The Southern Nevada economy is in full gear and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, according to an economic outlook report released last week by the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research.
UNLV economists reported a positive economic outlook for the remainder of 2014 and through 2015 while gaining momentum each year, they said.
Though the heart of the research focused mainly on Las Vegas, economic analyst Ryan Kennelly predicted that more tourists would make their way to Boulder City now that the housing market is finally starting to stabilize.
“As the national economy improves, people get more expendable income,” he said. “As these people get their jobs back, they’ll start coming back to Vegas and coming to visit Hoover Dam.”
From 1990-2007, Nevada was No. 1 in the country in job growth, Kennelly said. After the recession hit in 2008, Nevada quickly became No. 1 in lost jobs until 2010.
The inconsistency in stability can be attributed to Southern Nevada’s economy, which is structured around gaming, tourism and construction, Kennelly said. People didn’t come to the desert to spend their money because they didn’t have any.
But by 2013 when the price of housing in Southern Nevada increased by 44 percent from the year before, the rest of the economy finally found some level ground.
“The good news is that the Southern Nevada economy is improving — and at an accelerating rate,” said Stephen P. A. Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV. “But the great news is that the growth is widespread across Southern Nevada’s industries.”
Kennelly said the increase in housing prices will create more wealth for Boulder City.
“I think we’re really starting to see some growth now. Nevada was one of the hardest hit by the Great Recession, and we’re one of the last ones to recover,” he said. “It took us a little while to get back, but the West is starting to take charge again.”
Economists found that taxable sales continue to be strong. Clark County taxable sales were 9 percent higher in the first quarter of 2014 than in the same period in 2013. Increased visitor spending and rising personal income in Las Vegas are two factors that contributed to the strong gains in taxable sales.
Activity in the tourism sector is in a general upward trend from 2013 to early 2014. In 2013, Clark County visitor volume was .4 percent lower than in 2012, marking the first decline in Clark County since 2008. For the first three months of 2014, Clark County visitor volume averaged 5.4 percent higher than for the same period in 2013. With continued growth, Clark County visitor volume for 2014 could exceed the previous high water mark of 43,915,549, reached in 2007, they said.