Can the North Strip Recover Thanks to SLS?

SLS Las Vegas Grand Opening in Las Vegas, NV

With SLS now open, can the north Strip recover from blight?

I’m not sure if it’s an East Coast thing, or maybe just a coastal thing, but those unfamiliar with vacant lots tend to view them as an indicator of “blight.” I suppose anyone who arrived to the desert in the depths of the Great Recession looked at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard and fretted. Here’s some perspective: The lot on that intersection’s southwest corner was once considered the most expensive piece of undeveloped real estate in the nation, but it has sat vacant since the El Rancho burned down in 1960. But given our city’s leapfrog style of development, Las Vegans tend to see shuttered buildings and empty lots as opportunity, not blight. Good for SLS, as well as the developers of the drugstore on the northeast corner and the producers of the upcoming Rock in Rio festival for seeing that opportunity and running with it. Watch for more to develop nearby as these risk-takers reap their rewards.

When does fall actually arrive in Las Vegas?

Are folks really that unfamiliar with Google? I get this question every year, yet nobody seems to listen. Then, at the slightest hint of morning chill, people bust out with wool. Why, just last weekend, a couple strolled by as I relaxed on the patio of my favorite coffeehouse, him in a beanie, jeans and long-sleeve flannel, her sporting what I’m sure is a top look in locales with weather: a drapey knit sweater and thick wool knee-highs. Meanwhile, I—baking in the desert sun on a 77-degree windless morning—felt a bit underdressed in shorts and a T-shirt. As to your question, the answer has always been the same: Halloween. If you want seasons, move!

Fancy fresh and football free!

I’m still fishing for suggestions of local bars and/or restaurants that shun TV screens showing endless football games to focus on atmosphere. Both locations of Paymon’s Mediterranean Cafe & Hookah Lounge qualify, as do most of the spots in and near the Fremont East Entertainment District, with notable exceptions: Le Thai and Insert Coin(s) have TVs, and both Atomic Liquors and Commonwealth fire them up for occasional events. Someone did mentioned Starbucks, which, considering that even Einstein Bros. Bagels has TVs, is a legit suggestion. But it doesn’t qualify as “local.” Nor is it a bar. In fact, it’s barely a restaurant. Anyway, know of a place? Send it along!

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