Follow us: Facebook Twitter Subscribe to these blogs

Eric James Miller miller

Moving to Las Vegas? Here’s a Reality Check

Monday, September 22, 2008

Harrah's Employment CenterPhoto by Megan Edwards
Harrah’s employment center on the
Las Vegas Strip

An astonishing 1.5 million people have moved into Clark County since 1980 in pursuit of the Las Vegas dream. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they’re still coming at a rate of 5,000 new residents a month. Sure, some of those folks moved to the City of Neon only to return to their home towns, but the net year-over-year increase in population indicates that more people come than go.

I moved to Clark County in 2006 so I know what happens the moment you announce, “I’m thinking of moving to Vegas.” Objections and stereotypes come rushing at you from all directions. Before you pack your bags, you need a reality check. And here it is.

Stereotypical Remark No. 1: “So you want to work in a casino?”
Reality Check No. 1: Check into employment opportunities.

Because of its rapid growth, some of the best job opportunities in Las Vegas are in the medical, legal and service industries (check LasVegasJobs.com to get an idea of the scope). But Vegas is still a company town, and the resort and gaming industry remains the largest employer. There are almost always jobs to be found at one of the resorts, but be warned: It’s not as easy, or as lucrative, as it used to be.

Major employers are Harrah’s, the MGM-Mirage Group and Station Casinos. Check their listings to get an idea of the wide variety of positions available within the gaming industry. Aside from expected floor jobs like blackjack dealing and bartending, there are also career paths in accounting, operations, marketing, hospitality, retail and restaurant management. Turnover is high in almost all jobs, so persistence is key. As in most company towns, it’s to your advantage to have someone already on the inside working as your advocate.

Dealer jobsiStockPhoto\webphotographeer
There’s stiff competition for dealer
jobs on the Strip

Aside from card dealing, which usually requires a certificate of completion from an accredited dealer school like Casino Dealer College, the skill sets required for other Vegas jobs often cross over with more mainstream industries like retail, computer operations and construction. Many job ads call for gaming industry experience, but skills usually trump experience. For instance, retail cashiers often have the cash-handling skills necessary for working in sports books, cashier cages and even count rooms. Computer experience, especially in network maintenance, is more important than casino experience for most IT positions. Project management and construction experience are in especially high demand as the major casinos are constantly rolling out new systems, rebuilding and undergoing renovations.

Working for a temp agency like Apple One and Robert Half is a good way to get a foot in the door. But be warned: Most employment agencies and many of the largest casino chains will put your name at the bottom of their applicant list if they don’t see a 702 area code in front of your contact number. If you’re serious about moving to Las Vegas, do yourself a favor and get a local cell phone number.

Stereotypical Remark No. 2: “You’re going to die of the heat!”
Reality Check No. 2: Visit in July at least once.

It’s true, Las Vegas is in the Mojave Desert. Midday and late afternoon temperatures in the summer months will usually reach 110 or even 115 degrees. The relative lack of humidity, compared to anywhere on the East or West Coast or in the Midwest, means you won’t sweat through your clothes the moment you step outside, but there’s no denying that the summers are sizzling. Visit Vegas at least once in summer to see how you fare.

You might be pleasantly surprised. Las Vegas has many private and public pools, and the casinos environs are downright icy, so relief from the heat is generally available nearby. Plus, Lake Mead is a boating, kayaking, cool, wet paradise and it’s less than an hour away.

The tradeoff for the hot summers? Spring and fall months offer some of the most incredible weather in the entire country: 85 degrees and sunny almost every day. Winters are usually windy but mild, and frost is rare. Nearby Mount Charleston, only about an hour’s drive from the city, soars to 9,500 feet and offers snow in winter and a refreshing alpine climate year-round.

Stereotypical Remark No. 3: “Are you going to become a professional gambler, or did you meet a stripper?”
Reality Check No. 3: Take a hard look at your gambling and sex addictions.

Dealer jobsiStockPhoto\Bonnie Jacobs
Don’t count on “lucky sevens” to
cover your rent

Sin City didn’t get its name by accident: The opportunity for vice is readily available, day and night. This temptation should not be taken lightly by anyone who has ever been accused of having a codependent or addictive personality. Take this quick Gamblers Anonymous test to see if you’re at risk of falling prey to the mesmerizing lights and ringing bells – and then keep it handy to monitor your progress.

As for sexual temptations, take the Gamblers Anonymous test and replace the word “gambling” with “sex” to see how you do. Because if you haven’t met a stripper yet – either male or female – don’t worry, you will. They often have second jobs as bartenders, real estate agents, dental hygienists, faith healers and, yes, even missionaries. Ironically, for all its vice, Las Vegas is also a very pious city. There’s a surprisingly large Mormon population, along with representatives of most every other major and arcane religion, including a stalwart base of born-again Christians happy to save you if you veer too far off the straight and narrow.

Stereotypical Remark No. 4: “Where will you live? In a hotel?”
Reality Check No. 4: Get lost! Rent a car, buy a map, get off the Strip.

By now, most everyone has heard about the phenomenal housing bubble that buoyed Las Vegas from 1995 to 2004, when many homes doubled and even tripled in value. Although purchase prices have come back down to earth since then, I think new residents should consider the rental market before buying a house. Apartments, condos and houses are available for affordable rents and they offer a great way to learn about the city’s neighborhoods and traffic patterns before taking on a mortgage. Craig’s List is a great place to start, as is the Las Vegas Review–Journal real estate section.

Welcome to Fabulous Las VegasPhoto by Megan Edwards
Welcome to Las Vegas!

So now you have a four-point reality check to answer the most common stereotypes and objections to your move to Las Vegas. The rest is up to you. Opportunities and pitfalls abound. But if you decide to place your bet and move to the Neon Oasis, here are a few other numbers you might need:

Nevada Power 702-367-5555
Southwest Gas 702-365-1555
Henderson Water 702-267-5900
Las Vegas Water 702-870-2011
Cox Cable 702-383-4000
Republic (trash service) 702-735-5151

Rate this post: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments

49 Responses to “Moving to Las Vegas? Here’s a Reality Check”
  1. I hadn’t seen that latest Census bureau report — (released in March) and what I found the most interesting is that Las Vegas is no longer the “fastest growing city in America”. Maybe it never was, but at the current rate it is 18th on the growth chart.

    Dallas-Ft Worth has actually taken over that spot. “… Dallas-Fort Worth had the largest numeric gain of any metro area between 2006 and 2007, increasing by 162,250, according to July 1, 2007, estimates of metro area population size and growth released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Atlanta (151,063), Phoenix (132,513) and Houston (120,544) rounded out the metro areas with a gain of at least 100,000….”

  2. Eric says:

    It’s funny that my article was published this morning and this article about las vegas was published by msn.com this afternoon:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26836100/

    Actually it’s a good article and it answered something I’ve been wondering about since adults-only pools first started popping up in the Strip resorts the last couple of years.

    We should have used my pic of the yellow page entertainment ads to compete! jk

  3. Linda Lou says:

    Great article! I moved here in 2003, and found it very, VERY hard to find a decent-paying job. Education is not valued here; one of the temp agency personnel even suggested I take my master’s degree off my resume! Outside of the casino/hospitality industry, there are very few corporate opportunities. My areas of expertise are in technical writing and corporate training and it took me almost two years to find something that paid what I made back in 1997, and I still haven’t caught up to my 2001 wages. Other than that, Las Vegas is a fabulous place to live!

  4. Hmmmm, things are changing now and the employment picture doesn’t seem to be like that nearly as much. I moved here in 1999 and looked for a job for while and I did “dumb-down” my resume after hearing way too many times that I was over-qualified for the jobs I was looking at.

    There is a fundamental difference in the employment culture here in Las Vegas — high-paying jobs are obtained by recruitment (either internally by moving up through the local ranks or by head-hunters seeking talent from outside the area)– I know of several recent hires with multiple advanced degrees pulling down salaries as high as anywhere else in the country — but I doubt any of them would have landed those positions if they had moved here and tried cold-calling on the ground….

  5. Gary says:

    Looking to move out to Las Vegas as soon as next summer what kind of advice can you give me about finding a job out that way, I work for Nordstroms and I’m looking for a future management position at the new store opening In 2010 any future help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Eric says:

    Well, Gary, I’d say your best bet would be to go ahead and make a move with any Nordstrom’s job, then look around at other opportunities once you get here if you aren’t satisfied. Apple One, or some of the other temp agencies, are also a good way to “break-in” with local companies and if a temp placement from them doesn’t lead to a FT position, at least you might get a local reference. Of course, you’re well aware of the Christmas spike in retail jobs, so that might be another option for someone with your experience.

    Vegas is still a small town and like Mark alluded to above, who you meet can often be more important than what you know. Also, there is a lot of turn-over, even in management jobs. My wife was a recruiter for Robert Half for a year and it was amazing how many stories she heard about people suddenly not showing up at work one day because they left town the night before. Controlling your expenses, especially in terms of gambling, drinking and other forms of local “entertainment” options is probably the #1 thing you should constantly monitor after you move here. The casinos are fun, exciting places to hang out and party. But anyone living here needs to be realistic and wary about the allure of flashing lights, beautiful people and elusive jackpots. It’s not called Sin City for nothing, right?

    Vegas is a great city to live in and there are lots of career-path opportunities in almost any field of work you can think of. I’d suggest trying to find an affordable, short-term lease near the Nordstrom’s store when you first arrive and then explore the city to find a neighborhood, commute and/or job you might prefer.

    There are lots of great neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping and recreation off the Strip. That’s why so many people have made Vegas their home. It offers a good quality of life and most of the people living here are happy with their lives, which contributes to an overall sense of contentment.

  7. George Spence says:

    Hey, another great article. It answered all my questions about moving to LV. As soon as I get my “sex addiction” report back, I’m going to make a decision.

    Looks like you hit a nerve with all the comments.

  8. Judy says:

    The humidity here in Chicagoland is killing me. 10 times what I was used to in Spring Valley, outside of Vegas. It rained hard here 3 days straight recently! Ugh. I grew up here, and don’t remember needing my front window defroster on all the time, like now.

    Am seriously considering going back. I am retired and single and have very little family here stopping me. They have their own lives, and have made that very clear. I came back 4 times last year to visit, and it was fine. When you first get there, YOU will get the visitors.

    If you get out of the casinos and into your car — there is a lot of natural beauty in the area. I have never seen such BLUE skys and red sunsets in my life. Red Rock Canyon and even the Grand Canyon are only hours away, as is LA and the Pacific Ocean.

    The lack of mosquitos, flies and bees is great! Sitting outside at night you can actually see stars and not get bitten up!!! That is, if like most people, you live away from the Strip. The two pools at my Complex were open 24 hrs a day. (The one here is already closed!

    I say, give it a try. Just don’t get into gambling too much. The house always wins, one way or another. And lock everything. Desperate people will do desperate things. Remember that. Be careful, but Have Fun.

  9. Judy,

    Just one of the joys of living here — is being able to sit on the deck at night with ZERO flying and biting bugs — We are so lucky to be able to live here.

  10. gina says:

    Wow…..love the reality check….Perhaps all the people who came to Los Angeles looking for stardum & opportunity feel the same way, the only difference is the ocean !

  11. Tina says:

    Great article! I moved to Las Vegas in 1987 and I have been getting those same questions the entire 20+ years I have been here.
    It makes me crazy — in spite of the fact that I know there is definitely some truth to them!

  12. Judy F says:

    I currently live in Northern Nevada, near Carson City and have been wanting to move to a warmer climate for several years, Las Vegas being my number one choice. Your article is absolutely great! I get the same questions where I am now, and living in Nevada, I already have a beat on my own answers to them. However, my biggest concern right now is the current state of the economy in relation to the availability of jobs. I heard “rumors” that the job markets in Las Vegas have shriveled up, but that didn’t come from a local. If they are as bad as I’m hearing, perhaps I should wait until after the elections are over and political influence has subsided a bit, and the “bail out” has been implemented for long enough to make a difference. What’s your take?

  13. Eric says:

    Judy F – like the rest of the country, Vegas is hurting. Tourism is down and the real estate boom is over. Like I suggested to Gary above, if you can move here with a job already in place, you’ll be ahead. Vegas is a great place to live, nice places are affordable to rent or buy, and the weather is great (especially now! :- ) But now is not a good time to be looking for a job unless you’re a doctor or highly specialized in some other narrow, high in-demand field. I would suggest a visit during the week. Stay in a cheap hotel downtown, rent a car and investigate job ops. Waiting until after the election is over and the so-called “bail out” uncertainty subsides is probably a good idea. This country and our economy is either going to wake up and start building for the future in November, or it’s going to get a lot worse with Insane McSame.

  14. Judy F says:

    Thank you for your comments! (I especially enjoyed “Insane McSame!) I may have an opportunity to visit again in February or March, during the week, which is an excellent idea.

  15. Tom W says:

    Great article. I just accepted a job in Las Vegas (not with the casinos), and we’ll be moving soon from Northern Virginia (next couple months). We had some serious reservations at first, particularly with my wife, as we have a 10-month old and my wife fears the typical stereotypes of the city. Ultimately, though, the job seems great, and we’re convinced that the local life in LV is different from that on the strip.

    I drove around the Summerlin area and Red Rock during my last interview, and I just loved the area. As an East Coaster my whole life, the desert Southwest just seems so foreign to me (but exciting).

    My big question is housing. I know the area was badly hit from the ramifications of the housing boom, but I’m wondering how badly. I drove around town and I couldn’t believe how many homes had signs out, either for sale or foreclosure. The Summerlin area in particular is amazing in terms of its build-out… so many houses!

    I’d love to come in to the city and buy while the market appears so down, but I’m wondering if maybe renting for a year is safer just to see how this all plays out. I’m also curious which of the home builders are the reputable ones, and which were the builders that were simply taking advantage of a very hot speculators market (and may have built some shoddy houses on the quick and cheap!).

    Any thoughts? Are people still optimistic about Las Vegas’ future in the next few years?

    Many questions, considering my original intent was to post a simple comment. Sorry!

  16. eric says:

    Tom W.,

    As someone who grew up in Bethesda, I assure you that local life is indeed different from what you see on the Strip.

    I’d say you did the right thing by coming out first and driving around a bit to get to know a few neighborhoods. Most houses are 15-20% off their highs of a few years ago, even in nice areas like Summerlin. Whether they’ll go much lower is a subject of much debate. Renting for a year would be a good way to get to know the city better and look around a bit to make sure you pick the neighborhood you like best. (if you buy somewhere you end up not liking, it’ll probably be hard to sell it right away and move somewhere else)

    However, there are some great deals on bank repo’s that are available now that aren’t likely to be on the market much longer. Everyone who got suckered with initial low-rate interest loans has either walked away or re-financed. Repo’s are already dwindling.

    I think most people are still very optimistic about Las Vegas’ future in the next few years. Especially if the main Strip casinos wise up and start heavily discounting room rates and restaurants again like they did back in the ’90′s (which they’ve recently started doing). Tourism drives this town, but it’s not the only “game” in town anymore. Medical research and engineering firms have been making it their home base too.

  17. Most houses are 15-20% off their highs of a few years ago, even in nice areas like Summerlin

    Actually, from my perspective as a real estate analyst, sales prices have dropped much closer to 40 to 45% of the list prices from 1-2 years ago. I think Eric maybe a little too optimistic about the re-pos on the market — I don’t think we’ve seen the crest of that wave yet — there are hundreds still in the pipeline.

    Heavily discounting of room rates

    is like free rent in rental housing market and I would never be in favor of that — reasonable discounting sure — it goes on all of the time here. Tourism is the driving economic engine here — but with 2.0 million residents, this place has achieved a critical mass that is not soley impacted by the tourism swings.

    That being said, I remain bullish about the prospects for this local economy — if I had surplus cash I would be investing in this real estate market right now. I think the reasonable hold for investment cash in the market is at least five years — but the prospects for long-term growth still look excellent to me.

    –LLV Publisher

  18. asylum23 says:

    “Just one of the joys of living here — is being able to sit on the deck at night with ZERO flying and biting bugs — We are so lucky to be able to live here.”

    Um, well some of those giant roaches fly and the black widows all over my yard will bite! I’m raising praying mantids to fight them off. Our yard now is full of Jerusalem crickets, also capable of biting you.

  19. How would a Jerusalem cricket bite you? Or perhaps more importantly, what could you do that would make them want to bite you?

  20. There was a real estate think tank meeting convened here last week. Here are some of the more juicier comments: Larry Murphy is the president of SalesTraq, a research firm that tracks the market….

    “Where we are at today is where we were five years ago with regard to home values… Foreclosures will be the key indicator of when the market is going to rebound. There are more than 14,000 banked-owned homes in the pipeline, and no one knows for sure how many more are coming…When the number of foreclosures created in a month falls below the sales of foreclosed homes a rebound will be indicated…”
    More of his comments and other data from the meeting can be read in Las Vegas Sun staff writer, Brian Wargo’s article here

  21. Vivian says:

    While Las Vegas may be a dream come true for many, as a mother of a 13-year-old girl it is a nightmare. After fighting with my husband for a decade over moving here, I finally gave in. We moved here from Monterey, CA, and there is nothing for children to do here. Unless you want to take your children to see a movie (in a casino) or bowling ( in a casino) or to an amusement park ( in a casino) you are pretty much stuck in the house. The summers are brutal – it’s even too hot to go to the pool, and the bugs are like something out of National Geographic. For a young single person, it is probably great – plenty of nightlife and diversion, but as a parent that wants more for her daughter than growing up to be a mall rat or a gambler, there is not a waking moment that I don’t regret this move.

  22. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of 13-year old girls being raised here in Las Vegas. This city probably has more leisure options in terms of recreation and cultural activities than just about any place I’ve been to. Two our our LLV columnists have and are raising children here.

    What kinds of activities existed in Monterey that don’t exist here as well?

    –LLV Publisher

  23. Eric says:

    Sorry to hear that’s been your experience, Vivian. Raising children, especially teenagers, is challenging just about anywhere.

    Monterey, CA is certainly a temperate seaside climate and one of the most beautiful regions of the country. But I have to agree with Mark S. that there are many well-adjusted, good kids being raised in and around Las Vegas and that they are NOT shut-ins because of the climate or surrounding (adult) temptations.

    But I’m not trying to argue or persuade you that Las Vegas is a better place to live than Monterey. Given the choice, I would definitely choose a moderate seaside climate over the Mojave Desert too.

    I just don’t have that choice to make, so I look at what Vegas does have to offer instead of what it doesn’t.

    If the choice is yours though, it seems like an easy one.

    Best of luck wherever you decide.

  24. Vivian says:

    Thanks Mark and Eric for your comments. I think it only fair to mention that prior to living in Monterey, we lived in New York. To say that Las Vegas offers more cultural activities than most other places may be true, but for a child that was exposed to Broadway and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not to mention the Monterey Bay Aquarium and frequent trips into San Francisco, there is little here to stimulate her. Yes, I’ve taken her to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. But when you’ve been a member, and had access to, one of the finest aquariums in the world, you see it for what it is, a brief tourist diversion.

    I could go on and on. Monterey boasts the second largest amount of preserved historic buildings in the country, Williamsburg being the first. New York has some of the finest museums in the world, and for only a donation (you can actually go into any museum for $1), you can see Van Gogh and Monet, as opposed to the $15 per person to do a gallery crawl at the casino.

    I realize that my situation may be unique. My husband argues that if we had come here ten years ago that she wouldn’t have known of all the other treasures out there, and wouldn’t be so bored and depressed. Weak and demeaning argument as far as I am concerned.Maybe children that haven’t been exposed to world-class culture would be more than happy here. Mine has, and she is not.

    Do we need to go into the school system here? My daughter is in a charter school, one that I personally know that people drive 40 minutes each way to have their children attend, because they can’t send their children to school in their neighborhoods.

    If you do know of leisure and cultural activities that would captivate a child with a bit more of a worldly view, please, please let me know. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Activities outside of casinos, please, as she does not like to go into the casinos.

    Thank you for providing a place for discussion.

  25. The city of Las Vegas runs some pretty amazing classes in ceramics and other art forms. The Springs Preserve is a bit heavy with revisionist history for me — but the gardens are pretty cool. There are volunteer events just about every weekend working in habitat restoration for the Las Vegas wash, the USFS and regional parks — most, if not all of them, have plenty of young teenagers participating. Here is the site I use for keeping track of some of the opportunities. http://www.getoutdoorsnevada.org/

    UNLV has classes and museum programs worth checking into. One of our colleagues recently moved here (from LA) with a young teenage daughter and I know that her transition was a bit challenging as well. But I think she is pretty happy to be here now.

    Clark county recreational parks rival the nicest I have seen in my travels around the USA. I have traveled extensively in all 50 states and because of the casino tax base, Clark County has some remarkable recreational assets.

    The art scene is still developing in Las Vegas — and, arguably some of the best places to see new fresh art, requires being over 21, but there are artist’s cooperatives that are beginning to branch out.

    Hiking and biking opportunities exist as well — it would be hard to expect to find pristine arrowheads and spear points within 45 minutes of downtown Monterey — but those places certainly do exist within 45 minutes of downtown Las Vegas. Plus, skiing and sledding (during the winter months) is also less than an hour from town.

  26. Vivian says:

    Mark: Thanks so very much for the info, and for taking the time to post it. I am sure I will not be the only person to benefit. I’m looking forward to exploring these activities with my daughter. Moving a teen is always difficult, but having interesting activities on the horizon always seems to make things brighter.

  27. Vivian,

    Since you mentioned liking preserved historic buildings, I thought I’d put in a word for the Clark County Museum. It has a street of houses from different locations and decades of Vegas Valley history, all furnished appropriately. The museum itself houses (among other things) the collection of Anna Roberts Parks, one of Las Vegas’s early movers & shakers who (I think) deserves more credit than she gets. Oh, and the last time I was there, admission was $1.50 for adults. Worth a visit!

  28. Vivian,

    One more idea — I know that you mentioned that your daughter prefers to avoid casinos, and I know that it can be a drag to try and negotiate one when you are underage — but the art collections that make their way to the Bellagio Fine Art Gallery should not be “written off” — It’s a small and intimate gallery and it’s possible to see works that few in the world ever get to see in such a marvelous setting. This month the collection is featuring “American Moderism — and the admission price is only $12.
    Organized by the Museum of Fine Art, Boston….
    Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is currently showcasing the best of American Modernism. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), the exhibition will feature masterpieces by American modernists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Arshile Gorky and others.

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) has public programs and some are for youth — I would really recommend you check that out!

    Right next door is the Atomic Testing museum — World class in many ways

    Mark

  29. Eric says:

    Vivian,

    As someone who grew up in Washington, D.C. and then lived in Manhattan for three years I can sympathize with your museum withdrawal. :- ) With a county wide population of just over 2M LV is simply not big enough to attract the Gauguin, Picasso, etc. size of exhibitions.

    But with that said, I must highly recommend the Atomic Testing Museum. It’s very informative and very thought provocative no matter your political stance on the subject.

    I’ve never seen anything like it and it’s worth going to more than once, just like the Smithsonian, Monterey Aquarium, or the SF Contemporary Arts Museum.

    The Bellagio Fine Arts Gallery is also a gem even though it’s inside a casino. The Liberace Museum, which I went to despite a year of protestation, was also thoroughly enjoyable and a much more multi-faceted retrospective of one man’s career in show business than I ever imagined. Seeing (and I confess touching) George Gershwin’s piano, the one he used to compose many of his famous Broadway show tunes, transplanted from it’s original Upper West Side digs after his death, was worth the price of admission alone!

  30. MAG says:

    I may have an opportunity working for Clark County government. If I am offered the position, I’ll be moving on the fly, i.e., quick, fast, and with VERY little money. I just need to get my bearings for three months. Any suggestions on where to live that is close to the governmental offices, cheap, etc. I will not have a car (victim of the downward economy in the midwest) so how is public transit?

    The opportunity seems a good one. I have heard positive comments about CC government. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  31. Gerard Adame says:

    I am seriously thinking about moving to Las Vegas after college.
    How are computer related jobs doing in Las Vegas? I heard a computer company is going to move into Las Vegas. Any feedback on that? In what other areas are computer geeks like me employed?

    -Gerard

  32. What kind of computer skills do you have?

  33. Eric says:

    MAG-

    Are you working in the government offices downtown?

    Public transportation (buses) is reasonable here for a city of only 2M but you need to be on one of the main corridors. If your potential job is going to be in an office downtown, your best bet is probably something near to the Charleston corridor.

    By chance I was out near Charleston and Decatur this afternoon getting pics for my next article and I noticed a development called the New Regency Apartments that were advertising a $299 move-in special. Based on other such offerings, I suspect that means the first month’s rent plus security deposit is only $299. They will however probably require that you sign a 6month or one year lease, but from what I’ve heard that’s negotiable (i.e., go for 6 months).

    Any job with the Clark County government will connect you into a network of information. Folks here in Vegas are from all over and are generally very welcoming to new people because their blood relatives live elsewhere.

    I would advise you to look for a cheap place off Charleston, either east or west of downtown and get your bearings from there. If you’re not going to have a car, don’t get lured into cheap rents in the SE, SW, NW or North Las Vegas.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    EJM

  34. Eric says:

    Gerard,

    There are several computer companies here in Vegas with thriving businesses. Obviously anything to do with POS networks or casino infrastructure are foremost. Are you in programming, network admin, support or training?

    EJM

  35. MAG says:

    EJM

    Thank you for the info. It would br downtown working in the main offices. The first interview is this week. I applied for the position 2 wks ago, so they are moving fast.

    Thanks again.
    MAG

  36. MAG says:

    Anyone know anything about Tod Motor Motel. Its ad on Craigslist states $200/wk for private room. Heck, the Super 8 is $229/wk. What makes either interesting is no lease. After I got a couple of paychecks, and had a month to look around and research, then I could move to a permanent location.

    I know if something seems to good too be true it probably is. EJM is that location for New Regency Apartments new? I saw a couple of web postings that stated avoid at all cost.

    Thanks again.
    MAG

  37. Eric says:

    MAG,

    Well if you’ve read bad reviews on the New Regency Apts you should maybe believe them. Obviously any place offering a $299 Move-in special for the first month is in need of tenants for a reason.

    If you have the time, check them out for yourself though. Like I said, I just noticed them because I was in that area on the day of your initial inquiry. Paying $200-$250/wk for a weekly rental is like paying $800-$1000/month. Just know that in Vegas for that kind of money you could get a pretty nice place. But, as long as you don’t have to sign any long-term leases those motel-like places might be a good short-term solution (just watch where you step and don’t mind the late-night noise/guest turn-over!)

    When I first moved to Vegas I found a temporary place through Craig’s List too. But I must have looked at about 20 places first and I needed somewhere dog-friendly too. If you don’t have a car it’ll be tough to look around so you should probably trust any reviews, for better or worse.

    Look east on Charleston out towards Nellis AFB too.

    Good Luck!
    EJM

  38. Vivian,

    I was going to list some of the new projects that are seeking youthful volunteers, but this link is chock-full of some of the latest.

  39. Amber says:

    I am looking to move to vegas to save up for my wedding. I have a job at the front desk of a 4 star hotel in L.A. right now and they cut back our hours (full time) to 2 DAYS A WEEK! (as to not lay people off, though, I’d rather just get unemployment at this rate…) I have serving, front desk, PBX and modeling experience. random assortment of skills, but I figured Vegas would have something for me that I could work one or 2 jobs and save money…. as opposed to beverly hills. ughh.. everything is so expensive! hows a girl supposed to pay for a 10k wedding!? (without stripping, that is.)
    Help?

  40. Eric says:

    Amber – Well things are tough here, too. Many of the major hotel and casinos have also laid people off. But, Vegas is a transient town. People come and go so jobs are still available, just not quite as plentiful.

    Are you looking to move to Vegas permanently or temporarily? There are a lot of people, promoters especially, who commute from L.A. and San Diego. They work three or four days/nights here a week for one of the high end nightclubs or resorts and then go back home for a couple of days.

    If you’re already in the hospitality biz, I’d suggest working your contacts to find friends of friends already working here and then try to setup “informational interviews” to see what kind of opportunities might exist for you.

    The new M Resort and Project City Center are aggressively seeking promoters to pull in California guests. Maybe you could parlay your hospitality and modeling experience into being a club or resort promoter.

    Be careful not to apply online for more than one Project City Center job at a time though. The electronic submission policy at MGM/Mirage (the group that manages Project City Center) automatically deletes you from the list of candidates for one job if you apply for another. It’s very annoying, because obviously you can be qualified for multiple jobs within the MGM/Mirage umbrella of resorts.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck.

  41. lisa says:

    My name is lisa and I currently live in Minnesota, which I want nothing more then to leave!!

    I’ve always played with thought of moving out there, did all the research i can, and visit almost every summer!

    Im well aware that there’s a lot more to vegas then the strip and I guess I just need to know does anyone know what areas are family friendly?

    I hear a lot about henderson, summerlin and the lakes?

    I have 5 children and would like to have a heads up in what areas to keep away from!
    There are a lot of bad neighborhoods everywhere I know! Many i could name here in my home town but my fear is to get out there and get into a violent area!

    Also I have to ask as a minnesotan……how about the wildlife? LOL
    I have had people scare me with the scorpions! are they really as bad as im told or just more less in the untouched lands?

    So if anyone has any information for me on areas to look at, any schools for children ages 2-15 would be very appreciated!!

    Thanks much!

  42. Eric says:

    Hi Lisa,

    As someone who lived in Minnesota for 4 years I understand your concerns. The allure is shiny bright with opportunity but it would be a big change from what you’re used to.

    As far as kid-friendly neighborhoods go, I’d suggest you check out the Green Valley area of Henderson, Summerlin and Alliante which is in the northwestern part of town. Downtown Henderson, downtown Las Vegas, anything off Eastern Avenue, anything “too close” to the Strip, and the SE area (Blue Diamond Hwy) are areas you’d probably want to avoid.

    I’d suggest coming out for a long week-end, renting a car and checking the areas and schools out on a couple of weekdays.

    RE: scorpions no worries. Heavily mythologized. The same with snakes and poisonous spiders. They are all shy and tend to stay away from clean and well-traveled places. Of course, the more you get out into the brush and scrub of the desert, the more likely you are to run into the native wildlife, so basic common sense should keep you and your kids safe.

    If you already enjoy the dry summer heat, you’ll love the spring, winter and autumn months!

    Eric

  43. Tasha says:

    Hi Lisa,

    You’re on the right track. The Lakes, Summerlin and Henderson are all very nice areas. The southwest area of town is a very popular spot for a lot of my mom friends- about half of them live there! The northwest is lovely, too- lots of farms and a great state park (with

  44. Tasha says:

    Sorry! Posted before I was done! ;)

    The northwest is lovely, too- lots of farms with horses and a great state park (with an actual lake!) nearby. There’s also a brand new hospital that just went up in the northwest called Centennial Hills and it’s gorgeous. My family doctor moved there from his old location!

    My opinion is that, the outskirts of the city are the nicest, although living there you sacrifice the convenience of a grocery store that’s really close or the paved streets (since everything on the outskirts is still being built).

    I think it will depend a lot of where you (and/or your husband?) are working- you’ll want to move somewhere close to that. Traffic can be insane- especially on Interstate 15. A short commute is a good commute!

  45. Tasha says:

    And P.S. Lisa…..I’ve lived here over 5 years and I’ve NEVER seen a scorpion. ;) Some black widow spiders, sure, but no scorpions.

  46. Tracey says:

    When considering schools, you should think about whether or not you want your elementary kids going to a year round school or not. Many schools here are year round. In the Southeast area of town, Bartlett is an excellent nine month school. This is located in the Green Valley (Henderson) area. As far as year round schools are concerned, Lamping is a fantastic school. They have a science center and offer many opportunities for kids. The parents are very involved at both schools. Lamping Elementary services the houses in the Anthem (Henderson) development. As I have been an educator in the SE region for 15 years, I highly recommend both schools. The year round thing, however, is something that takes some juggling if you have kids in elementary, middle, and high school because all middle schools and high schools are nine month. It makes taking family vacations difficult.

  47. I would like to move to Las Vegas from the UK. Does anyone know how I would gain employment as a living-in housekeeper/babysitter? I’m 53, honest and trustworthy, but am at a loss how to solve this problem. Any advice would be appreciated.

  48. Eric says:

    Mary -

    1) I would first suggest looking for publications in the UK that people in the gaming, restaurant or music business might read and take out an ad. There are a fair number of people from the UK who work in Las Vegas in the marketing, restaurant and music business who travel back and forth across the pond. Some of them probably keep their families in Vegas. Also, Harrah’s recently announced they are beginning a big international marketing push . They aren’t opening their own offices around the world so that means they’re going to be hiring marketing companies in the U.K., Australia, Canada, etc. Reach out to those companies.

    2) Go to http://www.lasvegassun.com periodically and check the Jobs postings. The Sun is one of the main newspapers in town and the jobs listing online are in conjunction with the other newspaper, the R-J. Nanny and house-keeper positions are listed quite frequently.

    3) Google ‘relocation services’ and contact ones in the UK that service moves to the U.S.

    4) Contact the Consul of the United Kingdom here in Las Vegas and ask them for advice. Their address is: 8628 Scarsdale Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89117 and their telephone number is (702) 341-7789

    Good luck!

  49. Kayla says:

    Hi-thanks for this great article. I grew up in reno,NV. I have now been living in Kansas for six years. I have been unemployed here for one-not to mention the area I live has no mass transit,and the school district is 14 million dollars in the deficit. I have thought about going back to Reno,but I just feel like I want somewhere fresh. I would want California but given the state of their government and deficit I don’t feel that would be a good idea currently. I like the idea of Las Vegas because of it’s ideal location for taking vacations,the weather is great,and from what I have seen housing and rental listings are fairly cheap compared to recent years. I have heard a bunch about schools-I have a five year old entering kindergarten this fall. So I would like to know the areas I should live in. I have web design experience,how does that industry do in Vegas? Anything else I should know? Thanks.