The other day while driving home, I had the local Las Vegas talk radio station on. Why? I dunno. Host Casey Hendrickson was interviewing national host Mark Levin, so the fact that I stayed tuned in took a lot of restraint. Levin asked the local host if it was true that the economy was bad in Vegas. Hendrickson said, oh you hear that we're the foreclosure capital of the US, but hey, massive building is still happening at the strip, and the hotels were all full. Hendrickson implied that it was really all overblown.
Then, on Friday, Boyd Gaming Group halted building on the massive new Echelon project. Sitting on the former grounds of the Stardust, Echelon is one of those multi-use properties, with boutique hotels, shopping, casinos, condos, and more. It's partially done, but because of the economic downturn, it is being completely shut down for at least a year. 800 people were laid off.
On top of that, the 1st National Bank of Nevada closed its doors a couple of weeks ago, but was fortunately snapped up by Mutual of Omaha. But a second bank has now failed, Silver State. That bank counted John McCain's son as a board member until a few days ago, until he resigned due to "personal reasons." Curiously, this has gotten little play from the national media.
I have no doubt that Las Vegas will weather the storm, and come back bigger than ever. But when will the rosy glasses view expressed by right-wing talk radio come down to earth?
Las Vegas Sun: Foreclosure central; Neighborhoods need protection in light of area’s leading foreclosure rate
Times Online UK: Nothing local about the First National Bank of Nevada
Las Vegas Now: John McCain's Son Resigns from Henderson Bank Board
Las Vegas Now: Another Local Bank in Trouble
Thanks once again to Stupid Monkey Planet for the inspiration and some of the links for this post.