|Echelon Place site, June 17, 2012|
In the summer of 2008 construction was suspended for what developers thought would be just one year.
And it was still a suspended construction site three weeks ago when I returned to Las Vegas for RightOnline. The Echelon--which is where the Stardust and Westward Ho once stood--remains nothing but steel beams.
Shortly after President Obama was sworn in, The One had this to say: "You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime." Apologists for Obama replied that the president didn't say, 'Don't go to Las Vegas,' but the implication certainly damaged the tourist-based economy of southern Nevada. Trips were cancelled. The Silver State's unemployment rate is much higher than the national rate.
A year later at a town hall, Obama added his exclamation point. "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college," he lectured.
Who favors that?
As I wrote in December, the shutdown of the Echelon project has been devastating to the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. The now-isolated Riviera filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and the Sahara, which was north of "the Riv," closed down last fall. Another under-construction north-Strip property, the Fountainbleau, has been sitting idle since 2009.
This is Obama's America.
December post: Video: Obama's Las Vegas legacy is the abandoned Echelon Place construction site
Independence Day Las Vegas post: July 4: Marathon Pundit taking part in Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama telethon
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