1 “Downtown Summerlin, for all its aesthetic and commercial comforts, will lack the essential ingredients for an actual downtown,” Geoff Schumacher declared in our July issue. Summerlin Senior Vice President Tom Warden replies: Downtown Summerlin is much more than a glorified mall. He writes: “Schumacher failed to mention that Downtown Summerlin will feature thousands of urban residential homes, extensive retail (both regional as well as neighborhood), and office complexes that will provide thousands of jobs, all in a pedestrian-friendly environment on 400 acres. Geoff clearly is under the impression that Downtown Summerlin is confined to the 106-acre regional shopping destination, but that is only the beginning of our long-established grand plan. We’ve made no secret of the fact that our high-density, sustainable urban concept called Downtown Summerlin is a core element of the 22,500-acre community. It’s been a fundamental part of our master plan since its inception more than a quarter century ago. It’s not a stretch to say that our Downtown will be Summerlin’s crowning achievement. At more than 35 square miles in size, and with more than 200,000 residents at build out, Summerlin is easily the size of a small metropolitan city. A modern, New Urbanist downtown at its center makes perfect sense.
“Aside from thousands of urban homes and jobs, Downtown Summerlin will have a regional transit center, acres of urban parks, and tree-lined streets with shops. Residents and visitors alike will take advantage of extra wide pedestrian thoroughfares and urban trail systems, which fit right in with the active outdoor lifestyle promoted in Summerlin. On the western rim of the valley, Downtown Summerlin will be a shining example of new urbanist concepts applied on a rare scale: hundreds of acres of undeveloped land surrounded by thousands of existing rooftops.
“In the valley’s center, the redevelopment of downtown Las Vegas is likewise a unique opportunity. With significant cultural infrastructure, a robust creative-arts community, and strong historical underpinnings, it offers a completely different experience from Downtown Summerlin, but is likewise worthy of our support. It seems clear that both ‘Downtown’ projects in Southern Nevada are welcome messages for our valley at large. Significant investment by The Howard Hughes Corporation in Summerlin, Tony Hsieh in downtown Las Vegas, and a host of other developers, highlight an improving economy and a better future in what was once ground zero of the Great Recession.”
2 Hey, where’s the love for hospice workers, wonders reader Lori Ward, writing in response to our August profiles on health-care professionals, “Committed to Care.” She writes: “Just wanted to let you know that you guys forgot about the hospice doctors, nurses and nurses’ assistants that take care of dying patients — they’re committed to care on a different level. I enjoyed reading about each professional, but couldn’t help but think of my mother-in-law who is a hospice nurse and an angel on earth. She cares for sick and dying people on a daily basis and also offers a shoulder to cry on for the family and friends of these patients. I’m not sure how she does it day in and day out, but she does and loves her job!”
3 On our blog Aug. 12, Editor Andrew Kiraly wondered whether we could come up with a more pizzazzy demonym than boring ol’ “Las Vegan” to describe valley residents. Sinizen? Neonian? Vargovian? Vegano? Many readers chimed in with theirs as well (“Neonite,” “Dirtian,” “Royal Flussian, “Ex-Californian”), but “mortified” reader and fifth-generation Las Vegan Liz Bash was having none of that nonsense, so you all just stop it right now. She writes, “I can embrace many changes that have come to Las Vegas: flood control, solar power on homes, the opening of The Smith Center. I’ve also gotten over the fact that 99-cent breakfasts don’t exist anymore, Alias Smith and Jones burned down, and Tippy Elvis never played one of my birthday parties, but Andrew Kiraly, I just can’t embrace Sinizen or Vegano. Sorry.” Your point is well-taken, fellow Neonian!