New Neighborhoods, Old Hangouts and Why It’s So Cold Inside

Krystal Ramirez | Vegas Seven

The Arts District

Where will the next signs of urban redevelopment surface?

It’s a moving target. Currently, the Arts District is undergoing the early stages of large-scale change, featuring multiple renovations, new buildings and infrastructure improvements. Next up? Chinatown. A mid-rise mixed-use apartment building is underway at the northeast corner of Spring Mountain Road and Valley View Boulevard, hoping to entice urban professionals seeking a late-night lifestyle. After that? My money’s on the Medical District. Centered on Charleston Boulevard between MLK and Rancho Drive, this newish district—soon to house the UNLV School of Medicine, maybe a light rail route and close to “old money” neighborhoods—is going to see substantial redevelopment over the next 10 years. Other areas in waiting include Symphony Park and perhaps Cashman Center, especially if the mayor gets her stadium.

Ahoy, matey!

In January, I wrote about the pending rebirth of the Starboard Tack, a legendary off-Strip tavern dating back to the early 1970s. During the Tack’s heyday, the surrounding neighborhood was home to Strip musicians and casino industry folks, who made it a hangout. Hoping to recapture some of that former vibe, the Kostelecky family’s spot has re-opened with co-captains Lyle Cervenka and Bryant Jane steering the ship. I visited the first weekend and was pleased to find a newly exposed neon sign and the original captain’s wheel refurbished and hung outside the door. The food and booze menus are tropical themed, but don’t confuse it with a tiki bar: This place is solid yacht rock, in the best possible way. And, as it was in the 1970s, the Tack is just the right balance of close/far enough to Downtown.

Why is it so cold inside right now?

Welcome to Las Vegas in the spring: The hottest place in America where you have to wear a sweater inside! We used to blame this on businesses trying to entice strolling visitors hailing from places where 75 degrees is considered hot. But the practice of freezing us out has spread far beyond our casino corridor. From coffeehouses to corporate boardrooms, whenever it’s warm outside, it’s Arctic inside. I once asked an employee at the long-dead Borders bookshop why it was so cold. His response? Their thermostats were centrally controlled by a corporate office in the Midwest. Today that might be technologically possible—but in 1997? Unlikely. It’s true that thermostats at businesses are often locked, but someone in local management has the key. I’m guessing that the wild temperature swings of spring require too much micromanaging for a “set it and forget it” culture. Suggestion? Pack a jacket. Until November.

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