Las Vegas is well known for its entertainment, casinos, and resorts, but the area’s economy has slowly been diversifying as companies are choosing to move to Las Vegas for the lower cost of living, predictable weather, and business-friendly tax laws.
Gaming and hospitality. People travel from all over the world to visit the many casinos and resorts in Las Vegas, and this industry is the lifeblood of the local economy. Some of the largest employers in this group are MGM Resort International (NYSE: MGM), Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN).
Technology. Las Vegas has gained popularity in recent years in the tech space as a mix of large companies and startups are choosing to move to the area. Notable tech companies in the area include Zappos (in downtown Las Vegas), GoWireless, and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), which now has two $600 million data centers in Henderson, NV.
Military. Established in 1941 as the Las Vegas Army Air Field, Nellis Air Force Base is now one of the largest employers in Southern Nevada with a workforce of about 9,500, including military and civilians. Nellis Air Force Base is located about eight miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Healthcare. Las Vegas has several hospitals and medical facilities, which makes healthcare a popular industry there. Dignity Health owns several facilities around Las Vegas, including four St. Rose hospitals and several other specialized facilities. Another company, Valley Health Systems, owns six hospitals around Las Vegas and employs 6,500 residents.
Schools of note
Las Vegas has a number of public and private colleges spread out throughout the area, with a growing number of students.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Located just 1.6 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sits on a 332-acre campus. During the fall of 2020, the school had over 31,000 students enrolled.
Nevada State College
Nevada State College is a growing school located in Henderson, Nevada. Enrollment for fall 2019 was 5,578, which was up over 57% from only five years earlier.
College of Southern Nevada
As the largest college in Nevada, the College of Southern Nevada has three campuses: Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Las Vegas. Between the three campuses, this school has over 31,000 part-time and full-time students enrolled.
Las Vegas is also home to several smaller schools with healthcare programs. Some of these include Roseman University of Health Sciences, Pima Medical Institute, and Chamberlain University College of Nursing.
Neighborhoods of note
Las Vegas has a diverse range of neighborhoods, which all have a different range of real estate values. This leaves a lot of options for investors, whether they want to build new single-family homes in some of the growing communities or buy existing multifamily properties in some of the area’s more established neighborhoods.
Summerlin is a master-planned community that was developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC) in 1990. The community is partly located within the city of Las Vegas and situated on the north west side of the Las Vegas Valley. Summerlin has its own downtown area, shopping districts, and parks and is even home to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Summerlin is broken up into villages, with multiple subdivisions in each. Some of the most popular villages in Summerlin:
- The Arbors
- The Vistas
- The Willows
- Summerlin Centre
- The Paseos
Henderson is its own city located just southeast of the city of Las Vegas and is one of the area's most well-known suburbs. Henderson is home to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and borders two of the area’s most popular national parks: Sloan Canyon and Lake Mead. Henderson is also known as one of the safest cities in the country. Home values in Henderson are typically higher than those within the city limits of Las Vegas.
Some of the most notable neighborhoods within Henderson:
- Green Valley
- River Mountain
- Macdonald Ranch
- Valley View
North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas is a city directly to the north of Las Vegas. It’s most well known for its main attraction, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s also located right next to Nellis Air Force Base, so it’s home to many military families.
North Las Vegas is broken up into three neighborhoods:
- Upper Las Vegas
- Vegas Heights
- Wann Neighborhood
Downtown Las Vegas
The downtown area of Las Vegas is what’s viewed by locals as the heart of the city, where you’ll find the popular Fremont Street and the up-and-coming Art District. This was the main gambling district before the Strip and is still a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Since Downtown is the oldest neighborhood in Las Vegas, many of the houses were built before 1960. Because of the age of many of the houses, home prices and rent are more affordable in Downtown than in many other areas of Las Vegas.
Charleston Heights is located on the west side of Las Vegas and is home to one of the three College of Southern Nevada campuses. Charleston is an older neighborhood, with most of the houses built in the 1960s and 1970s. This means the average home price is less in Charleston Heights than in many of the newer neighborhoods.
The Millionacres bottom line
Las Vegas presents a lot of opportunities for investors. There’s a growing population, an uptick in new businesses, and a strong demand for rentals. However, it’s important to realize this growth is still dependent on the area’s key industry returning. The city has been able to survive the temporary closure of casinos and resorts, but if any further complications delay their recovery, it could have lasting effects on the local economy.
Investors should also be careful in choosing which areas of Las Vegas to invest in. The newer neighborhoods have a high price of entry, making it difficult for investors to earn a return on their investment. Older neighborhoods, on the other hand, could see declining property values if money isn’t continuously invested in them.
Investors interested in Las Vegas should keep a close eye on the recovery of the gaming and hospitality industries and be confident that these companies will thrive again before jumping into the Las Vegas real estate market.