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Plenty good in Las Vegas, Goodman says, with economic reality mixed in

Mayor Oscar Goodman channeled James Brown at the beginning of the Las Vegas State of the City speech this evening, crowing “I feel good!” as he came on stage.

He did not, however, do the splits.

Instead, Goodman insisted there’s plenty to feel good about, even though current events compelled him to also discuss the city’s budget problems and the likelihood of employee layoffs if wage concessions can’t be reached.

“That’s the last thing in the world any of us want to do,” Goodman said, speaking downtown in the Golden Nugget’s showroom. “We have to do business differently. Only a dummy would stand up here and not tell you that, and I’m no dummy.”

In his list of positives was the Golden Nugget itself, which recently opened a new hotel tower and has been adding on and upgrading for years. Goodman also pointed to the under-construction Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the soon-to-come new city hall and the interest developed in Las Vegas by the Cleveland Clinic.

That means the city has achieved two out of three on his list of what makes a “world-class city” — culture and cutting-edge medical facilities. All that’s left is a sports arena, and the mayor talked about that as though it’s been decided that the NHL or the NBA is on its way, even though no team has committed and the would-be developer is still studying the project’s feasibility.

“It’s my nature. I am a half-full guy when it comes to the glass,” Goodman said. “They know that Las Vegas is a great place for an arena. I don’t believe that they want to miss an opportunity.”

 

Contact reporter Alan Choate at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

 

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