Archive for September, 2011

Two Great Festivals this Weekend in Las Vegas

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

One of the most popular annual festivals in the Summerlin master planned community takes place this weekend for the 17th year in a row. The Summerlin Arts Festival is ready once again to display its magic and beauty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 and 25 at Summerlin Centre Community Park. Original artwork  from over 100 artisans and craftsmen of various disciplines will be on display and of course colorful “chalk art” creations will be the centerpiece of the festival as always. The Arts Festival will also include plenty of great food, live music, kids activities and performances from the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and local professional dance studios.  Attendance is expected to top 10,000 this year and the event is free and open to the general public.

A true Mediterranean adventure awaits as the Las Vegas Greek Food Festival returns to Las Vegas for the 39th year  at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in the southwest section of the valley (5300 El Camino Road). This is a serious 3 day party event attended by over 30,000 people. The food is just amazing and the live music and traditional dancing could not be more authentic. The cooking starts almost two months in advance for this raucous event and all of it is done in the church kitchen if you can believe it. You can also shop for traditional Greek clothing and artwork. This festival is definitely high energy and full of Mediterranean old school charm and the people watching is some of the best you will ever experience. Admission is six dollars and kids under 12 are free. Come hungry because the food is to die for and the desserts are impossible to resist.

Great Event for Las Vegas Dog Lovers

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

The Desert Breeze Aquatic Park (8275 Spring Mountain Rd) began an end of summer tradition seven years ago that has proved to be very popular with Las Vegas dog lovers. Each year Desert Breeze closes their outdoor pools right after Labor Day weekend, but before they do, they host the Dog Daze of Summer swimming event. This Saturday September 10th beginning at 9am residents are encouraged to bring their dogs for a swim in the pool!  Small and medium size dogs have the pool to themselves from 9am until 10:15 and large dogs take over the place from 10:45am until 12 noon. This is a full scale canine celebration with about two dozen vendors on hand and doggie contests such as smallest and largest dog of the day. You have to give credit to Clark County Parks and Recreation for coming up with such a cool end of summer special event. All dog owners must bring proof of current rabies vaccine so the health of all dogs is protected. No, you cannot jump in the pool with your dog and swim, but it’s still great fun and a great way to meet fellow dog lovers and share a few laughs as the pooches splash around. Even if your dog is not a big swimmer, Las Vegas is still a great place to own a dog and enjoy outdoor recreation together. Las Vegas dog parks are to be found all across the valley and feature off-leash play areas that are divided by size for the safety of your pet. I encourage you to find the nearest dog park to your home and try it out. You will meet some very nice people with some equally nice dogs and will notice right away that “regulars” at your local park have established a very pleasant social circle as a result of exercising their pets. In so many ways, community amenities associated with Las Vegas homes are often more than what people initially expect. It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised.

More Positive Signs for Las Vegas

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is predicting that Labor Day weekend will be solidly successful for our city this year. Also, the major travel websites report that New York and Las Vegas are the two top online booking destinations for the 2011 Labor Day holiday. In fact, visitation to the Las Vega Strip is up 5.1% through the first six months of this year and weekend occupancy rates are running at 92% as well.  As I am sure you noticed, gas prices have recently begun to moderate and this is very important for Las Vegas tourism. Roughly 40% of our visitors on any given weekend (especially Labor Day) are drive-in from California and other neighboring states.  How is the airport doing these days?  Passenger counts have actually risen for seven straight months at McCarran International Airport which is very exciting news. The total number for every month of this year has beaten the number for the corresponding month in 2010 and we are very encouraged by this. As always, Southwest Airlines continues to be our busiest carrier. McCarran International is also predicted by aviation analysts to be one of the top ten fastest growing airports in the nation over the next five years. Last but not least, the  Southern Nevada Index of Leading Economic Indicators recorded its second gain in a row for August. This is an especially important measurement because it tabulates economic activity throughout Greater Las Vegas and not just Strip-based spending data. Two months of positive gains are not yet enough to establish a stable upward trend but we have to make a start somewhere. Increases in valley-wide economic activity should lead to gains in employment over time and this is the most crucial factor of all in restoring the health of our community. The state of the Las Vegas economy and the eventual recovery of the Las Vegas real estate market are deeply intertwined as you might imagine, so we will be watching the Southern Nevada Index very closely over the coming months. Thus far in 2011 the signs of recovery are modestly encouraging.