With 5,000 people moving here each month, somebody had to spill the beans!

June 28, 2010

Bridget MagnusCome to find out, Twitter is good for more than getting updates about Twilight, sharing your anger about poor WorldCup officiating, and telling everybody that you just woke up.  It’s really good at finding experts in the most curious of ways.

I put out a tweet about Las Vegas street performers that solicited a funny response by Bridget Magnus, a Las Vegas local.  As I often do when I get a reply on Twitter, I checked out her blog.  Come to find out, she’s a Realtor.  And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she publishes a weekly blog post called “Friday Figures”, which provides a synopsis on what’s what in the Las Vegas real estate market, based upon figures from GLVAR MLS system.

I asked if she’d be interested in sharing her insights with our Living in Las Vegas Podcast readers and she agreed to do so.

Welcome, Bridget.  Thanks for joining the team!

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June 26, 2010

I’ve always found it odd that most businesses struggling to make ends meet catering to tourists fail to realize that there are two million people who live in the Las Vegas Valley who are hungry, thirsty and in search of entertainment as well.  While many locals avoid The Strip because of high prices ($18 for a drink?!  Are you kidding me?!?), more would certainly make the Strip Trip if offered a locals-only discount. 

So, here’s an official “attaboy” to the folks at Wolfgang Puck.

Several Wolfgang Puck restaurants are offering locals 20% off through September 30.  The offer is good for lunch and dinner food only (not drinks) seven days a week at the following restaurants:

  • Spago (The Forum Shops)
  • CUT (Palazzo)
  • Trattoria del Lupo (Mandalay Bay)
  • Postrio Bar & Grill (Grand Canal Shops/Venetian)
  • Wofgang Puck Pizzeria (Crystals, CityCenter)

Locals must show ID to their server to take advantage of the offer.  More info can be found at www.wolfgangpuck.com.

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June 25, 2010

When we first moved to Las Vegas, a trip to The Strip would occasionally include bumping into some form of street performing Elvi (the plural for Elvis, I believe) or showgirl.  You see them downtown as well. You get your picture taken with them, and then give ‘em a tip as thanks. 

Have you ever wondered how much these folks make?

Me, too.

The local Fox news station did a short story on street performers — about how they’ve gone from Elvis and showgirls to KISS’ Gene Simmons, Storm Troupers, Spiderman, and Austin Powers.  The gist of the piece was that some street vendors who sell a product are angry that the street performers don’t have to go through the same permit and licensing requirements as they do.  It’s an interesting debate, but what REALLY got my attention is how much a street performer can make.

According to “Gene”, he makes between $75 to $400 a day sticking a fake tongue in his mouth and posing for pictures.  For a five-day-a-week, fifty-weeks-a-year gig, that averages to $59,375.  But what REALLY REALLY got my attention is what the Storm Trouper makes.

The reported wrapped up the piece by saying that she heard the Storm Trouper “can make seven to eight hundred dollars. . .just amazing!”

What?!?!  $700-$800 a day?!?!?

Yep, go out and buy a Storm Trouper costume, and prepare yourself to make as much as $200,000 a year.

Which begs the question:

Do They Have Storm Trouper Costume in XL?

May the source (of revenue) be with you.

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June 23, 2010

We’ve been sniffing around the residential real estate market lately.  With homes being sold for discounts of 50% from their high (we’re seeing million-dollar homes going for $500k), we wanted to see if it makes sense for us to make a move.

Although I’m very very impressed with realtor.com’s search functions (it does what those ‘sign-up-to-get-your-search-info’ sites do for free), I stumbled upon a cool feature in Google Maps.

GoogleRealEstate Under the MORE tab (found on the upper-right of the map), select “Real Estate…”.  Instantly, all homes for sale in your area pops up on the map.  Additionally, the column to the left of the map presents some simple criteria for the search (Listing type, # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, square footage).  After narrowing the search, you get a clearer look into what’s happening in your area. 

When you click on one of the teardrop thingies, the property info comes up with a link to the website with the property’s details.

Pretty cool stuff.

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June 23, 2010

fontainebleau In response to our Lake Las Vegas post, our good friend Cheryl pointed me to an article in the Las Vegas Sun about Fontainebleau, the casino/resort in waiting on the Las Vegas Strip.

As the article goes on to say, the 47 permits pulled by Icahn Nevada Gaming Acquisition doesn’t necessarily mean any actual building is going to take place. According to county officials, the permits, which list a variety of projects (casino, hotel and restaurant remodelings, miscellaneous commercial structure work and parking structure modifications), could simply be procedural.

Let’s hope for the best!

(And hope the negative comments on the Sun article page are wrong.)

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June 22, 2010

LLV When Melissa and I first moved to Las Vegas, we were very impressed with Lake Las Vegas.  Its a 3,592-acre master-planned residential and resort community near the Lake Mead National Recreational Area and about 20 miles east of the center of Las Vegas.  Back in 2005, it looked like the crown jewel of the booming Las Vegas real estate market.  But as the economy and local real estate market turned for the worst, Lake Las Vegas turned for the worst-er.

Lake Las Vegas filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on July 17, 2008.  It was reported to be a very contentious filing.  I just saw a press release announcing that the court “confirms Lake Las Vegas plans of reorganization”.

Here’s the link.

I sure hope things turn out okay for the folks living in LLV.  I’ve seen a TON of short sale/foreclosures in the area.  Pretty depressing for those who live out there.

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June 6, 2010

It would be obvious to think that because our latest Living in Las Vegas PodcastFriend” Bob W. shares two distinct traits with me, THAT is why I believe his recently-added photo epitomizes the pinnacle of cool.

But you know I’m much more fair and balanced than that. 

Long before I recognized the powerful one-two punch of groovy that presents itself when a person like Bob rocks a goatee and rides a large, v-twin motorcycle, it was deemed groovy by the universe.

Bob and I just fell into it.

I have since stopped riding my motorcycle around Las Vegas.  (Have you seen how people drive around here?!?!)  But you can bet I still respect and admire the goatee+motorcycle combo that has proven to keep America great.

Thank you Bob for continuing the tradition of grooviness.  And welcome to the website!

(And kudos to Bob’s wife Donna for playing along in the motorcycling fun!)

By the way, are YOU on our Friends of the Living in Las Vegas Podcast page? It’s easy! Just attach a photo of yourself to an email and send it to friends@livinginlv.com. Include your name and location and you too will be groovy, just like Bob!

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