Alexa, where are you? Smart home and hospitality technology was big at CES in early January. Amazon and Google promoted their voice-activated speakers Alexa and Google Home Hub. Hospitality executives have called the speakers the industry’s future. Yet for all the hype, the revolution is unfolding at a cautious pace on the Strip as well as in other major U.S. hospitality markets. Hotels are focusing their consumer-facing technology investments on adding streaming capabilities, like Netflix, and enhancing their mobile apps, a December report by Hospitality Technology showed. Voice-enabled technology is 10th on that priority list.
The Fontainebleau, soaring 60-plus stories above Las Vegas Boulevard, was supposed to open in 2009. Instead it went bankrupt that year. The roughly $3 billion resort was about 70% complete around the time of the bankruptcy. In 2010, billionaire Carl Icahn bought the mothballed tower for just $150 million. Developer Steve Witkoff bought it in 2017 for $600 million, renamed it the Drew Las Vegas and plans to open it in 2022.
The solar industry is bouncing back in the Las Vegas valley, with Nevada toward the top in rankings from The Solar Foundation. There were 6,680 solar jobs in Nevada in 2018. Nevada ranked first for solar jobs per capita. The state saw a 1.8 percent growth in solar jobs last year. Nevada ranked tenth for overall solar jobs. Nevada ranked fourth for the amount of installed solar capacity. 12.72 percent of Nevada’s electricity is generated from solar.