Jan. 24--The Las Vegas economy has come a long way since the doldrums of the Great Recession, but there are still plenty of challenges on the horizon for 2014.
That was the message from the first two speakers at today's Preview Las Vegas networking event sponsored by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The event, at the Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus, continues through this afternoon. About 2,000 people were in attendance.
Opening speaker Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis said while the state's economy has shown signs of diversification and most of the economic trends are positive, Southern Nevada still has to be wary of blips in the housing market, the reliability of the region's water system, increasing crime and the philosophical and political battles involving the state's education system.
But Aguero's optimistic message was that Southern Nevada has seen the worst of the recession and the rebound has been steady.
Aguero applauded the Governor's Office of Economic Development's success in winning the competition to make Nevada one of six test sites for drones, the Switch data storage center, which he called "the baddest-ass data center anywhere" and a new program for the development of computer games at UNLV that already has developed 12 patents.
The event's second speaker, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter, said history has shown that the city's innovators have been resilient in keeping Las Vegas as the leading tourism and convention destination in the country.
Ralenkotter said the next challenge for the city will be to develop a transportation infrastructure to move tourists and conventioneers to their hotels and attractions and to get employees to work.
A transportation component is a key part of the LVCVA's effort to develop the $2.5 billion makeover of the Las Vegas Convention Center into the Las Vegas Global Business District.
Playing off the LVCVA's new "Las Vegas Enabler" advertising campaign, an offshoot of the "What happens here, stays here" theme, Ralenkotter encouraged attendees to help enable Las Vegas leaders to complete some of the projects needed to keep city's lead as a travel destination, particularly for international visitors.
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