I moved to Las Vegas in 2012 and, although I’m still unsure this is where I want to live for the rest of my life, I have overall enjoyed my experience in this crazy town. There are many perks to living in Sin City. Let’s go over my top five.
The Place People Want to Visit
I spent most of my first 31 years of existence living in Des Moines, Iowa. There’s nothing wrong with that city. The job market is good and the people are nicer than most places. But hardly anyone travels there for vacation unless they’re visiting family or come from an Iowa town so small that Des Moines seems like New York City to them.
I think it’s kind of cool living in a place millions of people want to vacation. One of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, the Las Vegas Strip, is just a 15-minute drive from my house. Some save up money for years hoping to one day see the Strip. And here I can visit that destination any time I want, for free.
The downside to living in a tourist hotspot is that I often have visitors from back home. When friends and family come to town, I spend more money than I normally would. They seem to forget I’m not on vacation. It’s just another day for me.
Spring and Fall Weather is Amazing
You all now about the scalding hot summer temperatures in Las Vegas. And you might know our winters are mild (usually 50s and 60s with occasional rain). But the weather in the spring and fall here is perfect.
I’m writing this on October 9. The temperature outside is around 80 degrees with a slight breeze and very little cloud cover. That’s a typical day around this time of year. Temperatures will cool down into the 60s in about a month. But for now, and also in March and April, you can’t beat our amazing weather.
Cheaper than California
Another downside to living in Iowa was the ocean was so far away. But here in Vegas it’s only about a four and a half hour drive, depending on traffic. If you leave at 8 in the morning, you can be at Laguna Beach in Orange County by a 1 pm at the latest.
Sure, my ideal place to live is San Diego or Orange County, as it would be nice to be just minutes from the ocean. But the cost of living in California, especially if you’re close to the beach, is utterly ridiculous. You can’t buy a decent house for less than $700,000 or rent a nice two-bedroom for under $2,000 per month. That’s pure insanity. And I haven’t even mentioned the high taxes California residents pay.
In Las Vegas, you can get a spacious two or three-bedroom condo for $300,000 or less. Rent has gone up since I moved here in 2012, but it’s still reasonable, at least compared to California. And I’m still an easy road trip away from Phoenix, the ocean, and many professional sports teams.
Poker Capital of the World
I’ve been playing poker semi-professionally since 2003. A lack of decent poker rooms in Iowa was the main reason I moved out to Sin City.
Las Vegas has the largest selection of poker rooms in the world. Whether you play low stakes, mid stakes, or the highest stakes, you’ll find a game. And there are plenty of poker rooms perfect for everyone.
If you’re a recreational player who just wants to drink and avoid the pros, head over to casinos such as Green Valley Ranch (off-Strip), Harrah’s (Strip), or Stratosphere (Strip). Low and mid stakes grinders will find profitable card rooms at Aria (Strip), Venetian (Strip), Wynn (Strip, and Bellagio (Strip). And the high rollers will find a great game at Aria or Bellagio.
If you live in the Midwest or places like Alabama and you’re bored and hungry at 2 in the morning, where do you go? Your local watering hole is closed and all your friends are asleep.
That isn’t a problem in Las Vegas. Occasionally, I find myself unable to sleep in the middle of the night and crave a steak and eggs, a beer, and a video poker machine. I’m always a short drive or Uber ride away from getting what I want, any time of day.
Coming soon, a Part II with the top 5 things I hate about living in Las Vegas.