EDITORIAL: New downtown

One of the valley’s enduring symbols of the Great Recession is now a beacon heralding recovery.

Downtown Summerlin, which kicks off a four-day opening celebration this morning, is not just another shopping center. The 1.6 million-square-foot retail, restaurant and entertainment complex, off the Las Vegas Beltway and Sahara Avenue, is poised to become the business center of the western valley.

For five years, its unfinished steel structures were a constant reminder of the downturn that put so many Nevadans out of work. Now Downtown Summerlin is a jobs machine, proof that capital investment drives economic growth: thousands of construction jobs led to the creation of thousands of permanent jobs. A 200,000-square-foot Class A office building in the center of the complex is almost complete, and future residential and commercial development will allow people to live where they work.

Congratulations to Downtown Summerlin developer The Howard Hughes Corp. and all of the businesses that will open their doors for partnering on such a spectacular, important project.

Pay no attention to the Culinary union protesters who’ll try to bring rain on today’s parade. They can’t win a secret ballot election to organize any Station Casinos property, including Downtown Summerlin’s adjacent Red Rock Resort, so Culinary members will try to irritate and inconvenience today’s excited shoppers out of spite. The public relations value of this stunt: zippo.

The opening of Downtown Summerlin: priceless.

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