Vegas Seven

News Features

  • The Latest (National)

    Sarah Speaks!

    By Reid Pillifant, The New York Observer

    In a wooded rear parking lot cordoned off with police tape, Sarah Palin stepped out of a big black sport-utility vehicle on Feb. 17 and entered through the gaudy gates of the Crest Hollow Country Club in Long Island. She wore a dour black skirt and matching blouse; a bulky red, white and blue wristband; and a pair of leopard print heels. Palin was not there to rally her rowdy base—in fact, her SUV had breezed by some Tea Partiers gathered at the club’s entrance—but to address the membership of the Long Island Association, New York’s largest business group.

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    Making it Work

    By Ryen McPherson

    I moved to Las Vegas in 2001. Things were good then. All of my friends had jobs, and some of them were buying homes during the property scramble. But my first year was rough. I was kicking myself for leaving San Diego to come to what I thought was a culturally bankrupt city. I couldn’t care less about the local politics and was having a hard time finding an artistic stride. I was living in the land of caviar and dirt. A few years later I was in the thick of it; I couldn’t imagine moving back to California.

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    The Golf Course at the End of the World

    By Timothy O’Grady

    Photo by Brian OarCoyote Springs in the early stages of construction, 2006. Photo by Lonna TuckerJack Nicklaus (in sunglasses) and fellow course-design legend Pete Dye get the lay of the land.

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    The Education of Henry Chanin

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Henry Chanin was just stepping out of a gondola in Venice, Italy, when the weariness descended. “I was weak as a puppy,” he remembers. “I couldn’t walk. I had no idea what was going on.” Chanin and his wife, Lorraine, were experienced travelers and urban walkers, but the mile and a half to Hotel Bonvecchiati, just off St. Mark’s Square, may as well have been a marathon. Henry walked 10 steps, sat down, walked another 10, stopped. By the time they arrived, the Chanins realized their vacation was over.

  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

    Only Connect

    In its architectural elegance and sheer scale, the 67-acre, seven-building CityCenter may have opened the door for 21st-century urbanism on the Strip, but its new neighbor, the slender Cosmopolitan, may prove to be the real model for urban development moving forward.

  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

    A Shot at the Brass Ring

    By David G. Schwartz

    John Unwin’s not quite moved into his new office—the artwork’s still waiting to be hung and the shelves are mostly bare—but he’s right at home as the Cosmopolitan hurtles toward its Dec. 15 opening. As of this writing, it’s 14 days, three hours, 47 minutes and eight seconds until the curtain officially rises, according to the Strip-front clock. For the CEO, life and work will be controlled chaos until then, and probably for some time afterward.

  • Why Not?

    Why not use empty shop fronts, vacated homes, and hollowed-out office space for neighborhood charter schools?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    We’ve already seen movement in this direction both in the Valley and across the nation. Small-scale improvised spaces can provide great laboratories for diverse educational philosophies and intimate settings for student-centered learning. They also deal a healthy blow to the notion that education should operate as a standardized economy of scale.

  • Why Not?

    Why not revive the ring around the Valley?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Let’s bring back Dina Titus’ idea of an urban growth boundary for the Las Vegas Valley. A decade ago, some regarded the notion as a brake on a booming economy, a hand in the pocket of developers, a slap in the face to the construction industry and an inconvenience to incoming residents hoping for an endless supply of brand-new housing on an ever-expanding suburban frontier. Things have, uh, changed. Today, new houses sit empty, occupied homes have plummeted in value, and new construction that would expand the city just sounds like a bad idea.

  • Why Not?

    Why not set aside the notion of luring a major league team and concentrate on proving that we can be a first-class home for the sports we already have?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Now that might lure a major league team. Without either substantial refurbishment or replacement of Cashman Field, we’re in danger of losing Triple-A ball. Without a paved parking lot at Sam Boyd Stadium, the football fan experience remains an exercise in exurban hiking. UNLV baseball, on the verge of a renaissance with new coach Tim Chambers, needs our support.

  • Why Not?

    Why not get our very own USC … well, OK, maybe just our own Loyola Marymount?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    The traditional argument about the future of UNLV has been between what we’ll call the Harvard of the West model and the Cal State Bakersfield of the East model: Either secure the funding, somehow, to continue UNLV’s efforts to become a top-tier research university (maybe not the Harvard of the West, but at least the Utah of Nevada) or accept the realities of funding, community and population and steer UNLV toward becoming a solid all-access four-year college, something like the Cal State schools.

  • Why Not?

    Why not think outside the box to generate state revenue?

    By Paul Szydelko

    Let’s create mammoth slot-machine façades at each interstate entrance to Southern Nevada to not only properly welcome motorists but to house tollbooths. Each motorist would be required to pay a $2 toll, but here’s the twist: A small portion of the motorists would randomly and immediately get their two bucks back. Fewer still would get back $10, $50 or even $100. Just a high-profile mandatory introduction to the vagaries of chance for which Las Vegas is known and a certain way through which Nevada can dig itself out of a budget hole.

  • Why Not?

    Why not re-seed the Strip with neon?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Um, did we miss something here? Weren’t “the aughts” supposed to be the decade of returning to our ring-a-ding-ding roots? Frank and Sammy and all that? Seems a lot like lip service when we entered the decade with the Stardust and Frontier signs intact and we left it with them, or pieces of them, anyway, in the Boneyard. If you happen to be looking the wrong way as you pass the Flamingo, you can drive down the Strip today and see hardly any iconic neon at all. The only significant new neon markers on the street are the red letters “ph” high atop the new Planet Hollywood Westgate tower.

  • Why Not?

    Why not move the Fremont Street Experience to a remote location in the desert where it can fulfill its destiny as modern concept art?

    The old canopy idea is played out, and its removal would instantly restore one of the world’s great streetscapes by remarrying two timeless Vegas assets that are meant to be together: neon and the night. Meanwhile, the canopy would have a much more powerful impact away from the competition of Fremont’s iconic signs. If not the desert, how about the Arts District? Oh, right, they’ve got paintbrushes.

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    Why Not?

    WE GET IT. We understand that for every high-spirited “Why not?” there is a swift and cruel answer these days: “Because we don’t have the money, that’s why not.” But that’s a conversation killer. And we’re not going to get much of anywhere by killing the conversation. How can we ever talk about plausible dreams for our city when it turns out that all dreams are implausible?

  • Why Not?

    Why not repurpose derelict properties?

    By Greg Blake Miller

    These are painful times, so let’s begin with a painful metaphor. The recession has been some sort of horrible dental drill, boring through the surface of the city, hitting nerves and leaving plenty of empty spaces: Shopping centers and office buildings with unoccupied suites, mixed-used developments that wound up neither mixed nor used.

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