I was born in Vegas. Growing up, I did not know much else, and as a teenager, I wanted so much to be elsewhere. Even so, I decided to go to college at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada and then to law school at William S. Boyd, eventually to becoming a practicing attorney handling family law, criminal, and other civil legal issues.
Over time, I have traveled far and wide. I have been all over the United States and Europe, staying in Wisconsin, California, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. I have lived in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and France for short periods. All very nice to visit, but Las Vegas is home.
Las Vegas has a great climate except for a few months during the summer. Even then, it is dry and one can use evaporative cooling, which is energy efficient. Las Vegas is in a valley and the surrounding mountains give a comforting security. Unlike many large cities, one can go up on a hill and see all the boundaries of the metropolitan area. At night is sparkles better than other cities.
To be sure, Las Vegas needs work in certain areas, but I cannot be too critical. For instance, Las Vegas is supposed to have one of the worst education systems in the country, but I had all my schooling here and do not think it is worse than elsewhere. To be fair, however, illegal immigrants have taken over a lot of the schools, making education seem worse due to lower test scores and difficulty in finding qualified bilingual teachers.
Las Vegas is considered one of the fattest cities. Cheap buffets and a desire to stay indoors over the summer may contribute to this, however the climate is so nice and there are many opportunities for outdoor activities in the morning before the heat hits. Hiking, cycling, skiing, and kayaking are all very doable activities. Moreover, we have great stores with good quality food such as Wholefoods, SunFlower Markets, etc. and buffets can be easily avoided. It only takes seeing nasty men in men's rooms wiping their butts, not washing their hands, and then standing in the buffet line ahead of you to gross you out on buffets. Imagining the fecal matter on the buffet tongs and forks...well, you now have a vivid mental picture that should be effective.
Las Vegas has a high unemployment rate right now--14.5%, but that is due in part to the transient nature of the city and the silly people who bought houses they could not afford during the real estate bubble. The largest industries in Las Vegas are construction and gaming/resort. Construction slowed because of the bursting of the housing bubble and gaming has been affected by the entire US economy and President Obama stating twice that businesses should not hold conventions here--businesses should sacrifice more and not go to Vegas. Great advice from a man who has his wife take sixty plus people on a European vacation mostly on the tax payer's buck.
All in all, Las Vegas has a bright future and is an excellent place to live. It offers many choices in relaxation, education (ie. dental school, law school, and trade schools), entertainment, sport, and real estate is once again at an affordable low. People should be returning to Vegas to take advantage of the low real estate prices fairly soon, probably in a year. Las Vegas will grow at a slower more manageable rate because it is such a nice place to be.