Las Vegas, Nevada is well-known for being a city of endless partying and gambling. It’s no wonder that many people refer to it as Sin City. Las Vegas was founded in 1905 by ranchers and railroad workers. However, the city’s current status of casinos and nightclubs was shaped by mobsters like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. It is the most populated city in the Nevada state with a population of more than 644,644 people. The abundance of hotels, casinos, vacation resorts, restaurants, and tourist attractions create numerous job opportunities for locals. Despite the nightlife and gambling, Las Vegas is also home to a tamer, more family-friendly communities.
What are the possible living in Las Vegas pros and cons? Las Vegas offers a reasonable cost of living, plenty of housing, excellent attractions, and fine weather. On the downside, the city is not for people with gambling or drinking addictions. Moreover, crime is a serious concern, and many people lose everything to gambling or substance abuse.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Las Vegas is probably the casinos and hotels. However, the city is much more than that. With countless entertainment options, scenic landscapes, and friendly locals, living in Nevada’s desert city is a wonderful move for anybody. Whether one is single, raising children, or enjoying retirement, this resort city has plenty to offer. However, it does have several disadvantages. For any expat thinking of moving to Las Vegas, I’ve collected information about living in Las Vegas pros and cons. Find out whether moving to Nevada’s most populated city is a worthwhile option.
Pros of Living in Las Vegas
- Reasonable Cost of Living and No Income Tax
Settling in Las Vegas is worth considering because its cost of living is just 3% higher than the U.S. average (in comparison to San Francisco’s 80%!). The reasonable cost of living is further boosted by the zero income tax, so residents enjoy the extra disposable income. They can use the extra income to pay off the possible mortgage or cover insurance premiums. Moving to Nevada’s resort city for any expat is also worthwhile, because of the availability of mortgage lenders and insurance companies.
- Entertainment Hub
Las Vegas is often described as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Residents living here have the entertainment world at their fingertips. Every day there’s something to do on and off the Vegas Strip. Late-night eats and bars are available all around the city. For bowlers, getting a lane isn’t difficult and dancing all night long in the nightclubs is possible.
- Beautiful Outdoors
Living in Nevada is an ideal option for those who love the outdoors. The state is home to numerous parks, which provide beautiful landscapes for admiration and exploration. Coupled with the wonderful weather, opportunities to spend time outside are in plenty. Residents and visitors alike engage in rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, skiing, boat riding etc. Moving to Las Vegas makes it easy for a person to take weekend trips to the nearby wonders.
- Favorable Weather
With around 292 sunny days a year, Las Vegas is the city to live in for people who love sunshine. The year-round sunny weather makes for cheery residents who can thrive in the subtropical desert climate. The summer temperatures usually go higher, with May through September experiencing average highs of at least 90 degrees. However, the remaining months are highlighted by wonderful weather. The heat promotes an active lifestyle, which boosts vitamin D, and improves mental, heart and lung function.
- Friendly People
In Vegas, hospitality is not only for the hotels. The residents of this city are some of the friendliest people out there. They are open-minded and welcoming. However, that comes as no surprise considering the range of people that visit and in live in Las Vegas. The constant exposure to different cultures and personalities from around the world fuels an open and close community.
- The Dining Scene
Las Vegas offers some of the best dining scenes in the United States. Michelin starred chefs cook off the Las Vegas Strip and many popular names (e.g., Gordon Ramsay) in the food world have restaurants here. From the sustainable seafood to inviting farm-to-table eateries, Vegas city has it all. At The Strip, visitors are served 240-day dry-aged steak, amazing Mediterranean seafood, and much more. Las Vegas is without a doubt exciting foodie heaven.
- Easy Travel
People who enjoy road trips will love the Las Vegas life. The Southwest part is open and one can drive between sandstone monoliths or frolic on the sand of California beaches. Los Angeles is only four hours away by road and 45 minutes by flight. Utah and Arizona are very near that someone can raft, climb or hike and get back to Vegas by suppertime. Additionally, the McCarran airport in Las Vegas offers daily flights to almost every corner of the world.
- The City’s Design
The design of the Vegas is an absolute pro. The city takes on the shape of a grid with big and broad boulevards, right angles and easy navigation. It’s possible for one to learn their way around town in a week, apart from specific navigations in The Strip itself. In comparison to Los Angeles, driving in Las Vegas is less hard.
- Master Planned Communities
The city is home to a variety of master-planned communities, which offer a rich suburban lifestyle. Such areas are distinguished by the wide array of amenities and conveniences they provide to locals. The master-planned communities are huge enough to incorporate tremendous recreational amenities including lakes, golf courses, and expansive parks.
- Business Opportunities
The city of Las Vegas provides budding entrepreneurs and start-ups with significant opportunities. It’s an excellent place to launch a business because of its 24-hour economy, low cost of living and friendly tax climate. Furthermore, it’s a fun city with many opportunities for unwinding or relaxing.
Cons of Living in Las Vegas
- Limited Employment Opportunities
Although Las Vegas residents enjoy an affordable cost of living, they usually earn lower salaries than their counterparts in other cities. Additionally, they face fewer employment opportunities in some industries. Many jobs in this city are linked to the hospitality industry. But, occupations in sectors such as education, health, architecture, and engineering are trailing behind the national average.
- Rampant Opportunities for Committing Vices
Las Vegas is full of vices. It offers endless access to gambling, drinking, taking drugs, and other activities that can injure a person’s lifestyle. Many residents and tourists have lost their way in Sin City. Across the city, video poker machines are laid out everywhere, especially in grocery stores. Such machines are like the cocaine of gambling. Las Vegas is not a place for people with gambling or alcohol addiction problems.
- Casino Noise
The noise coming from slot machines and recorded music feels exciting for first-time visitors to Las Vegas. However, after living here for several weeks, the casino noise can become irritating, because it’s hard to move away from it. Many hotel-casino cafes and buffets offering amazing food deals are usually near the casinos with slot machines. Therefore, as one tries to enjoy their food and have a conversation, they’ll have to contend with the surrounding noise.
- Hot Summers
While Las Vegas’ weather is liked by many, it’s not suitable for everyone. The summer months can be incredibly hot, with average highs going over 90 degrees. The city has a dry heat, which might become uncomfortable. However, for those with a home with a swimming pool, the summer months are more bearable.
- People Are Everywhere
Many people around the world desire to visit Las Vegas. Since almost everyone wants to visit the hub of casinos, millions of tourists flock to the city. Therefore, people looking to relocate here have to get used to crowds and visitors constantly asking for directions. People who like to keep to themselves may have a hard time living in Las Vegas.
- Poor Education System
In comparison to other school districts in the country, the Clark County School Districts ranks very low. That is partly because Las Vegas’ original foundation wasn’t set on building infrastructure for family life and advanced education. Rather, it was created to boost the gaming and hotel sectors. All in all, Sin City was not founded for children.
- Smoke from Cigarettes and Cigars
Without a doubt, where there are gamblers, there’ll also be a high amount of smoking. The smoke often gets into neighboring restaurants where people may be trying to enjoy a sumptuous meal. However, the top restaurants are usually set far enough from the smoke and designed to keep it out. Additionally, newer casinos in the city have put measures to reduce the level of secondhand smoke through advanced ventilation units.
- Location Of Movie Theaters
Nearly all the excellent multi-screen movie theaters are located inside hotel-casinos. While such facilities are usually appealing and near food courts, guests have to walk through the casino to reach them. For those with children, the casino noise and smoke is not a good environment for them.
- Deplorable Social Statistical Indicators
Not only are substance abuse and gambling addiction rates alarming, but suicide and divorce rates in Vegas are also high. Such circumstances are mostly seen in the older, poorer and rougher residential areas where residents are suffering the most.
- Poor Reputation
From its nickname, Sin City, Las Vegas’ reputation is not appealing. Its earlier connection to the mafia only ruins its image further. Add to that the wide array of strip clubs, prostitutes, free-flowing alcohol, and year-round gambling. However, that hasn’t stopped owners of hotel-casinos and government officials from attempting to change the city’s image. They aim is to draw more tourists including those with families. They have done so by constructing theme-based hotel-casinos and adding amenities and features that appeal to broader audiences.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.