102°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Businesses want government to fix $2T infrastructure needs

NEW YORK — Every hour that one of The Advance Group’s trucks is stuck in highway or bridge traffic, it costs the moving company around $200. And with 40 trucks trying to get into Manhattan daily and contending with the New York metro area’s deteriorating infrastructure, the price of lost time runs up quickly.

“Getting to and from a job site is not really billable to a client,” says Anthony Parziale, president of The Advance Group, based in the suburb of Farmingdale.

Parziale’s company and other small and mid-size businesses want the federal government to follow through on a promise to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure — not just roads and bridges, but also extending broadband coverage to rural areas where internet and cellphone service is poor or nonexistent.

Improving and fixing the roads in New York would help traffic flow faster even with the area’s congestion, Parziale says. He wants to see officials deal with New York’s ongoing pothole problems; damage to his fleet from the area’s pitted roads costs the company $65,000 each winter.

Challenge to do business

“It’s becoming more challenging to conduct business,” he says.

The Trump administration and Democrats in Congress earlier this month publicly agreed that the nation needs $2 trillion for infrastructure upgrades. But quick action looks unlikely — President Donald Trump said last week he wouldn’t negotiate with Democrats while they are investigating his administration. And a bill would have to win support from both parties; the No. 2 Republican in the House, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, has already said the $2 trillion figure is too high.

In a January survey of 1,001 small business owners and operators released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 56% said the quality of their high-speed internet was good, and 58% said cellphone network coverage was good. Those somewhat slim majorities reflect dissatisfaction among a considerable portion of owners.

Roads and bridges got lower marks: 62% of the owners rated local roads and bridges as having between very poor and average quality, and 52% gave the same ratings to highways. Owners in the Northeast gave the lowest marks to infrastructure compared to ratings by owners in other regions, but across the country owners were most dissatisfied with highways.

No cushion for small businesses

All businesses must deal with the added expense caused by poor infrastructure, but smaller companies don’t have the revenue cushions large businesses use to absorb the costs of lost time and repairs.

At the 225 franchisees of AdvantaClean, a company that cleans building air systems, staffers spend about half their time traveling from one appointment to another, and highway and road problems cut into the amount of time spent doing the real work, President Matt Phillips says.

“Significant changes to our infrastructure could reduce our expenses as much as 35 percent and help increase revenue by 25 percent,” Phillips says. It’s not just the time, but also fuel wasted by slow-moving traffic that drives up costs, he says.

Phillips’ crews have the most problems in the Northeast, which has older, more dilapidated infrastructure, and the Southeast, where roads are crowded due to the region’s fast growth.

In many areas, it’s not possible to build entirely new highways. But roadways can be widened in projects that can take years but that ultimately allow traffic to move faster. A 35-mile stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike was widened to six lanes in each direction from three; it took five years to complete. When bridges are replaced, lanes can be added; when the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River north of New York City, the new double span was given eight traffic lanes, compared to seven on the old bridge.

Broadband issues

For many small businesses, including those in rural areas or whose customers are located far from metro areas, the infrastructure problem is about broadband coverage needed to move information across cell phones and the internet.

Internet service is poor in the Catskill Mountains 130 miles north of Manhattan. Lita Wall, who owns Cold Spring Lodge, has Wi-Fi through her cable provider for her guests and also to run the business. But the internet service is spotty because of the mountains, often failing during poor weather, and cellphone service is equally unreliable. The area, which has many “dead zones” where there is no service, needs more cellphone towers. Wall has a landline phone for voice calls.

Wall also owns a restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, but even in the heavily populated city, she struggles with poor internet connections.

“Sometimes it is down and we don’t notice until later and so have issues with the customers who send orders during the time the system is down,” Wall says. At those times, she needs to connect to the internet using her cellphone as what’s known as a hotspot, an added expense each month.

Even companies that have good service can be forced to contend with their customers’ poor connections. John Royster owns a design firm, Big Muddy Workshop, in Omaha, Nebraska, located near military installations whose presence guarantees excellent internet and cellphone service in the area. But Royster has clients in more rural areas, and their internet systems, when they’re working, can’t accommodate the large electronic documents and files that architects routinely email.

One client, who lives on a ranch about 300 miles away, couldn’t receive large documents. So Royster sent them to a print shop 40 miles from the ranch where they were printed. The client had to drive two hours round trip to get it.

“These delays in exchanging information can easily add a week or two to a project. This negatively impacts my bottom-line and delays progress for my clients,” Royster says.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Business Videos
There's a new place to play board games in Las Vegas
Matt Smiciklas, co-owner of Boarding School Games, talks about the new Las Vegas business that he co-owns with Emily Labejof. Dedicated tabletop gamers can choose from more than 500 games to play for free in-store. The doors open to the public Saturday, July 20, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Renovations at the STRAT
Analysts say the $140 million renovation project at The STRAT, formerly the known as the Stratosphere, could help the hotel-casino compete with the evolving north side of the Las Vegas Strip. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SLS Las Vegas will become Sahara Las Vegas
Owner Alex Meruelo announced during a special event at the SLS Las Vegas that the hotel-casino will become Sahara Las Vegas in its next iteration. Meruelo said $150 million dollars will be spent to renovate the current property. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aircraft hinge maker moves to "business friendly" Nevada
Doug Silva, president of Aircraft Hinge, Inc. in Las Vegas, makes every type of hinge for every type of airplane. Silva talks about his company and why he moved it to Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Daytime fireworks mark the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
The opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. included a three-minute fireworks show launched by Fireworks by Grucci Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @RickVelotta
Elaine Wynn talks about the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
Elaine Wynn, co-founder and largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts, talked during opening festivities of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People line hours ahead of opening for Encore Boston Harbor
Guests arrive as much as 17 hours early for the 10 a.m. opening of the $2.6 billion, 671-room resort in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal.com
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms - Video
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms.
Crews working 24/7 to complete Circa downtown - VIDEO
Owner Derek Stevens goal is to open the doors to the 1.25 million-square-foot project by December 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury sells Las Vegas home - VIDEO
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has sold his custom home Southern Highlands home in Las Vegas for $2.3 million.
Las Vegas Strip resorts slow to welcome Alexa, Google Home Hub
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.
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
Find next-level experience
One minute, you’re just trimming hedges and shooting the breeze with your neighbor. But then he brings up Vegas and you’re thinking about the incredible meals, world-class hotels, pools inside of pools and unparalleled entertainment. You’re thinking about iconic artist residencies like Aerosmith. Priorities take shape. Vegas first, lawn and everything else, second. Just like that, Vegas Changes Everything. (Visti Las Vegas/Youtube)
Vegas Changes Everything
A weekend getaway is nice for anyone, but a weekend getaway in Vegas ... that’s a next-level experience with shows, clubs, spas and more. With a chance to see iconic artist residencies like Gwen Stefani, you might just find yourself going from pushing your child on a swing, to pushing back a birthday party. See how Vegas Changes Everything. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
THE LATEST
US hotels caught in clash over housing detained migrants

Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Proposed Northern Nevada industrial park could produce 10K jobs

The second-largest commercial land sale in state history is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to a northern Nevada industrial park covering nearly 7 square miles about 30 miles east of Reno.

Bling Bling Balloon Jam floats into Las Vegas

You might see balloon artists floating around the Golden Nugget until July 25 as they attend the Bling Bling Balloon Jam, a convention featuring vendors, speakers and workshops for balloon artists bent on getting better.