Las Vegas Commercial Real Estate - Good, Bad, Ugly

Since visiting Napa, CA last week, I got a good look at what another smaller market is doing in comparison to my home turf of Las Vegas, NV.  Napa has been a desired destination for my wife and I since we honeymooned in San Francisco way back in 1985.

Well, I got a good look at it last week.  We purposely arrived on a Monday and departed on Thursday.  I really wanted to see downtown Napa in action during business hours.  And, it is quite quiet.  During our stay, my wife looked at architecture and I looked at real estate.  Okay, they are pretty much the same.  What I noticed was that you could compare both down towns. 

I found there are a lot of office and retail vacancies in and around downtown Napa just as there are in and around Downtown Las Vegas.  Napa has a few "newer" developments -- or should I say, re-developments.  And, it appears that money is being spent to improve the properties along (near) the river.  Developmental properties in and around Downtown Las Vegas are few, too.

Comparing their wineries to our Resorts on the Strip brings up the obvious: Foot traffic in downtown Napa is a good deal less than Downtown Las Vegas.  And, of course, there is definitely more foot traffic to our Strip resort corridor than Napa Valley's wineries.  This is because the wineries are spaced further apart from on another by hundreds of acres of grapevines.  You could walk between the wineries, but it is too far to do that when driving is a reasonable alternative.

The Las Vegas Valley population is much larger than Napa Valley.  You don't really need a census to figure that out.  But, the attraction to visit is just as appealing.  (Several times we would "run into" other visiting couples and many had been visiting Napa every year for years.  Sounds like Las Vegas to me.)

Unfortunately, being different animals, it did feel like I was comparing apples to oranges.  But, since tourism is what drives these economy's, it depends on the tourist's desire for a return trip.

As for hotels/motels, that would be comparing apples to oranges.  Las Vegas hotels are larger, because the "Strip" does draw more people.

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