Then there's the rest of the city, the Las Vegas beyond the Strip.
Like many well-known tourist cities, the Las Vegas that exists outside of the Strip has some serious challenges. You've probably heard about the crime in Atlantic City or the poverty-stricken favelas in Rio. If you've been following the news, you know that Las Vegas is one of the nation's leaders in foreclosures, that our bankruptcy rate is skyrocketing, and that unemployment remains high. Nevada has used only a third of much-needed federal highway stimulus funds (money that could put thousands of unemployed construction workers back to work), HUD has decided we don't deserve any additional aid for foreclosures (without offering much of a reason why), and Nevada's governor is thinking about opting out of Medicaid (when more people than ever need assistance). It's enough to make you nostalgic for the Mob.
While I was reading all those depressing articles this week, I remembered the mutterings of years past, when some Las Vegas residents wondered if Nevada would be better off being split into two states: North Nevada and South Nevada. While that's as unlikely today as when the idea was first mentioned, if Southern Nevada could have its own leaders in charge of things, perhaps we'd have a different set of circumstances. Highway construction funds, for example, might actually be put to use here instead of in Carson City. I realize that drawing a line across the middle of Nevada to make two states out of one is pretty radical, but right now we need some radical solutions.
Photo by Justin Per at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/315978