Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2022

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Where I Stand — Guest Column:

Shaping a more business-friendly Las Vegas

In August, Brian Greenspun turns over his Where I Stand column to guest writers. Today’s columnist is Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

Having been on the job about a month, it is still easy to see why Las Vegas is America’s most dynamic city. Las Vegas captures the world’s imagination as the city where anything is possible. With world-class hotels, award-winning restaurants, luxurious spas, fantastic shopping, the finest golf courses and spectacular entertainment, Las Vegas remains one of the most electrifying destinations in the world.

As mayor, I have been focusing on what is beyond the neon, looking at the issues that our residents are talking about and finding ways to keep the city moving forward. One point I have heard loud and clear from our citizens is that the city needs to be more business-friendly.

Creating jobs is one of my main focuses, but to do so the city needs to be able to take businesses by the hand and ensure that they can easily navigate our permitting and licensing processes. To this end the city has created a “one-stop shop” for the development community, as well as for residents wanting to make home improvements.

This new Development Services Center, at 333 N. Rancho Drive, consolidates all the departments involved: Planning, Building & Safety, Land Development, City Engineer, Fire Prevention, Public Works and Operations & Maintenance. Business Licensing will round out the services offered when that function moves into the building this year.

Consolidation of these departments into one facility was a recommendation that came from a review of the city’s development services process. In addition, the city is working with the other local governments to create a business license that will be applicable in all jurisdictions instead of forcing customers to get multiple licenses if they want to do business around the valley.

In addition, many of the city’s development services can be facilitated on the city’s website, and efforts are being made to increase these services so our customers can be served online rather than in line.

We have seen the city bring in major new businesses to Las Vegas, such as the Cleveland Clinic and soon Zappos, and we will work to make the city a place that businesses want to call home.

Another point I have heard from constituents concerns parking in downtown Las Vegas. Expect to see some positive changes in this regard. All major cities have parking issues, but in Las Vegas we want to make sure people visiting downtown or working there have a pleasant experience.

The city has hired a parking manager to evaluate the public parking downtown as well as the much greater private parking inventory. The city has obligations to pay off bonds that built downtown parking garages, but we also have an obligation to communicate better with the public so it is easier to come to a special event, visit a downtown business or come to work.

These are but two of the challenges the city is addressing, but I want the people of Las Vegas to know that their city employees are a remarkable group of hardworking public servants who love this city. I got to see that dedication firsthand during my second week on the job when 42 city employees and I joined representatives from Metro Police, the American Red Cross and 17 other federal, state and local agencies for Federal Emergency Management Agency training in Emmitsburg, Md.

We drilled on how to handle natural or man-made emergencies, including flooding and terrorist attacks. I was extremely proud of the people who will be on the front lines, ensuring that Las Vegas is prepared to prevent, respond to and recover from these types of potential incidents.

Looking forward, I will continue to work to make Las Vegas into the world-class city it is on the verge of becoming. In 2012 alone we have several exciting projects that will be opening: the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the new City Hall, the Neon Museum and two fire stations.

We are working with the Cordish Cos. to pursue building a state-of-the-art arena and entertainment complex downtown, and the city is working with the Cleveland Clinic to expand its presence here.

I look forward to celebrating more major announcements and continuing to guide the community to new levels that we can all be proud of.

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