One of Americaï¿½s Favorite Playgrounds
There’s a myth that buying a primary or secondary home in Las Vegas is not a particularly good investment because there is so much more open land available, which will keep appreciation low. Wrong. Despite the enchanting landscape surrounding the city, almost all of the open land is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and, to a lesser extent, by Indian tribes, according to Mark L. Stark, the owner, broker, and CEO of Prudential Americana Group, Realtors. “In fact, in the whole state of Nevada, only 13 percent of the land is privately owned,” Stark says.
That is why construction of urban condominiums has been roaring in the last four years, especially in the last 18 months. And people are snapping up these luxurious condos that feature stunning views of the Strip, the rest of the city, and, in the distance, the desert landscape. For example, The Cosmopolitan, a two-tower project that is right on the Sunset Strip, next to the Bellagio, has not even been completed, yet the first tower is completely sold out and the second tower is 50 percent sold. “We have sold 1,600 units in less than a year,” says Stark, whose company is in charge of The Cosmopolitan’s sales.
Sales of single-family homes are continuing to boom, as well. In the 1990s, Vegas was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S., and it is still attracting more than 5,000 new residents a month. The city has a healthy job market, property taxes are low, and there is no state income tax. Single-family homes, many in luxurious master-planned communities, run from the mid $100,000s to the multi-millions. The median price for an existing single-family home in Greater Las Vegas is $285,500. The median price for a single-family luxury home is $1,250,000.
Current population of the city itself is 559,824; in all of Clark County, 1,747,025. The city attracts 2.5 million visitors every month and tourism has been helped, in recent decades, by the trend of building more family-oriented resort/casinos, so that kids now have lots more to do than just swim in the pool or sit in the hotel room.
Golf, Gardening, and Sight-Seeing
The Las Vegas Valley prides itself on the absence of mosquitoes and other pesky insects, making it a paradise for gardeners and golfers. For the latter, and estimates are that 125,000 golfers live in the area, there are 64 courses, with more in the planning stages. Most of the kings of golf course design – such as Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, and Pete Dye – have created one or more masterpieces in the area. Some of the most beautiful and popular courses include Tournament Players Club at the Canyons, Spanish Trails, and the Rio Secco Golf Course in the community of Seven Hills.
Greater Las Vegas is also home to an eclectic list of natural and manmade wonders, including Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon state parks, Mt. Charleston Ski Resort...and the Air Force Thunderbirds!
Story by Jacqueline Shannon
Photography by Bob Thompson and Paul Cicocki