What will 2014 hold, economically speaking, for Las Vegas? While no one has a crystal ball, those speaking at the Preview Las Vegas convention can definitely prophesize with some accuracy.
Thousands of employers and community leaders gathered at the Thomas & Mack Center Friday to strategize for the new year.
Speakers said now is the time to start or take steps to grow a business in Las Vegas. They characterized 2013 as a transitional year which moved us further from the recession.
"[The year] 2014 is going to be a year with a little bit more stability. We're not going to see the type of housing pricing depreciations we did. I do think we are going to hit that 50,000 [new jobs created in Las Vegas in] 2014," said economic analyst Jeremy Aguero.
Aguero said recent population growth points to a robust economy in 2014.
"We are seeing that some people that left, especially in the construction industries, are starting to come back a little bit," he said.
Another positive is the diversity of Las Vegas' economy, with job creation occurring in a number of sectors.
"We're seeing things in education and health services, we're seeing it in business and professional services. We're seeing [growth] in trade, transportation and utilities, in addition to our core economy," Aguero said.
This marks the second year Ido Izkovich, president of I Do Diamonds, Inc., has attended the convention. He's been selling one-of-a-kind diamonds in Las Vegas for 10 years.
"If more tourists are coming, and more development is coming in the area, I know how to invest, put our money in advertising," Izkovich said.
Aguero said that if passed, the business margins tax will put a strain on business. Set for vote in November, it would increase taxes for businesses in order to raise an estimated $800 million a year to fund public education.
Convention business is expected to remain strong in Las Vegas, which has been the No. 1 convention destination in North America for 19 years.
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