Posts Tagged ‘Inside Las Vegas’

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.

New Developments on the Las Vegas Strip

Friday, August 26th, 2011

It will be some time before the skyline of the Las Vegas Strip is again dotted with construction cranes the way it used to be during the boom years. While a 20-year construction binge has come to an end (for now), this doesn’t mean that things have gone dead on the most dynamic street in America, not hardly. The emphasis now is on making the most of what we already have and that involves a continuous cycle of upgrades and improvements. Here are some examples of what is going on in a city that is supposed to be dead in the water. Between now and the end of the year the Bellagio will complete a $70 million project to upgrade and renovate every room in the hotel. Caesars Palace recently announced that the Centurion Tower will be completely transformed into a 180-room Nobu boutique hotel complete with opulent Japanese elegance and of course a Nobu restaurant and lounge for the finest Japanese dining in the world. A new project has also been announced that will create a retail, restaurant and amusement venue across from Mandalay Bay (spanning 11 acres) complete with the Skyvue Las Vegas Ferris Wheel at 475 feet with 40 viewing cabins. Last but certainly not least, the “Linq” has just been announced by Caesars Entertainment as a $550 million fully financed “open air” entertainment village right across the street from Caesars Palace. The completion date is 2013 and will also include a massive Ferris wheel aptly named the High Roller. All of these projects will generate hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs during the building phase and as many or more once they become fully staffed and operational. All of this is welcome news for the Las Vegas economy and the Las Vegas real estate market due to the fact that they both suffer from a number of ailments but none more prominent and significant than a currently weak job market.

Plenty of Encouraging Signs for Las Vegas !!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

There are plenty of encouraging signs that Las Vegas is making a comeback. One of our most serious problems has been a sky high unemployment rate for the last three years, but employment across Southern Nevada actually increased in March for the first time in 38 months. Our labor market recovery still has a long way to go but you have to make a start somewhere and March was significant for that reason most of all. As one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the globe, the status of the Las Vegas economy can also be gauged by statistics from McCarran International Airport. March clocked-in as the third consecutive month of increased passenger counts and Southwest Airlines continues to be our most important carrier. In terms of overall tourist traffic for the Las Vegas Strip, February gave our city it’s 12th consecutive month of increased visitation numbers. Based in large measure on these highly encouraging data points, finance magazine Kiplinger included Las Vegas on their list of  “11 Comeback Cities for 2011.”  Without question, Las Vegas is fighting back from a very difficult phase in it’s colorful and interesting  history. It might be a good idea to remember the old adage that no one ever got rich betting against Las Vegas, a city like no other. The future looks brighter by the day …

Las Vegas Real Estate Activity Surges in March

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

For a city that is supposed to be dead or dying, there sure is a lot of aggressive buyer activity going on for residential real estate across Southern Nevada. Clearly, there is a strong consensus among many that Las Vegas homes are an excellent long-term investment at current prices and March can best be described as a stellar month for proponents of this point of view. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Sales of existing homes in March hit the highest level in 17 months, and this without the artificial stimulus of a government tax credit to spur buyers to act. Not surprisingly, foreclosure sales dominated the playing field, accounting for roughly half of all transactions in March. Another encouraging statistic was the 24% of all transactions last month that can be attributed to a successful short sale negotiation. Another point worth mentioning is the relatively minor role played by the mortgage market in this flurry of activity. In fact, the number of homes in Las Vegas purchased by means of a mortgage has hit a 17-year low. Yup, you guessed it, cash is King in this market. Would you believe that roughly half of all purchases in the Las Vegas real estate market are executed on a cash basis? It’s true! In fact, this statistic has fluctuated between 40 and 50 per cent for well over a year now. That’s a huge amount of economic and financial confidence rolling through the valley in the form of cashier’s checks. People often speculate that so called “outsiders” are swooping into Las Vegas with bags of money and scooping up homes left and right, but in actual fact more than half of all cash buyers live right here in Clark County, with the next biggest group of  real estate players living in next door California. It seems that the people closest to the situation understand it the best … and spend their investment dollars accordingly.

Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort Celebrates Opening Weekend!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team would like to remind everyone that we have a great ski & snowboard facility just 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. When we mention this to people they can hardly believe it, but it’s true! Yes we realize this is the desert southwest and that Las Vegas is much better known for “blast furnace” dry heat, but skiing on Mount Charleston has been around for 47 years even though many people do not know of it’s existence even today. How are current conditions? The base is 12 inches, grooming is excellent and the temperatures are currently in the 20’s with more snow in the forecast. What kind of amenities can you expect from a ski resort you probably never imagined to be less than an hour from the MGM Grand? The Big Horn Cafe has great food and the recently remodeled Sports Shop has all the gear and accessories you need. If you happened to come to Vegas without ski equipment or clothing (a very real possibility) you will find quality rentals available as well. The base lodge sits at 8,510 feet and four lifts take you up to 11 trails that provide great fun for beginners and advanced shredders alike. Darkside Terrain Parks offer a variety of terrain features including table-top jumps and assorted rails for aerial enthusiasts. Locals love the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort and enjoy convenient round-trip shuttle bus transportation from numerous starting points around the valley. Last year was a record season of 181 days and this year looks to be just as promising, so trek up the mountain and join the winter fun!

Las Vegas Foreclosures and Military Families – Operation Home Relief

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team would like to draw attention to an especially important campaign launched by the National Association of Realtors through  its consumer website The campaign is called Operation Home Relief and one of it’s highly important functions is to engage support and raise money for USA Cares, a nonprofit that provides foreclosure assistance and counseling to post-9/11 active duty and veteran U.S. military service personnel. This is an issue especially close to our hearts here in the Las Vegas community. While we are often thought of as the gaming capital of the world, we are also proud to be home to Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas and Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada (about 45 minutes northwest of the Vegas valley). Both installations are full of men and women that serve our nation faithfully and we care about them deeply. It is an unfortunate fact that military personnel and their families have been hit especially hard by the foreclosure crisis nationwide and Southern Nevada is no exception. HouseLogic and the NAR are there to support USA Cares in their efforts to provide financial and logistical support that keeps more military families in their homes where they truly belong.

On another note of importance to the military culture that makes up such an important part of our community, McCarran Airport recently announced the grand opening of the new USO at McCarran International Airport facility. This is a lounge that provides comforts, services and privacy to military personnel and their families traveling through our city. It is expected that 55,000 troops and family members from all branches of the military will make use of this facility annually. We are so proud to be part of a community that is dedicated to serving the needs of our men and women in uniform in this way. A special thanks goes out to Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak who played an important leadership role in making the new McCarran USO Lounge a reality … and thanks most of all to the men and women that protect our freeedoms every day all over the world!

Las Vegas is Open for Business

Friday, November 12th, 2010

The reports of the demise of Las Vegas, Nevada are premature to say the least and no one ever got rich betting against this town. Although you hear so much “sky is falling” chatter from the national media, the truth is the local facts on the ground are not quite so dire. Are we going through a tough time? Sure, but it’s temporary and this town has too many strengths and unique characteristics to stay behind the eight ball for long. Case in point; the non-profit and nonpartisan (is there such a thing?) Tax Foundation of Washington D.C. has recently released their 2010 rankings for the states with the most “business friendly” tax policies. How did we do? Right behind freezing cold South Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming comes the Silver State (Nevada) as the fourth friendliest tax environment for businesses to operate and grow in.

In case you are wondering how much practical affect this “tax climate” ranking has for how businesses actually make location decisions, consider these two recent examples. California-based Amonix, which is a company that makes solar-power systems, just broke ground a few weeks ago on a new production facility in North Las Vegas. The plant will manufacture photovoltaic systems and run 24/7 and create 278 new Southern Nevada jobs at completion. Another example is U.S. Micro Corporation (a leader in IT asset disposition and data security)  which announced on October 28th that the company will relocate its corporate headquarters from Atlanta to Las Vegas. The new headquarters is designed to meet LEED Gold Certification Environmental Standards and will bring 100 new jobs to Southern Nevada. Jim Kegley, president of U.S. Micro Corporation stated that …

“We chose to relocate to Las Vegas because of the area’s competitive business climate, talented labor pool, state-of-the-art technology and transportation infrastructure, and the city’s proximity to some of the world’s largest information technology markets.”

Las Vegas, Nevada is very much open for business and the reports of our demise are seriously premature. Despite the severity of the current recession, I wouldn’t bet against this town.

First Annual Red Cross Las Vegas Veteran’s Day Golf Tournament

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The RSVP deadline is this coming Friday (Nov 5th) for the first annual Red Cross Las Vegas Veteran’s Day Golf Tournament at Nellis Air Force Base. Affordably priced at $300 per foursome (or $75 per individual), players get a chance to play at the Sunrise Golf Course on Nellis AFB while planes fly in throughout the day to stage for the Aviation Nation air show. The golf course is near the end of the runway so you can always blame a bad game on the jet backwash!

Both individuals and full foursomes can register. This event is open to the public and you do not need to be in the military to play. You also do not need to have base access to play. Upon receipt of registration and payment, Red Cross staff will contact individual players to get some additional personal information in order to obtain base access.

Date:  Thursday, November 11th at 8:00am (continental breakfast and light lunch provided)
Prizes for first, second, and last place. Awards to be presented by senior base command staff and Miss Nevada USA.

Register online at
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Danielle Duncan at or 702-369-3674

Public Computer Centers for Greater Las Vegas

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

A total of twenty nine free public computer centers are in the process of being developed all across Greater Las Vegas.  In fact, fifteen of these new technology learning facilities are already up and running and serving the community, with the rest due to open by the first of the new year. How did something this important come about? It all began when the Las Vegas Urban League was awarded a 4.7 million dollar grant through the Federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program to create Free Public Computer Centers across Southern Nevada. This has been a substantial and cohesive collaboration with the City of Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Housing Authority, Cox Communications and other local partners playing significant roles as well.  The result has been a tremendous advance in educational opportunity for those most in need when it comes to technological literacy.

The Public Computer Centers will offer a mix of open computer sessions and structured class instruction that is completely free to the public. Learning opportunities begin with the basics for those who have yet to join the technology revolution, but will also include more advanced classes on Internet safety, effective online job hunting skills and that bastion of the Internet age … Microsoft Office. It is absolutely critical in the 21st century that no one get left behind as the world becomes more and more computerized. The Las Vegas Urban League (along with their community partners) has accomplished something very powerful that seeks to ensure against a lack of personal resources as a barrier to educational advancement in the technology realm. We enthusiastically applaud their efforts.