Transportation Infrastructure drives Business Growth

Transportation infrastructure facilitates commerce, but smart infrastructure can drive new workforce to the region. Find out how LVGEA is working with community partners to drive new infrastructure investment to the region.

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Building Connections to the Southwest Region

Las Vegas is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Because of this, Las Vegas is one of the most globally connected cities in the United States. Southern Nevada is leveraging these connections to become more interconnected to the Southwest Region

Interstate 11: Linking Economies and Generating Prosperity

In 2012, federal legislation known as the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP 21) designated US Highway 93, a road that connects the Southern Nevada region to the Central Arizona region, as the “Future Interstate 11 Corridor.” In designating the corridor, the federal government recognized the critical importance of the connection between Las Vegas and Phoenix, the two largest cities in the United States not connected by an interstate highway.

LVGEA has long been a proponent of not only of Interstate 11 but of a multimodal corridor between Las Vegas and Phoenix. According to the Brookings Institution, Phoenix is Las Vegas’ second biggest metropolitan trading partner, but it could be far bigger. By connecting, not only truck routes but train, fiber, and transmission routes, from Las Vegas to Phoenix, we can grow overall trade and help both metropolitan economies prosper.

Fostering Cooperation between Mountain West Metros

Las Vegas is at the center of a fast growing region and highly dynamic region: the Mountain West. According to the Brookings Institution, the “population and job bases [of the five largest metropolitan areas in the Mountain West] could each roughly double by 2040 from 2005 levels.” Businesses from all over the country are realizing the Mountain West’s prospects for growth, and they are aggressively investing in the region.

As the regional economic development group for the third largest metro in the Mountain West, the LVGEA works with Mountain West economic development agencies and municipal governments to find ways they can cooperate on issues like transportation infrastructure, trade, and public lands policy.

Supporting Transit, Highway, and Transit Oriented Development in Southern Nevada

Decades of research has shown that strong transit systems drive economic growth. Since its inception, the LVGEA has been a strong advocate of transit and transit oriented development in Southern Nevada, and has been instrumental to partnerships that are driving transit conversations in the region.

The Economic Development Impact of Transit

Since 2013, LVEGA has partnered with agencies like the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to make transit a priority in the region. The LVGEA and its regional partners have travelled to Mountain West metros to see how Las Vegas’s peer cities, often seen as car dependent and resistant to alternative modes of transportation, are leveraging the economic development impact of transit to make bold investments in their transportation systems.

Raising Revenue for Transportation Projects through Clark County Fuel Revenue Indexing

In 2013, the LVGEA endorsed a new approach to raising revenue for Clark County roadways: fuel revenue indexing. According to the RTC:

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“In September 2013, the Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance to index fuel revenue to inflation in Clark County from January 2014 through December 2016. Fuel revenue is generated each time motorists fill up their vehicles with gas. A portion of what we pay at the pump helps fund transportation projects throughout Clark County. This funding measure will help keep up with material and labor costs, raise $700 million in bonding capacity, fund 199 projects and create more than 9,000 jobs. For motorists, this averages out to about a dime a day over the next three years.”

LVGEA works with RTC to ensure that new transportation projects support economic development goals.  Slated projects include the first phase of Interstate 11, from Henderson to the O’Callaghan-Tillman Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, the completion of the Clark County Beltway, and improvements to the McCarran Airport Connector.

Partnering with Regional Planning Agencies to Support Transit Oriented Development

In 2013, LVGEA began partnering with Southern Nevada Strong, a collaborative regional planning effort, funded by a $3.5 million dollar grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that “seeks to build a foundation for long-term economic success and community livelihood by better integrating: reliable transportation, housing, and job opportunities throughout Southern Nevada.”  The LVGEA and Southern Nevada Strong partnership ensures that regional planning and economic development efforts compliment and support one another. Through Southern Nevada Strong, the region can leverage federal resources to promote transit oriented development and urban community reinvestment, two areas of strategic focus for the LVGEA.

Leveraging Air Connections to Support Global Trade

Southern Nevada has a tremendous asset in McCarran International Airport, consistently ranked as one of the Top-10 busiest airports in the United States and Top-25 busiest airports in the world by passenger count.  McCarran International Airport also ranks in the top 10 in the world by total aircraft movements, a measure of the actual number of aircraft that takeoff and land at the airport. With all this connectivity, McCarran is a tremendous asset for economic development.

Partnering to Foster Global Connectivity

LVGEA partners with McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to help drive new international aircraft routes to Southern Nevada and increase the number of international visitors to the destination. McCarran International Airport already has more connections to global destinations than any other Mountain West region airport, but tourism, aviation, and economic development leaders are working to secure even more connectivity. In 2013, Las Vegas hosted the World Routes conference, the largest airline route development forum in the world. According to Routes Online, “The estimated annualized non-gaming economic impact of new air services [to Las Vegas after hosting the World Routes forum] is $1.4 billion.”  New carriers include Swiss airline Edelweiss, Spanish airline Air Europa, and Canadian airline Air Transat.

Leveraging Air Cargo to Support Route Development

Air cargo, especially from international destinations, helps to support passenger routes and is key to broader economic development goals. Check back for more updates on this important topic!

Advocating for Regional Rail Connections

According to the Brookings Institution, the “population and job bases [of the five largest metropolitan areas in the Mountain West] could each roughly double by 2040 from 2005 levels.”  Currently, many of these large metropolitan areas are connected by traditional freight rail routes, but few passenger rail routes exist. With rapid growth anticipated over the next 25 years, the Mountain West region as a whole must come together to advocate for increased rail service, both to facilitate goods movement and to expand passenger transportation options.

As the regional economic development group for the third largest metro in the Mountain West, the LVGEA works with Mountain West economic development agencies and municipal governments to find ways they can cooperate on issues like freight and passenger rail service.