Vegas Seven

Phil Hagen

Hagen has been editor of some of Las Vegas’ most prestigious publications, including the award-winning Desert Companion, Architecture Las Vegas and Las Vegas Life, which won a Silver Medal for general excellence in 2003 from the City & Regional Magazine Association. He gave up five glamorous years of freelance editing, writing and house-sitting to launch Vegas Seven in 2010.

  • The Eco Issue

    Get Out of the Damn Shower!

    By Phil Hagen, Jessica Kantor and Greg Blake Miller

    Are we ready to shift our community crisis mode from “underwater” to “out-of-water”? Doesn’t feel like it. That’s despite the fact that our main water source, Lake Mead, is heading for another record low by this time next year (1,075 feet), when regional rationing begins.

  • Spring Epicurean Guide

    A Taste of Arizona

    By Phil Hagen

    Winemaking has become a serious industry in Arizona, where more than 80 licensed wineries have sprouted—most of them in the last decade.

  • Our Russia Insider

    By Phil Hagen

    I share an office with Vegas Seven’s editor, Greg Miller, and it gives me a vantage point from which to observe—even admire, at times—the restraint he demonstrates in not oversharing from his vast vault of knowledge about Russia.

  • Editor's Note

    Missing Max

    By Phil Hagen

    The January 2 issue of Vegas Seven will be the last in which Max Jacobson will appear for quite some time, we’re sad to say. It may be many months—nobody knows.

  • Summer Guide

    AC Dizzy

    By Phil Hagen

    NV Energy’s efficiency programs for consumers sure sound great: mPowered sends a technician by to set up free smart thermostats for your home, and CheckMe Plus offers a cheap air-conditioning system inspection and possible upgrades that could save a good deal of money on your power bill. With triple-digit temperatures already here, I couldn’t wait to join the Nevada households that have saved about $500 million over the past five years.

  • Summer Guide

    AC Dizzy

    By Phil Hagen

    NV Energy’s efficiency programs for consumers sure sound great: mPowered sends a technician by to set up free smart thermostats for your home, and CheckMe Plus offers a cheap air-conditioning system inspection and possible upgrades that could save a good deal of money on your power bill. With triple-digit temperatures already here, I couldn’t wait to join the Nevada households that have saved about $500 million over the past five years. But … I’m still waiting.

  • Summer Guide

    The ABC’s of Vegas AC

    By Phil Hagen

    Just a coincidence? It’s the 111th anniversary of modern air conditioning. Las Vegas was founded three years later.  Actually, our first air-conditioned building was the El Portal Theater at 310 Fremont Street, which debuted its coolness on June 21, 1928. If we were to have a citywide holiday, that should be it. About 65 percent of the average power bill in Las Vegas during summer months is a direct result of AC use.

  • Kayaking

    Paddle Down the River Mild

    By Phil Hagen

    If death-defying isn’t your speed, you’ll be happy to know that this adventure starts with a rubber “Ducky Kayak” and potentially ends at a bar. And “potentially” has nothing to do with the Verde River’s ferocity—just the fact that you have a choice of where your journey ends.

  • Great Drives

    The Backdoor to the Wild West

    By Phil Hagen

    You can have the Grand Canyon—you and the 5 million other tourists each year. I’ll take the nearby Sycamore Canyon, whose visitation is so slight that no one bothers to count. There’s no ranger booth, admission or pamphlets. Come to think of it, there’s not even a welcome sign.

  • Sports

    Meet the (future) Mets

    By Phil Hagen

    Next spring when Jerry Seinfeld performs in Las Vegas, the comedian can get a first-hand look at the future stars of his favorite baseball team. The Las Vegas 51s announced a two-year Player Development Contract with the New York Mets today, which will extend until the 2014 season. The affiliation will mark the fourth MLB franchise that the 51s, which just finished their 30th season in Las Vegas this summer, will serve as the top feeder team for—having just completed a four-year deal as the Triple A affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • Concert Review

    Willie Nelson and Family

    By Phil Hagen

    If it had been awhile since you’d seen Willie live, there was no doubt an anxious adjustment period when he shuffled out from the wings and ground his way through the first few songs. The old Outlaw, who turns 80 in April, is no longer able to lay into “Whiskey River”—his traditional rousing concert-opener—in the same spine-tingling way, and “Still Is Still Moving to Me” simply didn’t have much snap.

  • Concerts

    Kris Kristofferson

    By Phil Hagen

    It took awhile to get the one-man show in gear on this Friday night. Maybe it was the onstage technical difficulties, which bothered the star and, only in turn, the audience. Maybe it was because we’re not getting any younger: Kristofferson is 75 now (that’s about 110 in Outlaw years), and the audience that filled the showroom seemed even older (hard to believe Janis Joplin hit No. 1 with the Kristofferson-penned “Me and Bobby McGee” 40 years ago).

  • Concert Review

    Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

    By Phil Hagen

    It was like the two legendary troubadours were just passing through little ol’ Henderson, Nevada, and decided to put on a show for the neighborhood, if anybody’d be interested in coming. They’d brought a couple of amps and acoustic guitars. Green Valley Ranch had a ballroom and a bunch of chairs. What else was necessary?

  • Great Drives

    89Awesome

    By Phil Hagen

    My bias for Flagstaff stems from the nostalgia of having lived there during the formative years of my adult life, in the late 1980s. But that experience also let me in on a fairly objective secret: that this mountain city in the pines is more than the base camp of northern Arizona’s wonderland (the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Sunset Crater, et al); it is itself a great destination.

  • Why Not?

    Why not turn Springs Preserve into our Central Park?

    By Phil Hagen

    Sounds like a daydream, but it was part of the original mission statement. Unfortunately, an important aspect of the vision was overlooked: The Central Park seamlessly meshes with the city around it. So, instead of a theme-park entrance, we’d like to suggest that the Preserve embrace the urban landscape around it, and vice versa. Yes, that means revamping the perimeter of the property so it’s invitingly accessible in the everyday sense—not just for special events.