By Jonas Peterson
President & Chief Economic Development Officer, Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance
The Las Vegas Valley has more than $11.1 billion in projects underway right now. That’s the news we heard May 19 at the Las Vegas Perspective event, Southern Nevada’s premier source of community and economic development data, analysis and forecasting.
The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance released the 178-page market overview guide in an event that featured several panels, one of which was an overview of four of the largest projects proposed or underway in the region.
If there’s any sign that our market is improving, it’s these projects:
Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told our panel about the planned $2.3 billion Global Business District. The district would add hundreds of thousands of square feet of convention space to the existing convention center, which would help Las Vegas maintain its position as the No. 1 convention destination in America. More broadly, Ralenkotter said special events, conventions, and international travel are our market’s future growth areas.
In Henderson, the $1.2 billion Union Village project is underway. Karla Perez, regional vice president of the Valley Health System, said that the new 142-bed Henderson Hospital project will be the “anchor tenant” at Union Village and will eventually employ 700 people.
Near Boulder City, the Interstate 11 project broke ground in April. It’s the first new Interstate in the United States since 1992, and it will connect the two largest cities currently unconnected by an Interstate highway: Phoenix and Las Vegas. The Interstate will eventually run from Mexico to Canada. Tina Quigley, general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, said that it will provide 4,000 construction jobs and have a $4 billion economic impact in Southern Nevada.
On The Strip, we heard from Mark Prows, vice president of arenas for MGM Resorts International, who said that the 20,000-seat arena project will have a $600 economic impact. As has been much discussed in Las Vegas, the arena could one day host a NHL hockey team, and Prows was bullish on the notion of the hockey league one day bringing a team to Las Vegas.
This panel represents some of the more significant projects underway to improve our economy, but they’re certainly not the only ones. We’ve seen a lot of encouraging signs during the first months of this year, but we know that it’s not the time to let our foot off the economic gas pedal yet.
At the LVGEA, we’re intensely focused on community and economic development, and we know the sport we’re engaged is in more akin to a marathon than a sprint. Just like these projects will take years to complete, we’ve come a long way and we’ve still got a long way to go if we want to truly gain all the benefits of living and working in an economically diversified community. These projects will be a huge step forward in the right direction, and I hope we’ll be hearing more about their progress over the coming months and years.