Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Las Vegas: Now One of World's WORST Economies!

Here's more "great" news about our home town of Las Vegas, Nevada: it's just been ranked as one of the worst economies in the world. Not worst in the United States... worst in the WORLD! A fresh report from the Brookings Institution and London School of Economics shows that the Las Vegas area is 4th from the bottom of 150 major metropolitan areas worldwide in terms of economic performance.

Here's the worst part: before the global recession began in 2007 Las Vegas was ranked in the top 15 cities for best economic performance. In gambling that's called a swing... a really big, ugly swing. Experts say that the chances of the city pulling itself out of this horrible economic slump anytime soon are very poor, mainly because of Vegas's dependence on tourism and the (currently dormant) construction industry as well as its ugly housing market.

According to Alan Berube of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program:
“If the first year (of recovery) is any indication for Las Vegas, it could be a long, slow road ahead with the overhang from a damaged real estate market... It was globally one of the fastest growing regions leading up to the recession and sort of the Dublin of the Rocky Mountain West... It was mentioned up there with some of the Eastern European cities that were highfliers up until the crash because they found themselves heavily overinvested in real estate. They had a significant portion of their economies in construction and real estate finance, and the jobs went poof when the housing bubble burst worldwide... The economy that Las Vegas had before the recession is not a recipe for growth in the new economy. There has been talk about the need to diversify and find new sources of economic growth, and that is imperative in the long run.”

Many experts believe that, in order to save itself from years of stagnating economic growth, Las Vegas must diversify its economy, improve education, and figure out how to attract even larger numbers of foreign tourists. The city also must find a way to attract more gamblers who spend more money in order to bring real growth back to the local economy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is Google Buying Groupon?

It looks like Google may be buying the increasingly popular Groupon service, which is a very cool "group-buying" coupon service that's caught fire in recent months. Experts say the Google+Groupon combo would be extremely powerful, especially since the company already earns over $50 million in revenue per month.

One possible strategy is for Google to combine their relatively new Google Places service with Groupon's local coupon/discount capabilities. This would help Google compete and maybe even beat out local review site Yelp over the long run.

Imagine being able to search for the best local thai restaurants in your neighborhood that are also offering big dining discounts. If traditionally expensive service providers like mechanics and attorneys get into running group coupon promotions through Google it could mean HUGE money savings for the end users!

OK, so now that we've convinced ourselves of the idea we sincerely do hope that Google buys Groupon this week! :)

Learn some mo': What Google Could Do With Groupon

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Las Vegas: Worst Place to Find a Job

It's official: Las Vegas, Nevada is the worst place in the US to try to find a job, at least according to a new report from Forbes magazine. Even though the unemployment rate in Southern Nevada dropped to 14.1% from 15% in October things are still incredibly bleak in the City of Lights. According to Forbes and Juju.com, Las Vegas has the highest "Job Search Difficulty" score among all large American cities.

Apparently there are 9 out-of-work people for every job advertised in the Las Vegas Valley. That is really, really bad news for a city that's experiencing a very slow recovery from the Great Recession.

According to the report, the best cities for people looking for work are Washington D.C., San Jose, CA, Salt Lake City, Utah (a relatively close city to Vegas), Denver, Baltimore, Boston, and new tech-hub Austin, Texas.

Learn some mo': America's Worst Cities For Finding A Job

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Facebook.com Email Coming Soon

Want a Facebook.com email address? Well it appears you may soon be able to get what you wish for. Rumors are that Facebook is set to launch it's "Gmail killer" email service this coming week. Called Project Titan it will be a web-based email app that will compete with Google's extremely popular free email service.

Some experts believe that the new Facebook email service will be to first true alternative to Gmail, featuring a comprehensive feature set that's designed to filter and prioritize messages based on FB relationships and interaction history. Apparently Facebook will also close integrate photo sharing functionality with the new email/messaging service.

So basically, now you'll have absolutely no reason to leave your Facebook page. You can be noisy checking up on your friends' statuses, play Farmville, and check your @facebook.com email all at the same time!

Learn some mo': Facebook’s Gmail Killer, Project Titan, Is Coming

Saturday, November 6, 2010

High Speed Rail: Americans Really Want It!

A new survey from the American Public Transportation Association shows that over 60% of Americans say they would "probably or definitely" use high-speed rail transportation if it were available. Why? Several reasons:

1. shorter travel times
2. greater convenience (no driving hassles!)
3. many like the experience of train travel
4. greater options to visit close-by cities during trips
5. good for the environment

Only 11% of people surveyed said they would definitely or probably not use high-speed rail if it became available. That's a pretty dang good ration of "want" to "don't-want" we think and it should motivate people to get these projects going as soon as possible.

High-speed rail projects will do all kinds of good things for the economy, including creating lots of construction jobs. Here in Las Vegas just about everyone wants a fast train directly to Los Angeles, and another from LA to San Diego. It would surely help the economy in Vegas and Southern California and make traveling a lot more fun and convenient.

So come on President Obama and US politicians: bring on the high-speed train lines!!

Learn some mo': Transportation Two Thirds of Americans Would Use High-Speed Rail