Yesterday, we took a case study look at the issues currently plaguing the Huntridge Theater‘s old space on the corner of Maryland Parkway and Charleston Boulevard.
We also hinted at the linkage between the once shiny Huntridge Theater and Nevada’s current status as one-time, one-hit wonder gaming capital of the world (otherwise known as “the possibly recently-deposed gaming capital of the world, overshadowed by the possibly currently-reigning and decidedly more exotic-sounding Dubai (just ask Steve Wynn)”.
Owned by the Mizrachis, the 67 year old structure – which is listed on the nation’s National Register of Historic Places – is due to be demolished in 2017. The Mizrachis’ solution that would have effectively thwarted its planned demolition was to propose that the structure be reconditioned as a secondhand store specializing in collectibles. The redevelopment would first require the granting of a special use permit by the city’s Planning Commission. Neighboring residents and businesses immediately voiced their rather loud complaints that a secondhand store would depress the property value of the neighborhood. Commissioners sided with them, nsisting that the new structure needs to have some nebulous creative / artistic value to keep up with the neighborhood’s
bourgeois burgeoning upscale image.
Since that specific corner of Maryland and Charleston isn’t known for being glamorously upscale to begin with – and that’s putting it mildly -, the global complaint lodged by residents is highly debatable.
The city’s Planning Commission recently vetoed (7-0) the granting of the requisite special use permit and the historic structure is now on the demolition chopping block.
What’s happening on this little corner of Las Vegas mirrors all too closely what’s happening on a larger scale during current Nevada’s economic downturning woes. With Nevada’s heavy reliance on gaming as our primary revenue stream, we’ve learned – all too acutely – that when the money dries up all across the world, we feel the sting. And it hurts. We’ve also learned – or should have by now – that we’re the last on the totem pole to feel the positive impact of cashflow; in other words, we need to wait for the economy to get better in other parts of the world before we can expect to feel it trickle back in. Instead of idly waiting (how’s that been working out for us so far?), I feel that there’s no better time than now to look into economic and business diversification, using our State’s own natural resources and / or location to create new, exciting and, most importantly, more self-reliant revenue streams for Nevada. Can you say green?
What’s stopping us from full throttle diversification? The same stubbornness and unrealistic viewpoint that lies at the center of the Huntridge Theater debate, that the solution needs to be more of the same. And if it isn’t more of the same, then we’d rather concede that it’s best to not have any other solution at all. In other words, let’s just scrap the whole thing without a fight.
Folks, more of the same is what got us here in the first place. We think it’s high time for Nevada to change the game up for no other reason that simple and much needed job creation.
Where do you stand on the issue?
Born in France and raised in SoCal, Dorian Issock’s reviews, blogs and other literary tidbits appear in Desert Companion Magazine, The New Colonist, Urban Art, and scores of online destinations across the internet.