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  • Vegas Rental Prices Reach 4 Year Low

    Posted on February 4, 2010 by Jordan

    Apartment rents are at a four-year low and property owners continue to adjust pricing to market realities. A drop in Las Vegas apartment rent comes as bad news for landlords and owners, but at the right time for budget-conscious renters in these hard economic times. California based Real Facts says the average rent in December was $768 a month, which is a 12.5% drop from a year ago. Of the 37 markets covered in RealFacts' quarterly report, only Phoenix had a steeper quarterly decline at 8.7 percent to $695 a month. Other markets posting big declines were Salt Lake City (7.3 percent to $745); Denver (6.1 percent to $819); Vallejo-Fairfield, California (5.7 percent to $1,092); Seattle (5.4 percent to $981); and Reno (4.9 percent to $776).

    On average the rents are down about 150 dollars a month from where they were a few years ago. There is a plethora of options available to renters so the demand for apartments is low, and going to go lower. Not only are apartment owners are lowering prices to attract renters, but they are also using other incentives to close the deal. Some tactics used by the renters include offering a free month's rent, lower damage deposits, or even offering you a 32 inch television if you sign a lease.

    With the enormous amount of options available for renters the traditional apartment complex is being overlooked by individually owned homes and condos. People prefer to rent a home if they can, especially if they have kids and pets. Another perk about renting a home at this time is you can usually get it with a pool in an affordable price range. Renters can now get into a home for close to the same monthly rate as an apartment which means it's a good time for renters, not so good for apartment owners.

    Although rents appreciated by an unprecedented 6 percent a year during the building boom in Las Vegas, all of those gains have been lost and the owners are now taking a beating. Reportedly there are 106,680 apartment units in Las Vegas at 373 properties. Average rent ran from $506 for a 422-square-foot studio to $1,231 for a four-bedroom, 1,862-square-foot apartment. It is a good time to rent right now, there are good bargains to be had compared to a few years the past. However, unless you absolutely need to get in a place, it’s best to wait it out for the best possible deal because rent is probably going to drop more.

    This post was posted in Vegas News

  • President Obama uses Las Vegas as an Example

    Posted on February 3, 2010 by Jordan


    For the second time in less than a year, President Barack Obama made an example at Las Vegas’ expense. First, he said there should be no Vegas junkets for banks that had received government bailout money. As if that was bad enough, Tuesday, at a New Hampshire town hall, he added insult to injury, implying that Las Vegas is a place of profligacy.

    “When times are tough, you tighten your belts,” Obama said. “You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage, you don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices. And it’s time your government did the same.”

    Las Vegas has built an entire industry and an entire city around out-of-towners blowing their discretionary income. However, as of late people have less to spend making it harder to part with their money. With the economy issues aside, something else that came up from this Obama comment was the fact that the Nevada government themselves could be to blame because of their failure to diversify the Las Vegas economy.

     “The president needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money,” said Democratic majority leader Sen. Harry Reid. In Obama’s response letter to Sen. Reid, “I hope you know that during my Town Hall today, I wasn’t saying anything negative about Las Vegas. I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun. There is no better place to have fun than Vegas, one of our country’s great destinations. I have always enjoyed my visits, look forward to visiting in a few weeks, and hope folks will visit in record numbers this year.”

    Most of the people in Southern Nevada live normal, suburban lives, but sometimes forget how the rest of the country views us. For starters there’s the prostitution, which they mistakenly think is legal, there’s gambling, and who can forget the 24-hour partying. Obama’s remark is barely controversial, but for a city that has gone through so much in the past couple years, the President would throw Vegas a compliment rather than an insult.

    This post was posted in Vegas News

  • Queen of Heats Hotel Demolished for New Downtown City Hall

    Posted on February 2, 2010 by Jordan

    Today will mark the first step of a rebuilding process for the diminished Las Vegas downtown. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will offer some parting words before today’s demolition of the downtown’s Queen of Hearts Hotel. However, don’t get too excited, the event won't involve an implosion or a wrecking ball, but an excavator with a big claw. Closed since 2007, the boarded up property is located at First Street and Lewis Avenue, the future site of the new Las Vegas City Hall. Construction on the City Hall project is expected to take about two years and cost $146.2 million.

    In December, the City Council approved building the new City Hall, which will be located two blocks south of the Golden Nugget and near a new downtown transportation terminal. The $146.2 million project, which involves building the new City Hall building and parking garage, has been touted by the mayor and other supporters as the starting point in the city's overall downtown redevelopment efforts.

    The Queen of Hearts, built in 1964, was once known as Casbah Hotel, has been a dark shuttered building for three years now. The casino had a crime-plagued past, troubled over the years by prostitution and drug activity, while violating many health and fire code violations along the way. There was no coincidence that Metro Police were called 680 times during 1994 and 1995 to the Queen of Hearts. Across the street was the Clark County Detention Center and many people who were released from jail spent their first night of freedom at the hotel bar.

    Many argue that the $146 million set aside for the project could be used in other areas, but let's all face it, a new city hall is due it's now or later and now is better since costs are down. Imagine what it would have cost 3 or 4 years ago during the boom or worse 5 years from now. Construction costs most likely won't be this low ever again, leading some to believe this was the right move. Then there are the 13,000 jobs that are estimated to be created for this project, but most will be moved from one building to the other. Of course there will be the construction jobs, but they constitute a fraction of 13,000. Either way, it’s nice to see they are cleaning up parts of the historic downtown because it really needs improvement.

    This post was posted in Vegas News

  • Las Vegas Sportsbooks Expected to Cash in on Super Bowl XLIV

    Posted on February 1, 2010 by Jordan

    Some people think the Super Bowl is just another good excuse to party, while others look to it as a business opportunity. Super Bowl XL, which saw the Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Seattle Seahawks, generated a record $94.5 million worth of sports wagers in the state of Nevada. There are some sportsbooks that believe this year’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints could surpass that total because of the great matchup that unfolded. The poor economy is the main reason why most in the gaming community aren’t making predictions as bold as a record breaking year for betting.

    This is the highlight of the season for bettors and it’s proven that no matter what two teams are in the big game, it will be a huge day for the Sportsbooks around Las Vegas. Over the last 10 years, the Super Bowl betting has increased substantially, in 2000 - $71 million, 2001 - $67.6 million, 2002 - $71.5 million, 2003 - $71.6 million, 2004 - $81.2 million, 2005 - $90.7 million, 2006 - $94.5 million, 2007 - $93 million, 2008 - $92 million, 2009 - $81.5 million.

    In the Super Bowl, every play is significant, and that's because the explosion of proposition wagers has transformed the game into a carnival of bets. Sports bettors like a variety of options and there's much more to debate than what side wins and total points scored. The Hilton posts more props than any book with well over 300 prop bets available for action. On Super Sundays now with all the verity of bets, there is not much missing from Sportsbooks, other than the live game of course. Indianapolis is a 5 1/2-point favorite over New Orleans in Sunday's game at Miami. The line opened 3 1/2, and it's 6 at a few sports books today.

    There is a sense around the football community that this is the Colts' year, and the bettors are backing up that opinion. Already considered one of the all-time great quarterbacks, Manning knows he needs to take that next step. With two Super Bowl wins on his resume, Manning would leap into the elite class of NFL quarterbacks. The Saints are looked upon as the underdogs in this matchup and some think they’re just happy to be a part of the Super Bowl. Las Vegas books are seeing about a 3-to-1 ratio of betting tickets on the Colts, and industry insiders are forecasting more point-spread inflation.

    This post was posted in Vegas News

  • 10 Best Restaurants Off The Strip

    Posted on January 29, 2010 by Jordan

    Las Vegas and surrounding area has some spectacular neighborhood bars and restaurants. Best of all, none of them has anything to do with the Strip. There are a lot of hidden gems just a short ride or in some cases, a walk away from the bright lights of the Strip.

    Rosemary’s - Chef/partners Michael and Wendy Jordan do French-influenced American dishes in this deliciously un-trendy room, way west of the Strip. Made famous for their variety of culinary influences of regions such as New Orleans, the Deep South and the Midwest incorporated in the dishes. The Buzz: The $25 Friday lunch, a three-course prix-fixe, features smartly done classics like beef bourguignon. Located at 8125 West Sahara Ave., 869-2251

    Archi’s Thai Kitchen - Thai food in Las Vegas at Archi’s isn't the best joint in town, but it's one of the most pleasant; a comfortable, well-lit settings off of the Strip. Try some Thai favorites such as, pork pad prik, lad na, oyster pancakes and much more. The Buzz: Need takeout? Call ahead and pick it up at the drive-through window. Located at 6360 West Flamingo Road, 880-5550

    Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge - Circular banquettes face a flaming pool, cocktail waitresses slink around in little black dresses. Just steps from Wynn and tucked away behind a forgettable 24-hour coffee shop, this is one of the most Vegas places in Vegas. The Buzz: This place is one of the most romantic around town. Located at 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 735-4177

    Frankie’s Tiki - A memorable Arts District dive from the folks behind the famous Double Down on Paradise. The only thing more impressive than the classic Polynesian cocktail menu is the classic tiki atmosphere. The Buzz: Drink the Mai Tais if you are looking to party, but you probably won’t be able to drive anywhere else later on. Located at 1712 West Charleston Blvd., 385-3110

    Raku - This Spring Mountain Road robatayaki - Once the secret late-night hideout of local chefs, Raku has now exploded on the national scene. While it was better when we had the place all to ourselves, you can’t ignore the fact that this is the top spot for late-night Japanese pub food. The Buzz: This restaurant will double in size next month, which is good news for those eager to try Chef Mitsuo Endo’s specials. Located at 5030 Spring Mountain Rd. #2, 367-3511

    M &M Soul Food - Las Vegas is diverse beyond its population; besides having competing Hawaiian joints, an army of Thai options and way too many places specializing in Cantonese cooking considering the population. M&M’s Soul Food specializes in Southern staples like smothered pork chops, fried chicken and greens. This is one to know. The Buzz: $5 Sunday breakfasts! Located at 3923 West Charleston Blvd., 453-7685

    Cana Latin Kitchen & Bar - A winning combination of cool ceviches and mojitos by the pitcher, this place is sure to be a hit when summer returns and 90 degree evenings. This Town Square spot recently opened, but we’re confident it’ll last a long time. The Buzz: Local Kevin Lew is the chef here; he’s best known for his stint at Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace. Located at 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 722-6060

    Lotus of Siam - Saipin Chutima’s Commercial Center dive tries to be all things to all people, even after receiving raves from nearly every food writer for its authentic dishes. The Northern specialties menu here is one of the most serious you’ll find at a Thai restaurant in North America. To do Lotus right, avoid ordering anything you've had before, go for something weird, like the Kang-ka-Noon. The Buzz: Come for the delicious lunch buffet. Located at 953 East Sahara Ave., 735-3033

    Nora’s - With huge portions of comforting Italian at low prices in a cozy and even somewhat romantic setting, this is neighborhood mainstay for those in the mood for classic Italian. A generous order of spaghetti with meatballs or sausage is $9.50 whether you drop in for dinner or lunch. The Buzz: If you’re in a hurry and/or on a serious budget, this is a great place, any they’ll sell you two slices of pizza for $3.50 at lunch. Located at 6020 W. Flamingo Rd. #10, 873-8990

    The Bagel Cafe - You can find a great deli slash bagel shop in the middle of the Nevada desert. You’ll love the bagels, the black and white cookies, the cold salads and the no-nonsense servers. This place is pretty special. The Buzz: This is a great way to start a Saturday or Sunday morning sit at the counter behind the bakery case for the best view in the house. Located at 301 North Buffalo Drive, 255-3444

    This post was posted in Vegas News

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