Fifty-five percent of all visitors to Las Vegas downtown area are millennials, according to a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) report released on April 9.
This is great news for city leadership that is seeking to bring life to the downtown area on a more permanent basis. The goal for Las Vegas, like most American cities, it to get this prized generation to move into and live in the downtown area.
Economic vitality requires two things for a downtown area to be strong enough to weather difficult economic times: an influx of outside cash and a vibrant population to sustain businesses.
"The pitch is that it's exciting to be on the ground floor of something," Bill Arent said. "Downtown living and the case to live Downtown is really something new. Up until recently, there really wasn't a reason to be Downtown, but I think we have that now with the entertainment, the arts district, being kind of the center of the Valley where you can get anywhere pretty quick. It's a good place to live." Arent, the city's economic and urban development department director, spoke to the Las Vegas Sun.
The population of downtown Las Vegas has been almost unchanged between 2014 and 2018. In fact, according to the city, the area has actually lost a few hundred residents.
One of the biggest draws for downtown residents in every city is access to culture and arts. While there is no set definition for what those things are, the cities that have successfully begun to revitalize their downtown districts have promoted the arts along with promoting housing.
Part of the perception that needs to be overcome by most cities is that downtown areas are crowded, dirty, and crime-ridden. In fact, in many cases, the downtown areas have become safer and more vital than many of the suburbs.
Las Vegas has an immense amount of culture and arts in the downtown district. The "First Friday" events are always well attended. Many of the attendees from outside of the city, from places like Henderson and Summerlin.
The city sees its mission as being able to get those people to live in the downtown that they so enjoy visiting.