Las Vegas

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Description: In February, while emphasizing the need for collective economic prudence, president Obama told a crowd in Nashua, NH, "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college." It wasn't the first time Obama had voiced an apparent prejudice against the city, and this time Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman and other officials lashed out. Obama's remark seemed particularly ill-timed given Las Vegas' recent efforts to reinvent itself as more than a destination for gambling, lavish hotels and strip clubs. Now, as then, economic diversification is the city's priority. Given Vegas' heavy reliance on tourism, its economy is especially vulnerable. Although diversifying the economy is a sure bet, city officials have encountered roadblocks on the path to development downtown and throughout the city. One has to do with demographics. Another potential obstacle is the development funding structure. The final troublesome aspect of the future of Las Vegas' development has to do with leadership.
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