Lake Mead Water Level Rising

October 12th, 2011

The water levels of Lake Mead are rising. For the first time in over ten years, the water is headed up not down and although no one wants to celebrate too soon, it’s worth popping a little bubbly for.

The water problem in Las Vegas has been a concern for years and the main solution has been water conservation. In 2007 we blogged about a Water Smart Congress and Las Vegas has been focusing their efforts to ease the water problem. Clark County continues to be applauded and awarded for it’s various conservation practices including the tax credits for converting to desert landscaping and the enforcement of water schedules and practices. Way to go!

Analysts believe that the rising levels of Lake Mead will only continue until the end of the year. Heavy snowfall has accounted for the level increase and only time and Mother Nature will tell what will happen this next season. As it stands with the current rate of water rising, Lake Mead will be around 50% capacity. Not yet enough to start splurging on our water usage.

Conservation programs are continually being tweaked and new ideas are being birthed as the promise to climb out of this decade of drought is uncertain. My contribution? Take fewer baths and shorter showers, keep the inside instead of the outside of my car squeaky clean and order beer instead of tap water at the local watering hole.



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Local Gamblers Leaving Las Vegas

September 28th, 2011

April 15, 2011 was officially deemed “Black Friday” by the poker world. What happened? Three major online poker sites were shut down and their CEOs were indicted on counts of money laundering and bank fraud. Anyone in the U.S. who made a living playing online poker was simply out of luck.

While many of these local online gamblers were single, they contributed much to the local economy and spending money was no problem. But now the single players as well as those who are married who have been providing for their families simply through online poker are now having to make a choice: move to another country that allows internet gambling or find another job. For the unattached crowd, the option is simple and tantalizing, move.

Many gaming analysts believe that poker’s “Black Friday” will have serious consequences especially to the World Series of Poker held each year at the Rio in Las Vegas. Many players qualified for the tournament through online winnings. Now that that has been shut down, the entries are projected to reduce from 8,000 to around 2,500, a significant decline. If the numbers are down and the viewers are less, big name sponsorship will drop as well. With those kind of bleak stats, all aspects of Las Vegas’ economy will inevitably take a hit.

Now that nearly 90% of the online gaming community has disappeared, things are bound to change and not for the better unless you’re Costa Rica, Canada or Mexico – countries who still allow online gaming. Local casinos will have to get creative and up the anti to entice poker players to stay and play at actual tables.



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Fun Friday: Las Vegas Greek Festival

September 23rd, 2011

Skip breakfast and lunch today because you’re going to need all the extra room for some of the best Greek food in Las Vegas. This weekend marks the 39th year for the famous festival. Three days of Greek goodness!

AND THE DANCING! The festival entertainment with the Greek dancers from children to adults is really where all the fun and laughter starts. Dine and then dance along.

Here are the details:

September 23-25th (Friday – Sunday)
St. John the Baptist Green Orthodox Church (at El Camino & W. Hacienda)
$6 for adults (children 12 and under are free)

On the main menu:
Gyros, Kebabs, Dolmathes, Pastitsios, Spanakopitas, Tiropitas and more!

On the dessert menu:
Loukoumathes, Diples, Koulourakia, Kourambiethes, Melomakaronas, Kataifi, Bougatasa and of course Baklava and more!

Don’t know what’s in a Pastitsio or what a Kataifi tastes like? Check out the Las Vegas Greek Festival for more information.



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Another Look at the Las Vegas Real Estate Market

September 21st, 2011

It’s hard to always talk about the bright side of things when all the over arching themes seem to be continually gloomy. As a real estate agent, broker and investor, I too have to evaluate the market and be honest about what seems to be happening in the Las Vegas real estate market.

Here are the facts:

  • Resale home prices are at an all time low.
  • Las Vegas continues to be number one in the country for foreclosures.
  • Foreclosure numbers are declining slowly but because default notices continue to increase, the actual foreclosure count will remain grim.
  • The national average household income level has dropped to under $50,000.
  • While interest rates are extremely low, lending guidelines are much more strict.
  • The real estate strain includes not only residential but commercial properties as well.

So where’s the good news? Again, when all the surrounding statistics are ugly it’s hard to see much beyond that but HOMES ARE SELLING! Not only are they selling in about 90 days after being on the market, but Las Vegas homes are selling an average of 10-15 days faster than the national average!

Slow and steady wins the race friends. The market will one day return. I’m not sure we’ll see it rise to those glory days of early 2000, but it will return. We’re all in this one for the long haul.



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Eating in Season in Las Vegas

September 14th, 2011

Living in the desert can pose a few problems when it comes to eating fresh food. The lack of rain and the water restrictions keep many farms at bay. The number of actual functioning fruit and vegetable farms is miniscule so how does a Las Vegas real estate resident eat in season?

The first thing is to know is what’s in season. Luckily California is just a few hours away and they have a plethora of seasonal foods to choose from. Most produce arrives pretty fresh as opposed to having to be transported from New York only to be not-so-fresh upon arrival. A great resource is the Southland Farmers’ Market Association out of California. The site lists by month which counties grow what and when. If you want to eat seasonally, bookmark it.

The other option is to buy produce from the few local farmers at Las Vegas farmers markets around the city. Now this kind of shopping requires a little more planning as there’s not a 24-hour farmers market in town. Most farmers set up shop on different days in different locations. The Las Vegas Farmers’ Market site has a list of days, times and locations. Again, it’s another great resource and supporting local Ma and Pa farms keeps them up and running.

What’s in season in September? Apples, Avocados, Eggplant, Grapes, Okra, Peaches, Pears, Squash and much more. Enjoy!



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