betting on nevada
There is no shortage of positive news for Nevada’s economy these days, which is certainly more than welcome, given where the state’s economic fortunes sat not all that long ago. Statewide annual employment growth is first in the nation, a spot Nevada has held for seven consecutive months, and for 19 of the past 36 months. The unemployment rate is as low as it was in the early 2000s. Personal income annual growth ranked third in the country, while average weekly wage growth is second fastest in the United States.
In many ways, Nevada is once again one of the most prolific economies in the nation--a typical position for the state throughout much the past half century. Like much of that history, people from around the nation and the world are voting with their feet and moving to the Silver State in search of economic opportunities and a better quality of life. As a result, Nevada recorded the fastest-growing population in 2018, improving upon second-place rankings in 2016 and 2017.
The state’s return to economic vitality is even more impressive given the depths it reached during the economic downturn. I won’t recount that history here, but many skeptics then believed Nevada would never recover. The fact that our state proved the skeptics wrong is a testament to our resiliency and our ability to rebound, but it should be remembered that the economic success did not happen by accident. Driving Nevada’s history of economic growth and development success are the decisions and actions of leaders in public agencies and private enterprise who, to use a gambling metaphor, bet on ourselves and walked away a winner.
Many of the seeds of Nevada’s current economic success were planted years ago amid varying degrees of uncertainty. There are too many examples to cover them all here, but I’ll highlight a few of the boldest bets that have paid off. In 2009, McCarran International Airport moved forward with building Terminal 3 despite calls to wait. Today, the new terminal helped the airport surpass a record 50 million passengers over the most recent 12-month period. Shortly after Terminal 3 opened in 2012, MGM Resorts International and AEG announced plans to build T-Mobile Arena. Today, the facility is home to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and is booked solid with concerts, boxing matches and other events that made it the highest-grossing arena in the nation in 2018.
In Northern Nevada, perhaps nothing has transformed the regional economy more than the 2014 agreement with electric vehicle maker Tesla to build its Gigafactory to manufacture batteries. The state’s incentive package had its share of critics at the time. Today, the facility has exceeded targets for employment and investment, and the Gigafactory has helped pave the way for billions more dollars in regional investment by Silicon Valley giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon.
These decisions continued a tradition of bold moves that have helped transform and reinvent Nevada’s economy decade after decade. That transformation continues today, thanks to a new round of bets that are poised to strengthen the state economy, including ongoing investments in the Las Vegas Stadium and the Las Vegas Convention Center, and significant private capital commitments behind the Resorts World Las Vegas and Circa Resort & Casino projects.
Years from now, these investments, along with others that haven’t even been conceived of yet, will be playing roles in the state’s economic success story. Nevada won’t always lead the nation in economic growth, but thanks to a history of betting on ourselves, our economy is stronger, more diverse and more resilient, making it better positioned to weather the ups and downs of the business cycle.
A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ARCHIVE
||Constructing Economic Growth
|February 2018||Investing in Our Future|
|March 2018||Destination: Nevada|
|April 2018||34 Billion Reasons|
|June 2018||Turning Dreams into Reality|
|July 2018||On Housing and Bubbles|
|August 2018||Pride in Our Schools|
|September 2018||Austerity During Prosperity|
|October 2018||Events, Venues, and the Evolution of Las Vegas|
|November 2018||Economic Legacy|
|December 2018||Vision and Commitment|
||What Is It That Makes a Community Great?
|February 2017||A Competitive Market is a Healthy Market
|March 2017||South Point Bowling Plaza: They Built It and They Came
|April 2017||The Economy and a Better Society
|May 2017||Retail Sales: Another Sign of Nevada’s Strengthening Economy
|June 2017||Entrepreneurship: Key to Nevada’s Economic Rebound
|July 2017||When It Comes to Conventions, Las Vegas Is Serious Business
|August 2017||UNLV’s Hotel College Poised for the Future
|September 2017||Looking Beyond Game Day
|October 2017||Community Is What Defines Us|
|November 2017||A Night with the Golden Knights
|December 2017||Data and Community|
|December 2016||Southern Nevada Housing Market Continues Steady Rise
|November 2016||Jobs in Nevada: Back in the Black|
|October 2016||The UNLV Medical School: Good for the Health of Our Community and Our Economy|
|September 2016||More Workers are Quitting, and That’s a Good Thing|
|August 2016||The Rise of Restaurants|
|July 2016||Cones of Progress|
|June 2016||Nevada and the Autonomous Frontier|
|May 2016||Young Minds Leading Nevada’s STEM Future|
||An Award for GOED Means an Award for Nevada|
|March 2016||Rising Wages and the Strengthening Economies|
|February 2016||North Las Vegas: "What Ifs?" Becoming Realities|
||Evolving Economic Development|
|December 2015||A New Foundation: Economic Outlook|
|November 2015||Committed to Philanthropy|
|October 2015||Celebrating Nevada's Diversity|
|September 2015||The Return of Investment|
|August 2015||What's Working in Public Education|
|July 2015||Metal Rebel: UNLV Robotics|
|June 2015||Housing: Recession and Recovery|
|May 2015||Public Safety Key to Economic Growth|
|April 2015||Working Together: Touro University
|March 2015||Progress and Patience: Downtown Redevelopment
|February 2015||Welcome Forward: Economic Recovery|
|January 2015||More than Low Taxes: Economic Development|