Las Vegas is known to be a destination for gambling, poolside parties, and late nights. As a popular vacation spot, Vegas sees millions of visitors each year and many residents depend on tourism to make a living. According to the LVCVA, the month of February 2018 brought in over 3 million visitors and generated over $603 million on the Las Vegas strip. With an endless supply of things to do for both adults and children, it’s no wonder that Vegas ranks high on the list of places to escape cold weather or the mundanity of everyday life.
While the Vegas strip is what makes this city in Nevada famous, there is a world outside of the neon lights, epic shows, and slot machines. To many, Las Vegas is home. In fact, the population of Las Vegas has steadily increased since the 60s and saw a major boom from 1990-2000 in which the population increased by 83%. Outside the commotion of the city are suburban communities built for families and a unique landscape offering beautiful nature parks.
Located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas has a subtropical hot desert climate, which is categorized by stifling hot summers, but desirable weather the rest of the year. With 310 sunny days a year, Vegas is ideal for those who crave vitamin D and prefer little rain. In the coolest months of the year—typically December and January—temperatures hover around the upper 50s and low 60s, another magnet for vacationers and snowbirds.
Las Vegas is a city marked by diversity. In recent years, Vegas has seen an influx of hispanic and latino residents. This demographic made up 31.5% of the population in 2010, 24% of which was Mexican. Other heavily represented nations include El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Vegas has also been referred to as the “ninth island of Hawaii” due to the many Hawaiians who have moved there in recent years.
In 2006, 31.5% of households in Las Vegas included children under the age of 18, and nearly 50% were married couples. These statistics indicate that Vegas is not only a city for tourists or singles working in the entertainment industry. Las Vegas is, in fact, a wonderful place to settle down.
After the nationwide housing slump nearly ten years ago, Vegas’ market has steadily bounced back and is now closer to long-term stability than it has been in years. According to Fortune Builders, in the last 12 months, Vegas’ housing market has seen an 11.6% appreciation rate. With home values still on the rise, the median house price is around $203,000, which is $14,000 less than the national average. Because of this, Zillow recently announced Las Vegas as the fourth best city for first-time homebuyers.
While the tourism and gaming industry still falls #1 of the chart of Nevada’s top job industries, the logistics industry is in a close second due to plans to turn the state into a warehousing hub. Another sector responsible for many jobs is the manufacturing industry. With printing, publishing, and metal fabrication in high demand, this industry hired 42,000 employees in 2013 alone. Within the city of Las Vegas, Clark School District and Clark County Government employ a large number of local residents, whose commute times average just under 25 minutes.
THINGS TO DO
While gambling and pool parties are in abundance any day of the week, there is plenty to do outside of the typical Vegas party lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a low-key night out or a kid-friendly afternoon activity, Vegas can deliver.
Night Out: If you’re on the hunt for something to do after dark but prefer to avoid the strip, consider visiting Fremont Street. In addition to food stands and souvenir shops, there’s a zipline that stretches above the pedestrian walkway and a light show that occurs every six minutes between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. Not only is Fremont Street free to visit, it also regularly hosts free public concerts and other performances so you can enjoy entertainment that won’t break the bank.
Outdoors: Escape the neon lights by taking a day trip to Red Rock National Conservation Area. Located just 17 miles southwest of Las Vegas, this portion of the Mojave Desert will take your breath away. Whether you choose to drive the 13-mile scenic route or go for a nature hike, the Red Rocks are just the diversion you need to disconnect from the strong currents of city life.
Kid-Friendly: For an afternoon of entertainment and endless photos opps, visit The Neon Museum, also known as the “boneyard”. While this may be the final destination for neon that’s no longer in use, it still plays a huge role in Vegas culture. Before visiting, book a tour and get your most comfortable walking shoes ready. The Neon Museum spans over two acres and is home to over 200 signs, each with a rich history and story to tell. While both day and night tours are available, day tours are recommended for those with children.
By Abigail Golder~
Things to do: https://www.groupon.com/local/las-vegas/things-to-do
Fortune Builders: https://www.fortunebuilders.com/
Fremont Street: https://vegasexperience.com/#/home/
The Neon Museum: http://www.neonmuseum.org/