Takeaways – The Changing Blue Print of Las Vegas

December 12, 2017
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One of the things I am committed to this year is capturing my Takeaways from the various events that I attend throughout the year and sharing them. Click here for Previous Takeaways.

December brings with it two types of events. Holiday parties and year-end recaps!! This year is somewhat different for me with the year-end recaps. Because I’ve started blogging in January – sharing my Takeaways from the various events that I attended throughout the year – I get to reconcile what I’ve captured against what the experts think and say.

December 7, 2017 The Changing Blue Print of Las Vegas. That was the title of the Fair, Anderson & Langerman (FAL) seminar. This was their 13th annual. I attended last year where Steve Hill spoke. This year the speaker was County Commissioner Larry Brown. What is this seminar anyway?

Every December, FAL holds a seminar at Cili (which is like, a the most fantastic venue for everything). The seminar is presented in 2 parts. Part 1 is a speaker that gives a local overview. Part 2 is an update on the tax environment.

***FAL is an accounting firm. Full disclosure: they are my accounting firm. Fuller disclosure:
 Curt Andersonthe CEO and co-founder of FAL, is also a co-founder and one of my partners at MDL Group.


Still, they wouldn’t let him open the show. Ronnie Sloan did that. But they did let Curt speak during the event. So that was nice. I am mostly discussing the local overview below. But a word on the tax part of the presentation. I mean, it is relevant with 2 versions of tax reform floating around.

After Curt and Larry spoke, and Curt spoke again, Bernadette Mashas of FAL masterfully took us through what we can expect with the proposed tax reform. I say masterfully because in 10 minutes she covered the current law, House bill version and Senate bill version. She kept it interesting and swift. Remember Bernadette spoke after Larry. But Larry didn’t run off when he was done. He sat down, right in front, and was focused on Bernadette’s presentation. It was that good! Now, back to the beginning…

True to FAL’s persona we dug right in. In Curt’s introduction of Commissioner Brown he explained that they both moved to Las Vegas in the early 80’s. Brown arrived as a pro baseball player with the Las Vegas Stars. Curt as a CPA ret-to-set the town a blaze! Curt then painted a picture which I think is important for perspective.

It was only 30 years ago that paved streets in Las Vegas ended at Rainbow and Sahara. Think about that for a moment. Look around and think about the prosperous run Las Vegas has had, aside from the Great Recession, over the last 30 years.

Curt’s prediction for the future…? Another 20 to 25 year run of opportunity for family and business!

What does Commish Larry Brown have to say…?

Where are seeing a dynamic that we haven’t seen even in the boom.

Oooooooh that got me excited! What is this dynamic that we haven’t seen in the boom? I’ll get to that in one second. Let me rif a bit about what he said that the community has going on. This is also the part where I get to reconcile previous Takeaways where I went more in depth on the inventory of greatness occurring in Las Vegas.

The two BIGS: You can read more about them here.

Raiders Stadium
Convention Center

Continuance and expansion of existing projects:

MGM Park 
Caesar’s Linq
Resorts World 
Wynn’s Lagoon
Palm’s Hotel

Sports town (what what what?!):

You know what he didn’t talk about at all…? Pot. I thought that was interesting. For it or against, it is now legal, and a source of positive economic impact.

So there you have it. Here is the list that I am calling “the inventory of greatness!” Its not the even the full list. But its a lot!

The dynamic that Larry mentioned that exists now and didn’t exist in the boom is INFRASTRUCTURE. That seemingly unimportant and incredibly boring thing you might remember voting for, called Fuel Revenue Indexing or Question 5, apparently is super important. I wrote about it in March when my homie Tina Q. spoke at a NAIOP breakfast.

For the first time, southern Nevada is fully funded for the infrastructure needs for a decade. We are ready for brand new growth and it’s going to be a different blue print. ***Although since sending this out I received an email from someone who served on the RTC TRAC committee who doesn’t “necessarily agree” that Nevada is fully funded. So that’s interesting.

He added that the gaming industry dynamics have changed. Millenials are different (more on them here). They don’t want to sit in one place. The resort economy has expanded beyond gaming into dining, shopping and entertainment. The convention center is positioned to remain competitive. Larry reminded us that as a community we cannot afford to give up even half-a-percent of our convention business. I like that aggressiveness!!!!

The Commissioner ended with one thought and three wishes.

All roads lead back to local government. Government has 3 fundamental responsibilities and should stick to them.

  1. Public Safety
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Social services

If you open the yellow pages and see a business or industry represented by the private sector government should not be in that business or industry.

Wish #1 focus on getting the government out of private businesses.

Wish #2 get more aggressive on getting the government to partner more with the private sector.

Wish #3 to have the community get more involved with local government.

Southern Nevada is facing some of the best challenges and opportunities of the last 30 years. Larry’s call upon us (the business community) is to be engaged. And if we’re not engaged, well then, we will get the results that we deserve!

Here is a link to boards, committees, and councils to consider.

Here is a link to find the County Commissioner in your district. You can contact their offices about being involved.

Ok – I have a few wishes for you as well!!!

Wish #1 if you are enjoying my Takeaways please encourage your network to subscribe hereI appreciated it!

Wish #2 tune in to my new podcast (in development). When it comes out I will email you on how to find it!

Wish #3 kiss your loved ones, be kind to strangers, and be safe this holiday season!


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