7 Las Vegas

PopulationMetro: 2,204,079
In a city fueled by tourism, fed by the imagination, enhanced by the lights and energized by the show, what happens here doesn’t happen anywhere else.

The story of Las Vegas blossoming into a “real city” has usually been told of late with breathless praise for its economic success.

Tourism—the number one economic driver for Southern Nevada—pays for Las Vegas’ roads, parks, school construction and teachers’ salaries. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), more than 41% of Southern Nevadans are employed directly or indirectly because of tourism.

Indeed, this tourist town is increasingly more livable every year and even downtown has become a destination for locals and cred-seeking visitors, with public spaces hosting art activations and events. Repurposed brick buildings serve as austere, unsigned restaurants, a bet by chef Natalie Young that has paid off for dozens of other entrepreneurs and restaurateurs since 2015.

Place 64
Product 53
Programming 36
People 49
Prosperity 36
Promotion 43

The best weather in the country and an impressive #5 for its Outdoors & Parks have helped Sin City remain in the Top 5 for our deep Place category. For a city in a desert, that’s no small feat.

In 2018, Las Vegas had more than 42 million visitors, with more than one million of those in town for an annual convention. But recently the city has been faced with competing destinations investing millions into their respective facilities to attract large shows that would otherwise be in Vegas.

In response, the LVCVA recently took the final step needed to begin construction on the Las Vegas Convention Center District’s Phase Two expansion by approving the guaranteed maximum price agreement of $935 million. The expansion project will feature stunning design and cutting-edge technology, and will add 1.4 million square feet to the current convention center facility, including at least 600,000 square feet of new, leasable exhibit space.

Arguably the top trade show destination in North America, Vegas ranks third in our Convention subcategory. “We must continue to be innovative and upgrade our offerings if we’re going to maintain that top spot,” says Lawrence Weekly, chair of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Clark County Commissioner.

“This expansion and renovation is our commitment to our clients and our community to foster growth and continue to deliver the excellent service and amenities that have made Las Vegas the world’s premier destination.”

When completed in time for CES in 2021, the Las Vegas Convention Center will span 200 acres and conventioneers will log approximately two miles by walking the facility from end to end, thus creating the need for an on-property guest transportation solution. That’s where Elon Musk’s The Boring Company (TBC) comes in.

The Las Vegas Convention Center

Earlier in 2019, the LVCVA board of directors approved a recommendation to select TBC to design, construct and operate a people mover via a loop of underground express-route tunnels that could carry passengers in autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds.

Musk’s innovative project has the potential to connect Downtown, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor, McCarran International Airport and beyond. “Las Vegas is a high-energy, high-technology destination equipped to welcome the world, and we are excited to deliver a system that will help visitors efficiently navigate the city’s many offerings,” says Steve Davis, president of The Boring Company.