When popular national media touts the livability of Las Vegas, those who call the city home react with both a tinge of pride and “duh.” That’s the case when Livability.com chose Las Vegas for inclusion in its 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live stating “If you’re looking for a fresh start in an exciting and evolving city, Vegas is a great place to build a life, career and community.
Livability’s editors surveyed 1000 millennials nationwide. The result? Las Vegas earned high scores for diversity, amenities and economics. After all, Las Vegans wake up each morning to a strong economy where job availability is on a steady rise and where homeownership remains relatively affordable.
According to the Nevada Dept. of Employment, in March 2019 Las Vegas employment grew at a rate of 2.8 percent, higher than the national rate of 1.7 percent. According to Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes was $296,200 in February 2019. Comparatively, the median price for similar homes in southern California is in excess of $548,700.
And, for those who prefer a condominium lifestyle and a walkable neighborhood, Downtown Las Vegas is solidifying its reputation among millennials as well as retirees as the choice for vibrant city living. And mixed-use condo high-rise towers like Juhl and The Ogden are among the most popular and within walking distance of shopping, coffee houses and some of the city’s trendiest bars and restaurants.
Of course, while employment and housing are the foundation on which livability is built, amenities and lifestyle paint the colorful kaleidoscope of what it means to live in Las Vegas.
While you may only associate Las Vegas with the glitz and glamour of the Strip, the city offers many great escapes to the outdoors. There are hundreds of acres of walking and biking trails throughout the city, and for the more adventurous, Red Rock Canyon, with 46 hiking trails, is perfect for novices to the more experienced outdoor enthusiast. Within an easy 30-minute drive are boating and kayaking onLake Mead or winter skiing at Mt. Charleston.
For pet-parents Las Vegas is home to multiple dog parks. In fact, the Trust for Public Land recently released a survey that ranks the top dog park cities based on the number of parks per human. Las Vegas tied for seventh with 25 dog parks, including The Hydrant Club in Downtown Las Vegas where many four-legged downtown residents frolic and play on a daily basis.
On the subject of sports, no discussion of Las Vegas lifestyle is complete without mentioning the emergence of professional sports. Hockey has captured the heart of Las Vegas. The National Hockey League’s Las Vegas Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs – both in the team’s inaugural and second years. As the Livability report says: “if you’re planning on moving to Las Vegas, you better be a Knights’ fan.” In addition, the city’s minor league baseball team, the Aviators, opened their 2019 season at a brand new $150 million ballpark playing to sold-out crowds. And, coming soon are the Las Vegas Raiders (currently the Oakland Raiders). The NFL team will call home a new $1.8 billion domed stadium currently under construction just west of the Strip.
Then there’s the multitude of festivals, farmer markets and special events. From mega-events like Downtown Las Vegas’ Life is Beautiful and nationally-acclaimed Summerlin’s Festival of the Arts to weekly fresh farmer markets, bike festivals, concerts in the park, National PRIDE celebrations, and home-grown holiday parades, Las Vegas residents love to celebrate with their neighbors and friends.
Right up there with outdoor adventures, the Las Vegas food scene makes the city one of the best livable cities in the U.S. “From quirky dives to some of the most high-end dining establishments in the world,” Livability editors suggest checking out “John Mull’s Meats & Road Kill Grill for awesome backyard BBQ, or head to Momofuku Las Vegas for black truffle ramen and Wagyu beef. Las Vegans know, however, that it would take a lifetime to explore all the food offerings across the valley.
There’s no question that Las Vegas has all the perks of a big city, including the most Starbucks per capita in the nation, the best entertainment and innovative restaurants featuring the world’s top chefs. But, even those who have lived here for a short period of time, know that Las Vegas’ commitment to community and to the well-being of one another is what truly makes the city welcoming to newcomers and “livable.”