State and Local AEC Snapshots: Las Vegas, Nev.
Published: February 23, 2015
Though cities nationwide felt the one-two punch of the Great Recession and its aftermath, Las Vegas, Nevada, was hit particularly hard. Aside from tourism naturally dwindling in the wake of economic collapse, property values in Sin City and surrounding areas also plummeted, resulting in a high number of residents fleeing the state. With Las Vegas’ biggest draw being casinos and entertainment, the city needed to find a way to bring people back – both to live and visit.
In fiscal year 2014, Las Vegas spent $180 million on construction within parks and recreation, far more than any other construction category (see chart, below). General public building construction ranked second for spending, at approximately $120 million. Please note that this data, provided by the U.S. Census, may include projects developed by various city agencies, though categorized under one label.
Las Vegas has upped the ante with spending on parks and other facilities in hopes of attracting new residents. It’s a smart move considering parks and recreational development often boosts quality of life and, in turn, attracts more people to houses that have dipped in value. The overall idea is to increase demand, which will increase property value and, ultimately, revenue for the city.
While Las Vegas is seen as a tourist destination, the city must also focus on improving infrastructure for non-tourists and businesses. The city is currently investing in infrastructure to attract Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football Association (NFL) teams. While nothing is guaranteed, making a play to offer more parks and entertainment facilities makes the city more alluring for visitors, residents and businesses alike.
Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms, both in the public and private sector, should bet on Las Vegas in the coming years. Construction is already beginning in the public sector and will only increase if the city lands a professional sports team. AEC vendors would be wise to monitor procurement activity and population increases in Las Vegas, all of which point toward more potential business.
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