy and the appeal of owning a vacation home/rental in such an exciting destination, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Las Vegas is home to a thriving market for condos and townhomes.
Featured in all sorts of real estate-oriented television shows, Las Vegas’ market is an eclectic one that sees a high volume of buyers and sellers—especially in the condos of the downtown area, where buildings like One Queensridge Place promise to make residents a part of the downtown magic.
While the valley endured its fair share of rough years after 2008/9, the local market is quickly bouncing back; with home sales numbers for March of 2015 exceeding anything seen since 2006, almost a decade before.
And it’s easy to see why …
After all, Vegas has spent the better part of that decade working to improve the quality of life and services available to local residents.
2012 was even dubbed “the Year of Downtown,” for the culmination of local programs and new openings that occurred in that year—from a new City Hall building to the Smith Center for Performing Arts and even a Children’s museum, all completed in the same year, all promising a more diverse and exciting version of Las Vegas to come.
So whether you’re a thrill-seeking single professional from the West Coast … a retiring couple looking for world-class entertainment and excitement … or a big family looking for plenty of alternatives when it comes to fine dining and high-end shopping … you should consider Las Vegas—consider owning a piece of the magic …