Vegas: 2010 Started and Ended Without a Bang

SOME COMBEACKS ARE REALLY BORING
November 23, 2010: If 2009 was marked by exciting predatory lending lawsuits against Countrywide, public arrests of home loan modification scammers, and a record breaking plummeting Las Vegas real estate market (see our 2009 wrap up), than the year 2010 was by comparison, a bore.

In 2010, residential short sales and foreclosures never skyrocketed, but continued at a steady hum. Commercial real estate never collapsed like everyone said it would, but instead it limped along. There was no 2010 version of the now (in)famous “Half Price Lawyers”. No anxiety producing City Center-like casino hotel opened in 2010.

THAT SON-OF-A-GUN STEVE WYNN DECIDED TO MOVE TO CHINA

In 2010, people slowly left Las Vegas for jobs in other places. California businesses shutdown their Nevada satellite offices. Orange County law firms cancelled their plans to open up a Las Vegas law firm. Las Vegas law firms cancelled their plans to open up an Arizona law firm. Strip hotels cancelled their plans to complete those humongous half-built construction projects and could not afford to implode those eyesores.

SOME FAMILIES MUST PREPARE A LONG TIME BEFORE THEY LEAVE

While people outside of Nevada cancelled their plans to move to Las Vegas, people living in Las Vegas drafted plans to get out. Las Vegas homeowners had to first short-sell their home before they could leave, and that could take years. Some couldn’t wait and just stategically defaulted.

Before they left, the Las Vegas unemployed decided to wait until their unemployment benefits stopped. Casino workers decided to go back to CSN or UNLV so that they could get a better job when they move to another state. The hope for out of state jobs replaced the hope for Las Vegas Green Jobs, just like old fashioned shower heads replaced those crappy low flow shower heads.

LAS VEGAS WAS ABOUT BEING NEW

Being new, however, is now old fashioned. Austerity is the new normal. When Las Vegas comes back its buildings and its “what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas” creed will be tired. The very idea of Las Vegas “re-inventing itself” is now outdated. The happiest mayor in the world will be sort of older.

There will be no Wallstreet debt to finance another record breaking construction boom to fuel the Las Vegas comeback. There will never again be those Southwest Airlines “drunk party flights” to Vegas. Las Vegas just fizzled out. Its comeback will likely be just as boring.

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