One word is commonly associated with Las Vegas across the world—gambling. The gaming industry is the economical “Goliath” for the city. However, with the constant population growth, another industry continues to rise; i.e., the construction industry. Below is a summary from an article, “Las Vegas Construction Boom Continues,” in the October 2007 edition of Rocky Mountain Construction publication. Its purpose is to illustrate the influence of the construction industry in Las Vegas, and to illustrate the demand for heavy equipment operators to keep that industry on the rise:
Las Vegas’ population explosion, robust economy and job growth are fueling an unprecedented building boom, with nearly $9 billion worth of construction projects planned in 2007-08. Construction is Nevada’s second-largest and fastest-growing employer, trailing only gaming and hospitality, reports the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
Las Vegas Construction The industry is now responsible for nearly 150,000 jobs statewide — about 11 percent of the state’s total work force — contributing $5.1 billion annually in wage and salaries, while generating $14.7 billion worth of economic activity.
The Vegas Strip is leading the charge with $35.46 billion worth of projects planned through 2010, reports the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. Construction plans will add 42,092 more hotel rooms, 2,562 timeshare units and 3.49 million square feet of convention space. Another $13 billion in tentative projects could also build 36,703 hotel rooms and 7,088 timeshare units.
Affordable Concepts and others are staying busy downtown, which, like the Strip, is a hotbed of construction activity with projects like the $3-billion, 12-million-square-foot World Market Center at Grand Central Parkway and Bonneville Avenue.
The luxury condo and condo-hotel high-rise market is helping keep local constructors busy with 69 projects, totaling 45,616 units, planned in the first quarter, reports Restrepo Consulting Group, a Las Vegas-based economic research firm. While there have been some well publicized cancellations, many other developments are still moving forward.
Las Vegas Construction “There still seems to be steady growth in office, industrial and retail,” says Brooks Williams, president of Brooks Corp., a Las Vegas general contractor. “People continue to move here, which continues to drive construction.”
Southern Nevada had 8.5 million square feet of office development in the second quarter, a 51.7-percent improvement from a year ago, while retail had 14.1 million square feet of projects under construction for a 51.2-percent gain over 2006, reports Applied Analysis and Urban Environmental Research.
With its rapid population growth and tremendous number of visitors, the Las Vegas area is always expanding its highway network.
The article points to one main theme—construction is rising. There are needs and demands for new hotels, resorts, convention centers, houses, condominiums, “high-risers,” highways, and you name it. But what the article does not say directly, but still implies, is that there is a need and demand for the people that make this possible. That is where heavy equipment operators come into play. Without heavy equipment operators, none of these construction projects would be completed.
According to Keith Schwer, professor of economics at UNLV, each hotel room added will generate one direct job at that property with an additional 2 jobs created in the local economy to support the new resorts. That equals approximately 126,276 new jobs, largely in the construction and heavy equipment industries. This figure is based on the above article that said approximately 42,092 new hotel rooms are expected to be built with the current construction plans in place for Las Vegas.
With the need of heavy equipment operators there is also the need for proper training, education, certification, high standards, and safety. This is why the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS) was founded.
Illia, Tony. (October 2007). Las Vegas Construction Boom Continues. Rocky Mountain Construction. Retrieved November 6, 2007 from http://www.acppubs.com/article/CA6489210.html?rssid=112.