Phoenix official suggests how Las Vegas can diversify

VEGAS INC, a sister publication of the Las Vegas Sun, cornered Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a regional economic development organization, and asked him the three things he’d do to improve and diversify the Las Vegas economy.

Tap Andre Agassi. “One of the most important leaders in Phoenix is former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo. In Las Vegas, Agassi is similarly respected and accomplished. He’s put his money where his mouth is with his school. And who’s not going to return Andre Agassi’s phone call? I would pick through the Vegas roster of who’s admired, who’s of interest, who would put energy into helping fix this.”

Launch an aggressive museum strategy. “I think one thing happening right now is that museums have become new, innovate models in local economies. They’re not about staring at paintings on the wall. They’re very interactive, educational. That would be something I’d ask gaming to do.”

Help higher education. “I’d put everything I have into building higher ed. You have the Cleveland Clinic investing there. If you take UNLV and the Cleveland Clinic and put energy into those assets, it will pay off in jobs and economic development. You should have some of those intellectual achievements become part of the city’s reputation so it isn’t just known as a place to misbehave.”

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  1. Yeah, we need someone from Phoenix to help Las Vegas understand itself. Please.

  2. After ten years residence, I feel Las Vegas disappoints. The lack of economic diversity and civic pride, the low quality of local schools and even medical facilities does little to attract new business, and move toward a goal of creating a more stable economy, not singularly dependent on gaming. The will to change seems limited to the feeble speeches of politicians too busy cow towing to the gaming industry. An expanding residential construction industry was self defeating, creating more capacity than made sense, driving down home prices and leaving many newer neighborhoods in disarray as the economy contracted. Retail business offers little promise without other primary business to generate jobs and income.
    An interest in changing this is not self evident, as demonstrated by a movement to downgrade public education with still more funding cuts, but let's not blame it all on that. Aside from the difference in size and scale, Las Vegas could pass for an impoverished Appalachian community where folks have just given up, now that the mine is depleted, and grimly hang on, accepting the status quo.

  3. I'm a process guy. It is my job to look at a troubled function and determine what needs the most attention based on risk. Part of my process is to benchmark and organization and compare it to what is successful. While one size does not fit all, those attributes that make one system work should be the starting point for remediation.

    We know answers, WE decide not to commit ourselves to change.

    Where do you start: accountability

    Who: those charged with governance

    If they can't get the job done, fire them. Breakdown the establishment if it isn't working for you.

  4. A very terse summation of what ails Vegas. Not sure how useful the tips are though.