“It should not go unrecognized that the man

Sin City hits the skids

Las Vegas has high quality designer replica handbags always been a love it or hate it kind of place, but never has it felt this unloved.

This ball of artificial light in the Mojave Desert long defied nature and the business cycle by offering Americans quick thrills and the irresistible promise of well lubricated or libidinous indiscretion staying secret here.

Not this time. After a dizzying decade long megaboom that saw the city’s economy replica louis vuitton bags from china double in size, hangover in Vegas has come to mean much more than a movie title. It’s an unending cheap replica handbags reality.

Story continues below advertisement

Nevada has the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country. Thanks to the Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags newly parsimonious American consumer, Vegas has a glut replica louis vuitton handbags of underused luxury hotel rooms and half built real estate on The Strip.

The bust has left Las Vegans shell shocked.

“This is a flashy town and it brings out the worst in everybody,” Mike Olson says of his construction industry friends who bought multimillion dollar homes, planes and yachts during the good times. “Those toys are all gone. Everybody’s lives have been changed dramatically.”

As chairman of the Nevada Contractors Association, Mr. Olson hoped his industry would be seeing proof of a recovery by now. Instead, like so many in this city built on big spending, he’s wondering how long penny pinching and value shopping will remain the new normal.

After doubling in the five years to 2006, the median price of a home is down by almost two thirds. The unemployment rate is nearly 15 per cent. Greater Las Vegas, with a population just shy of two million dolabuy.su , has lost more than 100,000 jobs since the crash.

Few of them will be coming back until Americans start spending again. Bargain prices have led to a modest increase in the number of tourists in Vegas. But high flyers they’re not. In the first eight months of this year, gaming revenues barely budged, after plunging almost 20 per cent in 2009.

An influx of wealthy Asians hooked on high stakes baccarat has helped some upper end hotels keep the lights on. They pushed statewide gaming revenues 11.5 per cent higher in August. Still, the increase was based on a dismal 2009 figure and no one knows if it will last.

Story continues below advertisement

“If you wanted to stabilize the economy here, the main thing you need to do is to get personal income growing throughout the United States,” explains Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The tagline was part of a successful rebranding of Las Vegas into a high end destination, with first class hotels, casinos, restaurants, live shows and nightclubs. It started out replica designer handbags nicely. But the average hotel room, which went 1:1 replica handbags for $142 two years ago, fetched a mere $87 in August.

Steve and Mary Matthews came for the deals.

“And we came with $500 in cash,” Mr. Matthews adds. history. The project was intended to symbolize the city’s arrival as a destination for financially flush fashionistas.

Instead, it might be a white elephant. Aria’s rooms are going for one third to one half of their expected price tag, according to estimates.

Story continues below advertisement

Opened 10 months ago, the opulent CityCenter has a Henry Moore sculpture outside. Its 4,000 Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags room Aria hotel casino was designed by high quality replica handbags china Cesar Pelli. Daniel Libeskind’s name is on the Crystals shopping concourse, where Versace, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton have opened outrageously pricey replica louis vuitton bags outlets. Shoppers apparently didn’t get the memo. The mall is barren.

Regrets? None, insists MGM Resorts senior vice president Alan Feldman aaa replica designer handbags , who remains bullish on CityCenter’s longer term prospects.

“This is a town of incredibly ambitious vision,” he says in his decidedly un Strip like office on Industrial Road. “It should not go unrecognized that the man responsible for MGM is Kirk Kerkorian and he built the largest hotel in the world four times.”

Still, Aria’s room prices could fall further in December, when 2,000 rooms open next door at The Cosmopolitan, a new $3.9 billion hotel completed by lender Deutsche Bank after its developer defaulted on loans.

At least it got built. Construction on the 68 storey Fontainebleau hotel casino was halted in 2008 when the $3 billion project went broke. A bit farther down The Strip, what was supposed to become the $4 billion Echelon remains a hollow concrete shell.

The Strip looks relatively unscathed, however, compared to the city’s decimated housing sector. Much of the demand that fuelled its boom came from outside the state. Investors bought homes on spec without ever moving in.

Story continues below advertisement

When the bubble burst aaa replica designer handbags , those living here were left to suffer the consequences. Last month, three quarters of home purchases here consisted of foreclosed properties or short sales, bank approved transactions where the owner sells for less than the amount owed. Empty, unkempt properties have turned previously pleasant neighbourhoods into eerie eyesores.

“We don’t have the population to absorb this [housing]inventory because a lot of it was owned by people who weren’t living here in the first place,” Mr. Feldman explains. “The road out of this is going to be very long and hard.”

For the construction sector, the halt to both development on The Strip and home building has been ruthless. Mr. Olson, whose company makes cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk concrete drainage pipes, has laid off half of the 250 people he employed a few years ago.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: