Friday, May 22, 2009 | 10:51 a.m.
Job openings aren't plentiful in Las Vegas and the city certainly isn't known for having a high volunteerism rate. Yet Las Vegas made the top 12 in a Relocation.com list of the “Best Cities for a Fresh Start.”
The top nine are Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, Denver, Columbus, Indianapolis, Washington-Baltimore, Atlanta, and Oklahoma City.
Las Vegas is tied at No. 10 with Houston and Seattle.
Besides jobs and the volunteerism rate, another criteria is affordable housing -- and Las Vegas seems to be getting more affordable by the day.
"With the unemployment rate climbing as the national economy sags, more people are searching for communities that offer greater economic opportunity and a better standard of living,'' Relocation.com said this week.
The company said it took a wide-ranging look at factors that would appeal to someone looking for a fresh start.
The factors include city ``popularity'' based on consumer requests for moving quotes to move to that city; economic-growth prospects; home affordability and the strength of a community as reflected by volunteerism rates.
Relocation.com said it looked at communities with more than 1 million people.
"Although many midsized cities are flourishing, they tend to be tied to a single industry or a government agency, while larger cities generally have more diverse economic bases,'' the company said.
Despite the general lack of volunteerism and community engagement in Las Vegas, there are plenty of individuals and companies stepping up to improve things here. A few examples:
-- Cox Communications said it hopes to raise $10,000 for Clark County School District teachers from now through June 30 by donating $10 for each new Cox service ordered by existing or new customers.
The donation will benefit the Teacher EXCHANGE, an initiative of The Public Education Foundation. Eligible services include Cox Digital Telephone, Cox Digital Cable or Cox High Speed Internet.
"With the current budget crisis in Nevada, our schools and teachers have been impacted tremendously," Steve Schorr, vice president of public and government affairs for Cox Las Vegas, said in a statement. "This is a great way to take advantage of low prices on Cox services and benefit local educators at the same time."
For more information, call 939-8111 and mention: DONATE09.
--MedicWest Ambulance is starting an Explorer Post program for students between 15 and 18 who are interested in the emergency medical services field.
As ambulance explorers, students will receive training in emergency medicine, exposure to real-life emergency situations and opportunities to become involved in the community.
An open house will be held tonight (May 22) at 6 p.m. for those who are interested in the program. The event will provide interested individuals with program requirements and a chance to talk to Explorer Post advisors.
The open house will be held at MedicWest Ambulance headquarters, 9 W. Delhi Ave., (near the Cheyenne Boulevard and North 5th Street intersection) in North Las Vegas.
For more information, call Dan Llamas at 650-9900.
Michael Mixer, senior vice president of Colliers International – Las Vegas, was appointed to the USA Board of Directors for Colliers International, a global affiliation of independently owned commercial real estate firms, for his status as a leading commercial real estate broker.
"Working with my colleagues on the USA board, I look forward to continuing and expanding upon the success of Colliers’ global services, as well as enhancing the depth of our local approach to the current market. We will actively work to provide the best value to our clients here in Southern Nevada and around the world," Mixer said in a statement.
For more than 20 years, Mixer has been a force in the local commercial real estate industry.
In 1993, he formed Colliers International – Las Vegas with partner James Stuart.
As a Colliers USA Manager for the past 10 years, Mixer has also been a liaison between the Las Vegas Market and Colliers International offices around the globe, attending national and international conferences, as well as Colliers owners/manager meetings throughout the United States and abroad.
Since 2006, Mixer has served on the board of directors for Colliers International Parrish Partnership, a network of 12 Colliers offices in the California/San Francisco Bay area, Las Vegas and Reno.
In 2004, Mixer formed the Mixed-use Division – recently restructured and named the Resort & Gaming Group – with partner Alex Rodrigo, with a primary focus on urban high-rise projects, gaming properties, mixed-use and redevelopment sites in and around the Las Vegas resort corridors and University District.
Colliers said that in the past two years, the Resort & Gaming Group closed more than $1.2 billion in transactions and represented such clients as MGM Mirage, The Related Companies, American Nevada Corporation, Wynn Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group.
Mixer also is co-founder of the Links for Life Foundation; a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to raising and distributing funds for disadvantaged children in Southern Nevada, and has completed special projects for Opportunity Village and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Also at Colliers International – Las Vegas, Patrick Murray joined the group to lead in expanding its Real Estate Management Services arm. As a managing partner and senior vice president, Murray will be responsible for Colliers’ current portfolio of 14.5 million square feet of retail, office and industrial/flex properties located throughout Nevada and California. Gretchen Lee, who currently serves as senior portfolio manager, will remain the primary contact and facilitator of all Nevada properties.
Murray comes to Colliers International from San Francisco-based investment firm McMorgan & Company LLC, where as senior vice president he oversaw a $1.6 billion national portfolio. Prior to joining McMorgan & Company, Murray spent seven years at Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco where his team won BOMA’s "Building of the Year" award. He has more than 27 years of diverse commercial real estate experience including asset management, property management, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, development and distressed asset redevelopment.
"In today’s challenging market, property owners are going to be looking for guidance and a quality organization to help lead them through these difficult times," Murray said in a statement. "Colliers International takes a very entrepreneurial approach to looking at problems. They think creatively, work with integrity and always put the owners’ interests first. They hold on to top talent and I’m very pleased to be a part of the organization."
"Colliers International is looking forward to Patrick Murray joining us and working alongside Gretchen Lee," Michael Campbell, managing partner for Colliers International – Las Vegas, said in the statement. "Colliers property management is poised to expand its services for distressed properties. With Patrick’s strong background and Gretchen’s knowledge of the Nevada markets, it is a well suited partnership that will continue the Colliers’ tradition of excellent service for our clients."
The Fremont East Entertainment District is hosting its Las Vegas Farmers Markets on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The farmers market features more than 20 vendors offering fruits, vegetables, breads and pastries, pasta, salad mix and more.
This information is brought to us by the El Cortez Hotel and Casino, which said it's among the Fremont East Entertainment District sponsors of the farmers market and offers free parking with more than 1,200 spaces in its garage and valet.
The National Association of Minority Contractors Nevada Chapter's 3rd annual scholarship golf tournament is set for Tuesday, June 16, at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.
The event begins with a networking breakfast at 7 a.m. and a shotgun start for 18 holes of golf, followed by a barbecue luncheon and awards ceremony.
For information, call 952-2474 or visit the Web site www.namcnevada.org.
We've also posted the registration form here.
The Abe & Louise Jaramillo Garden of Hope at Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) opened May 21 during a dedication ceremony, giving patients and their families a peaceful spot to meditate in and be surrounded by nature’s beauty.
The garden was created and given to NVCI by the Jaramillo family, which has experienced the loss of seven family members to cancer between 2001 and 2007.
As a result, the family partnered with NVCI to design and install The Abe & Louise Jaramillo Garden of Hope for cancer patients, their families and NVCI staff.
NVCI said the Jaramillo family is focused on bettering the community and helping those affected by cancer.
"We wanted to give cancer patients and their families a place to gather their thoughts and give them the courage to face what lies ahead of them," said Nina Jaramillo Washawanny, a granddaughter of Abe and Louise Jaramillo, who helped spearhead the garden. "We also wanted to give workers a place to get a reprieve so that as employees, they will have the strength to keep on doing what they do every day – help save lives and give patients hope."
The dedication ceremony included a ribbon cutting and presentation from Sen. John Ensign’s office in support of The Abe & Louise Jaramillo Garden of Hope. Jaramillo family members, supporters, patients and staff were present to tour the gardens.
"At Nevada Cancer Institute, we are honored to partner with the Jaramillo Family; we admire their strength and generosity," said John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D., NVCI director and chief executive officer. "We share in the Jaramillo’s vision that hope is at the heart of any cancer patient’s journey."
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid met this week with Rob Dorinson, president of Evergreen Recycling in Las Vegas and the Small Business Administration's Small Business Person of the Year 2009 from Nevada.
Dorinson was in Washington to accept his small business award.
He has been recognized for his business, which preserves natural resources through innovative recycling, reuse and re-manufacturing of wood byproducts from wildfire fuel reduction and urban wood waste.
His business is currently involved in recycling construction waste from MGM Mirage’s CityCenter project in Las Vegas. Evergreen Recycling has also been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its commitment to the environment.
Regal Cinemas has created a summer classic movie series dubbed "Flashback Features" that will bring 16 classics to the big screen this summer at Fiesta Henderson, Texas Station and Aliante Station.
For eight weeks, beginning May 25, each property will offer one showing only at 6:30 p.m. Aliante Station will feature movies Monday, Fiesta Henderson will feature movies Tuesday and Texas Station will feature movies Wednesday. Tickets for Flashback Features are $5 each.
The Flashback Features movie schedule:
Aliante Station: 7300 Aliante Pkwy., at 215 in North Las Vegas
Monday, May 25 It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed (1946)
Monday, June 1 West Side Story starring Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno (1961)
Monday, June 8 Singin’ in the Rain starring Gene Kelly and Jean Hagen (1952)
Monday, June 15 Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean and Dennis Hopper (1955)
Monday, June 22 Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn and George Pappard (1958)
Monday, June 29 Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis (1959)
Monday, July 6 Mary Poppins starring Julie Andres and Dick Van Dyke (1964)
Monday, July 13 Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (1942)
Fiesta Henderson: 7777 W. Lake Mead Pkwy at I-95 in Henderson
Tuesday, May 26 Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis (1986)
Tuesday, June 2 Jaws starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss (1975)
Tuesday, June 9 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (1986)
Tuesday, June 16 Pretty in Pink starring Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer (1986)
Tuesday, June 23 Grease starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
Tuesday, June 30 Spaceballs starring Mel Brooks and John Candy (1987)
Tuesday, July 7 Breakfast Club starring Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez (1985)
Tuesday, July 14 Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall (1984)
Texas Station: 2101 Texas Star Lane off Lake Mead and Rancho in North Las Vegas
Wednesday, May 27 Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis (1986)
Wednesday, June 3 Jaws starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss (1975)
Wednesday, June 10 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (1986)
Wednesday, June 17 Pretty in Pink starring Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer (1986)
Wednesday, June 24 Grease starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
Wednesday, July 1 Spaceballs starring Mel Brooks and John Candy (1987)
Wednesday, July 8 Breakfast Club starring Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez (1985)
Wednesday, July 15 Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall (1984)
To celebrate the beginning of its official groundbreaking construction in Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is working with The Verdin Co. and Mobile Bell Foundry to cast a commemorative bell on-site beginning Sunday (May 24).
The brass bell will be poured and polished at the construction site during a series of celebrations this Memorial Day weekend. The events will culminate with the first ringing of the bell during the official groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday.
Ingot Ceremony, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
The public is invited to watch as children from all over the valley assist in passing the bronze ingots into the furnace, where they will be heated to 2,200 degrees.
Bell Pouring, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
Watch as the molten metal is poured into a custom inscripted mold made especially for this historic event.
Bell Breakout, Monday, 10 a.m.
After the bronze has cooled and is ready to go, watch The Smith Center shatter the mold and produce a brilliant bell.
The First Ring & Groundbreaking Ceremony, Tuesday, 10 a.m.
Once the bell has been polished, organizers said it will ring in a new era in downtown Las Vegas as the ceremonial first peals announce the official groundbreaking.
The events are at the construction site on Grand Central Parkway, just north of Bonneville Avenue.
Longtime hotel executive Bob Jensch has been named general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas.
Jensch comes to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, which has 349 rooms, from the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott, where he served as opening general manager for the new 658-room hotel.
Jensch is a four-time property general manager, having held positions both domestically and internationally with the Nazareth Marriott, the Ledra Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall, Jamaica.
His 26 years of industry experience also include senior management posts for the Chicago O’Hare Marriott, San Juan Marriott Resort & Casino and the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, a Marriott Conference center in Atlanta.
In total, Jensch has worked in and managed 11 properties across seven countries with assignments that have included developing and implementing pre-opening strategies as well as oversight of multi-million dollar hotel renovation programs.
"Joining the team at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas marks a wonderful return to The Ritz-Carlton brand for me," Jensch said in a statement. "I am eager to become engaged in the Nevada hospitality community and look forward to seeing The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas continue to set new standards for the Southern Nevada off-Strip resort experience."