Hundreds of members of the Las Vegas business community descended on the Thomas and Mack center Thursday to find out the economic forecast for the year ahead.
It was all part of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s “Preview Las Vegas” event.
As the country is about to hit a decade of economic growth, the Silver State is out in front. Applied Analysis Principal Jeremy Aguero highlighted some of Nevada’s major accomplishments for 2018, including being number 1 in growth rate, job growth rate and personal income growth.
This comes with growing pains however.
Housing prices, for example, have gone up faster than wages and the market slowed in the last quarter of 2018.
“Have we seen a little bit of a softening in the housing market, and the answer to that is absolutely yes, but we are not of line with national averages, we are not out of line with our historical trends here,” Aguero said.
While gaming and tourism remains a crucial sector of Las Vegas’ economy, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill says projects like the Raiders Stadium will help keep Las Vegas competitive with rival cities like Orlando.
“We are maturing into a world-class and world-recognized city, for more than just gaming and hospitality,” Hill said.
Brookings Mountain West Director Robert Lang pointed out what he calls a disparity in the state’s efforts to attract businesses to Nevada.
Las Vegas-based projects have only received about 22 percent of the incentives awarded to companies to relocate here, according to Brookings Research. The vast majority of incentives have gone up north.
“The only reason you could have Reno bidding on Tesla is that way down, 400 miles down here, is a giant Strip loaded with very productive businesses that have enormous tax capacity, and then you can forgive somebody and cushion their entry into our state as a result of that,” said Dr. Robert Lang, executive director, Brookings Mountain West, Lincy Institute.
Incentivized or not, growth is projected to continue through 2019.
The annual event also serves as a mixer for business leaders to interact and network.