Downtown Container Park in Vegas. Mall built from shipping containers

Credit: vitalvegas.com
Credit: vitalvegas.com

Downtown Container Park is one of many new projects designed to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. It’s an artfully done, fun shopping mall constructed primarily from shipping containers. Yeyt it’s not boxy or industrial at all. The architecture is varied and, judging from the video, it invites you to explore it.

The downtown Container Park has 34 outlets, and the folks behind it (the Downtown Project, led by gazillionaire Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh) have been very clever about the shopping center’s tenants.

The shops and bars and restaurants are quirky and diverse, but the thing they all seem to have in common is that they truly understand what the Container Park is all about. It’s a community, for the community.

And because it’s Vegas, it has a “giant, fire-spewing praying mantis outside.” I like Vegas. It has personality.

Las Vegas makes an end run to get more Colorado River water

Hoover Dam near Las Vegas. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to build a big pipe to funnel water out of four valleys sending it 300 miles to Las Vegas.

The valleys in question would appear to be part of a Colorado River tributary basin. So is the SNWA making an end run around their admittedly microscopic allocation by getting Colorado River water a different way?

Las Vegas gets only 4% of Lower Colorado River basin water, based on an agreement that was made when Las Vegas had a small population. It needs more water and actively pursues that goal in any way it can, just like all the other states that get water from the Colorado River.

Las Vegas wants 65 billion gallons of Utah water annually

The Salt Lake City Tribune says no, as does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Sierra Club. Southern Nevada Water Authority chief Pat Mulroy is known for hardball tactics in her desperate attempts to grab / steal water from wherever possible for a city in the desert with little water of its own where temperatures can easily be 115 in the summer. Las Vegas’ lack of foresight and planning should not be the concern of other states.

SNWA Director Pat Mulroy has tried everything from wheedling to threatening to get Utah to agree to sacrifice its water to support growth in Las Vegas. But when she failed to convince judges in her own state, her tactics lost momentum. We can only hope that the courts and attorneys, who are already arguing over definitions in prehearings, will slow the process enough for opponents to gather even more convincing evidence that the answer to Las Vegas’ water problems shouldn’t be solved by destroying ecosystems hundreds of miles away.

Water wars in the American southwest and west are about as brass-knuckled as politics gets.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas

Not surprisingly, Las Vegas is a “money laundering paradise.” There have been multiple high-profile drug busts with accompanying money laundering charges. The Las Vegas Review Journal profiles an IRS agent who helped the DEA make some of the busts.

Of course money laundering is something Las Vegas has much experience with (oh gosh, I know the casinos are just totally squeaky clean now and all that skimming is a relic of their colorful past and only the terminally suspicious would note that construction has long been known as a way to make money do magic tricks.)