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Old 12-31-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Location: The North
4,962 posts, read 8,681,984 times
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I spent 3 days in Salt Lake recently and when you think about it the situation there compared to Vegas is quite similar. Both metros are where about 75% of the state resides. Both are populated with a lot of very fiscally conservative mindsets. Both have a dominant political force from one group, in SLC its the LDS church, in Vegas you have the casinos. Both have a very strong tourist draw which brings in people from around the world. Both have been significantly affected by migration from California in the last few decades. In short even though most would think of the cities as completely opposite of each other, they are very similar in circumstances.

Yet once there you see what's possible and how its completely different from Vegas. There is light rail and commuter rail all over the place with a new line connecting to the airport opening in a few months. Freeways with carpool/pay lanes which seem to handle rush hour traffic a whole lot better than Vegas. A vibrant diversified business sector including a booming technology industry. A university students and their parents actually want to attend, not one merely accepted because of convenience or financial considerations. The major league sports team Vegas talks about, but never does anything concrete to achieve. A nicely redone minor league baseball stadium people want to go to. A downtown that is growing and drawing in new residents and amenities. A housing and construction industry that didn't crater and is still adding to the region. The list goes on and on.

Salt Lake is not exactly a place where one would think the locals would gladly accept higher taxation, but they did see the need to raise some revenues to get all these improvements. Maybe its time to get people out to see whats possible and selling the vision of what has happened elsewhere will finally get things moving in the right direction.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:28 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,145,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
I spent 3 days in Salt Lake recently and when you think about it the situation there compared to Vegas is quite similar. Both metros are where about 75% of the state resides. Both are populated with a lot of very fiscally conservative mindsets. Both have a dominant political force from one group, in SLC its the LDS church, in Vegas you have the casinos. Both have a very strong tourist draw which brings in people from around the world. Both have been significantly affected by migration from California in the last few decades. In short even though most would think of the cities as completely opposite of each other, they are very similar in circumstances.

Yet once there you see what's possible and how its completely different from Vegas. There is light rail and commuter rail all over the place with a new line connecting to the airport opening in a few months. Freeways with carpool/pay lanes which seem to handle rush hour traffic a whole lot better than Vegas. A vibrant diversified business sector including a booming technology industry. A university students and their parents actually want to attend, not one merely accepted because of convenience or financial considerations. The major league sports team Vegas talks about, but never does anything concrete to achieve. A nicely redone minor league baseball stadium people want to go to. A downtown that is growing and drawing in new residents and amenities. A housing and construction industry that didn't crater and is still adding to the region. The list goes on and on.

Salt Lake is not exactly a place where one would think the locals would gladly accept higher taxation, but they did see the need to raise some revenues to get all these improvements. Maybe its time to get people out to see whats possible and selling the vision of what has happened elsewhere will finally get things moving in the right direction.
Strongly disagree. The two cities are vastly different. Start out with the population. SLC is almost 90% white with 80% white not Hispanic. White non-hispanic is a minority of the population of Las Vegas 47%. So you are comparing a wildly diverse community to a very homogenous one.

Las Vegas is not remotely conservative. It is in fact blue color democrat mostly. Check out the County Commission as a for instance. Lot more bleeding left liberal than staunch conservative. There are certain things the left and right tend to agree on in Las Vegas - such as a dislike for taxation particular of income. But they are almost the opposite political view of SLC.

Growth is utterly different. And one of the strong reasons SLC did better in the bubble burst. Between 1990 and 2010 Las Vegas grew by more than 1.2 million people. SLC by 350 thousand. Or another way Las Vegas added a city bigger than SLC in 20 years. That meant growth was vastly more important to Las Vegas than to SLC.

The Casinos certainly have influence but they do not control Las Vegas. The hammerlock of the LDS church on SLC is much tighter. The Casinos can be beaten on an issue despite their clout. See smoking.

Per capita income is actually higher in Las Vegas...which tends to indicate that perhaps the business success of SLC is over rated. SLC has a somewhat higher household income though that is driven by a larger set of residents per household. Guess why that would be?

So SLC is a nice homogeneous place particularly if you are Mormon. Las Vegas is a very diverse community with something for everybody. But I don't really think either will do much good picking the other as a role model. Might be good for instance for SLC to figure out why we pay better in LV and perhaps LV can get a handle on maximizing the University from SLC.

But overall I would think they will merrily go their separate ways.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:33 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 2,753,434 times
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I'm sorry but I'm going to have to differ with you Willy. I do not see any parallels with SLC. For one thing, it is a city with extremely poor air quality. So bad that when I drive thru in the summer, I must close my windows or my eyes begin to tear.

I will agree that the downtown area is extremely nice but I have come across more passed out homeless people lying around there then I have ever seen in Las Vegas. It appears the draw for the majority of tourists is Mormon church related; those who are doing family background research in the libraries or the activity in Temple Square, whereas the tourists who come here are looking for fun, great entertainment, first class dining experiences and great shopping.

In addition, as far as the rail system is concerned, I would not want to be a local taxpayer who pays high property taxes to pimp someone else's ride. Residents in outlaying areas drive their cars to the train station in their suburban cities and then catch the low cost train to continue on to the job they already had in the city. The tourist who comes there probably stays within walking distance of Temple Square and would not be there if they had not come for religious interests.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: The North
4,962 posts, read 8,681,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjameson922 View Post
I'm sorry but I'm going to have to differ with you Willy. I do not see any parallels with SLC. For one thing, it is a city with extremely poor air quality. So bad that when I drive thru in the summer, I must close my windows or my eyes begin to tear.

I will agree that the downtown area is extremely nice but I have come across more passed out homeless people lying around there then I have ever seen in Las Vegas. It appears the draw for the majority of tourists is Mormon church related; those who are doing family background research in the libraries or the activity in Temple Square, whereas the tourists who come here are looking for fun, great entertainment, first class dining experiences and great shopping.

In addition, as far as the rail system is concerned, I would not want to be a local taxpayer who pays high property taxes to pimp someone else's ride. Residents in outlaying areas drive their cars to the train station in their suburban cities and then catch the low cost train to continue on to the job they already had in the city. The tourist who comes there probably stays within walking distance of Temple Square and would not be there if they had not come for religious interests.
Have you ever heard of the ski resorts there? The airport was overrun with visitors from all over the world when I went and none seemed to be looking for the quickest path to the temple. I think you vastly over estimate how many people go for religious purposes.

If you all want to disagree that is fine, that is the point of this forum isn't it? My point is simply a lot of the things people in Vegas seem to want the city to have are happening up there, things even mentioned in this forum. People ask why there is no train or transport to the airport. Why there is no major league team. Why the economy persistently won't diversify. Why downtown is pretty much a place most have avoided. If these are indeed what people are craving they can all be seen in SLC. And I don't think they all got there because the LDS church wanted them.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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I accept you have made good points as far as transportation to the airport goes, having a major league team and a bustling downtown area. SLC does have those things. City Creek, in downtown, with it's beautiful outdoor fire pit is one of my favorite places. But as far as the ski resorts go, Snow Basin, Park City, etc., if you have ever been to any of them, I find it doubtful that once a skier lands in SLC and then departs for their ski lodge, they will ever leave that environment to go back into the city of Salt Lake. Basically it has the same predictable stores and restaurant chains found in any large city.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:55 PM
 
372 posts, read 239,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
Have you ever heard of the ski resorts there? The airport was overrun with visitors from all over the world when I went and none seemed to be looking for the quickest path to the temple. I think you vastly over estimate how many people go for religious purposes.

If you all want to disagree that is fine, that is the point of this forum isn't it? My point is simply a lot of the things people in Vegas seem to want the city to have are happening up there, things even mentioned in this forum. People ask why there is no train or transport to the airport. Why there is no major league team. Why the economy persistently won't diversify. Why downtown is pretty much a place most have avoided. If these are indeed what people are craving they can all be seen in SLC. And I don't think they all got there because the LDS church wanted them.
As a long-time Salt Lake (area) resident, I see the city's good, bad, and ugly. The good is is that it lies in a very scenic part of the country and has an almost idealic climate. It is its unique geographic circumstance - mostly formed before the Mormon Church - that creates some of the world's best powder skiing, most of it within minutes of its airport. The bad. Like JJameson says, the place stinks. Even though it lies in the same type 'bowl' as Vegas, one of the 'bad's' is that it has some of the worst pollution in the nation. Rarely can you see from one end of the valley to the other. Vegas is the exact opposite: from the heights here in Summerlin, it is rare that I don't have a clear view of the Strip and the rest of the valley.

Yes, they have two major sporting teams (b-ball and soccer), and without continuing into the fact that you have to buy your booze at a Mormon liquor store (at inflated prices) or that when it comes to state fair or trade shows, it's Never on a Sunday, this post laments that SLC has what Vegas does not, so pollution aside, let me confine my comment to the area of interest, starting with transit (the ugly). I drive - and the area has had and is undergoing decided improvements that will make it a lot easier, but because of my interest in alternative transport and my particular interest in seeing transit (and that includes Vegas) die a natural death, I go out of my way to take a journey every time the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) opens a new TRAX (light rail) or RearRunner (commuter rail) line. As pointed out by JJameson, transit is heavily subsidized. In fact, downtown SLC it's free (one of the main ways they sold its financing - an adder to the retail sales tax. Much of the capital cost was also 'free' - a figt from Obama.
What could any municipality do with a couple extra billion - aside from build commuter rail lines, that is? In spite of the billions poured into it, UTA's share of commutership is barely 2%. Not exactly good, is it?

What UTA - all rail transit in fact - is particularly good at is killing people. They refuse to so much as even put an airbag or cushion on the front of its Wham Bam Trams.

To love Salt Lake, you've either got to be of a certain religious persuasion or just a little bit crazy. Vegas is doing just fine as it is.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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well, thanks for blogging OP
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,480 posts, read 20,016,951 times
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Las Vegas is not remotely conservative?????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????
How I wish and pray!!!

Not all light rail is funded by property taxes. L.A. is funding theirs thru a half-cent sales tax!

I love any trip I make to Salt Lake City, but they suffer from the "isolated city syndrome" which has little appeal to me. And that goes for Denver and Minneapolis, both cities I've lived in. Unless you're a great lover of Yellowstone/Grand Teton getaways, or an avid skiier, it's a long drive from SLC to Denver, a long drive to Las Vegas, and heading west, OMG! 500 miles to Reno! Tack on another 200+ miles to the coast!

Curiously, I've gotten on Trulia.com and peeked at the prices of real estate price up there and that stops me dead in my tracks! Given what I'd get for my paid-off house here, and what I could get up there, it's completely out of the question!

Last trip, I rode every mile of their light rail system up there, and I'm eagerly awaiting the expected commuter line between Provo and downtown SLC. So next trip, I'll drive to Provo, stay there, and rail it the rest of the way!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:35 AM
 
Location: ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡) (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ ̡
7,112 posts, read 10,858,216 times
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Originally Posted by Bruff View Post
To love Salt Lake, you've either got to be of a certain religious persuasion or just a little bit crazy. Vegas is doing just fine as it is.
I was stationed 20 minutes north of SLC. Before I moved there, I didn't know what a Book of Mormon was. By the time it was time for me to leave, I was in possession of 10. Half were left on my front door step over the course of two years. The other half were pushed upon me.




Posted from Nokia 8210
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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It is true that SLC has a superior transportation system than LV. This is largely due to the Olympics and a legislature that plans far in the future. UDOT believes that if they add capacity to the roads that companies will move here because there employees will not be sitting in traffic. UDOT believes that investing in infrastructure will improve the economy and they are right. I must say though that the car pool lanes are a joke. People cross into them whenever they want to pass and they only shave off a couple of minutes in time. The real way to deal with traffic congestion is managed lanes behind barriers that reverse directions from morning rush hour to afternoon rush hour.

The cities have little in common. I have lived in both and currently live in SLC. LV is becoming increasingly democrat with all the Californians moving there and bringing their politics with them and with that the financial problems in government. As far as the pollution and climate in SLC, I wouldn't call the climate idealic at all and the pollution is not that bad except in the middle of winter when the inversions set in. It gets downright cold here and winter drags on with occasional snow in May. The Mormon liquor laws are inconvenient but you learn to deal with them.

The variety of outdoor activities and areas to explore are as good as any other city and I have also lived in Reno and Denver. The geographic diversity of Utah makes exploring this state a lot of fun. Although I am partial to Reno and the Tahoe ski resorts the snow and accessibility in Utah is better than Denver.

Salt Lake is somewhat isolated, but it is also a half day drive to Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Great Basin, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Zion National Parks. Vegas is actually an easy six hour drive with the speed limit being 80 mph most of the way.

I may be moving to back to Vegas and will definitely miss the majestic Wasatch that tower over the city, not to mention the incredible Uinta Range.
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