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Today in Las Vegas: It's going down in flames and/or recovering nicely!

From the Wildly Contrasting Characterizations Dept.: Las Vegas is either a) succumbling to a c ataclysmic conflagration of its own making, being consumed in its own fires of avarice and lasciviousness.

But perhaps the most shocking thing is that despite the bust, despite the national recession and the worst economic shock since the Great Depression, so many people still have so much money to burn that they still head to the desert city to throw it away. ... Las Vegas was a symbol of American prosperity unlike any other city. Post-economic-crash, it still is a symbol—only now it stands as a reminder that in the end, sin never pays. Heed the warning and look around: What happened in Vegas isn’t staying there.

Or! Or! Or! It's b) on a slow-simmering comeback trail, spurred by small-scale economic diversification and minor up-sputters in tourism:

The hospitality and tourism businesses are picking up again, but growth in the city’s best-known industries is being bolstered by gains in clean tech and e-commerce. Online retailer Zappos, for example, is expanding its base in nearby Henderson. There’s investment, too, in health care. In recent years, availability hasn’t kept up with Sin City’s rapid population growth, and many wealthier patients have headed to California and Arizona for specialty care. Now the Cleveland Clinic, for example, is expanding its downtown Las Vegas brain health center, which focuses on aging, and the city aims to help the institution expand into other disciplines. Look for employment to grow by about 3% this year, after a 15% dive in the economic downturn.


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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.