Seven Surprising Ways Our City Is on Top in National Rankings

MGM Resorts International leads the  way in clean and renewable energy with  its solar panels at Mandalay Bay. | Photo courtesy of NRG Renew

MGM Resorts International leads the way in clean and renewable energy with its solar panels at Mandalay Bay. | Photo courtesy of NRG Renew

Even with all the great things about our unique city, it’s hard not to get bummed when it seems that we top all the bad lists—last in education, top 10 in both domestic violence and teen pregnancy. But we’re not all bad. Here is just a sampling of ways that Las Vegas and the Silver State is leading the charge:

First in clean-energy jobs: Nevada ranked first in the nation in creating new clean-energy jobs in 2014, adding 8,591 jobs, according to a report by Environmental Entrepreneurs. The trend looks to continue with projects at the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, creating about 2,000 more jobs in 2015.

First to go 100 percent renewable: In November, Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced that Las Vegas would be the first major U.S. city completely powered by renewable energy. In a partnership deal with NV Energy, all public buildings, utilities and infrastructure will use renewable energy, either directly from a 100-megawatt solar project being built near Boulder City or by offsetting conventional methods. The City has already saved $20 million in the past five years by using conservation methods and energy-efficient programs, which will be expanded as part of the new initiative.

Second most diverse college: This fall U.S. News and World Report ranked UNLV the second most diverse university in the nation. Technically, the school is in a four-way tie with St. John’s University in New York, University of Houston and Andrews University in Michigan. Still, UNLV’s large percentage of Hispanic and Asian students helped bump the college up from sixth place in 2014.

Eighth least run-down roads: While the amount of road construction in Las Vegas may prompt a bit of road rage every now and then, the benefit is that we have been ranked eighth in the nation for our well-kept roads, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group.

Fourth best U.S. travel destination: According to Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice rankings, Las Vegas came in fourth, behind New York, Chicago and Charleston, South Carolina, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given our Valley’s famed dining, nightlife and natural wonders, such as Red Rock Canyon.

Third in nightlife: Travel site SkyScanner ranked our world-class nightlife lower than Miami Beach and New Orleans (first and second, respectively). While we locals might bristle at being ranked anything but No. 1 in nightlife, third place is still pretty good, especially when you consider that seven of the top 10 best-performing nightclubs are in Las Vegas. When going by profits, the top six best-performing nightclubs are here, which are (in order) first-ranked XS, Hakkasan, Marquee, Tao, Surrender, Hyde Bellagio and Lavo.

Top 10 kinkiest city: How can a city so close to where prostitution is legal at brothels “just over the hump” in Pahrump not be considered one of the kinkiest cities in America? Indeed, the annual ranking is a real thing tracked every year by Kink University. In fact, according to the fetish site, Las Vegas is actually slipping, dropping from third in 2011 to 10th this year. Time to step up your game, Sin City. We can’t let first place Portland, Oregon, have all the fun.

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