Despite challenges posed to Las Vegas last year, Mayor Carolyn Goodman expressed optimism about the city’s future in her annual State of the City address last Thursday, which was delivered virtually.
“We do look forward to this new year in 2021, hoping to welcome everyone back to the real Las Vegas, restoring what was a booming economy just a year ago,” Goodman said in her address.
The economic strain caused by the ongoing pandemic forced the city to slash $124 million from its budget last year, reported the Las Vegas Sun.
Despite the hardships faced last year and challenges that lay ahead, the mayor encouraged Las Vegans to remain hopeful for a “comeback.”
“Las Vegas is a town that always comes back, no matter what is thrown our way,” Goodman said. “Lady luck has always had an eye on Las Vegas, and our city is primed for a new winning streak.”
Here are some takeaways from her speech:
Praise for COVID-19 Response
The mayor highlighted Las Vegas’ response to the pandemic, including the quarantine complex built at Cashman Center, cleaning procedures at the city’s local parks, housing assistance grants for jobless residents unable to pay their mortgage or rent, and federal business aid.
The city was able to provide 1,500 local businesses with personal protective equipment through federal aid, Goodman said.
She also praised local businesses for their diligence in maintaining social distancing guidelines ordered by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
“We have followed mandated guidelines that have been passed down from the state, and we continue to work with our business community to ensure all precautions are being taken,” said Goodman.
Circa Hotel and Casino
The mayor congratulated the Circa Resort & Casino–Downtown’s newest casino-resort since 1980– for its grand opening last year.
Goodman said that the new establishment will kick off “a great banner year in 2021 for Downtown Las Vegas.”
At 35-stories tall, the retro-themed Circa is currently the tallest building in the Fremont Street area and features six rooftop pools and a three-story sportsbook among its amenities.
New Construction Projects
The mayor lauded new construction projects, including an over $100 million project to improve a 2.5-mile portion of Las Vegas Boulevard in Downtown, which will include updating infrastructure from the 1940s.
She also cheered a recent $56 million project to create a new four-story municipal courthouse in Downtown that’s slated to open in May.
Remembering Tony Hsieh
The mayor gave a nod to Zappos founder and former CEO Tony Hsieh, who passed away last November.
“While much is to be said and applauded so far, overriding everything has been the very sad and recent death of entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who brought back excitement and revival to the historic East Fremont District,” Goodman said. “He gave us so very much.”
Goodman praised the entrepreneur for his effort to revitalize the city with the Downtown Project, which helped give way to Vegas institutions including The Container Park and the annual Life is Beautiful Music and Art Festival.