I have been living in Las Vegas for over 19 years. I moved from Buffalo New York during one of the worst winters on record. When I rented the moving truck I had to pay a premium for a one-way rental since I was moving from the #1 city in the nation that people were moving from (leaving), and was moving to the #1 city in the nation that everyone seemed to be moving to – Vegas baby! I think the 15 foot truck cost something like $1800 – it was ridiculous.
I have pretty bad allergies and asthma. I was born in Toronto Ontario Canada and grew up around a lot of trees and grass. So moving to Vegas was amazing for my seasonal allergies and breathing. Being an outdoor lifestyle person, I loved the newness of the mountains surrounding Vegas and how much healthier I felt when exercising outdoors in the spring and fall.
I’ve explored literally every trail you could imagine at Red Rock Canyon and Mt. Charleston. I regularly biked the Bristle Cone Pine Trail up at Mt. Charleston in the summer. Loved having picnics there afterwards. Jen and I headed to Mammoth many times during the summer months to escape the heat of Vegas too.
Then one day it hit me. We were traveling out of the city constantly to enjoy the lifestyle we loved. Outdoor-active. The summers were so hot in Vegas that being inside was really getting to us and the winters were too cold for biking or golf so upon analysis we really were spending too much time indoors during the year.
We had designed our home to capitalize on mountain views and had a 1/3rd acre lot with plenty of outdoor living areas, but most of it was unusable for a good portion of the year. We were starting to feel trapped and the constant trips to Hawaii, Park City, Mammoth, Dana Point, Sonoma, Tahoe, Steamboat and Aspen really added up.
We were staying in Vegas because of the amazing community of tech entrepreneurs we had grown to know and love. Small-town feel in a very big town. Lot’s of opportunity. Big fish, small pond etc. Upon further analysis though, we realized that we were working for those escapes. Those hikes in Yosemite or fishing the Yampa river in Steamboat. The dinners at Meat & Cheese in Aspen or the happy hour at the White Bark Grill at the Westin in Mammoth after a 6 hour hike above 10,000 feet of elevation. Those were the times that refueled us. Invigorated us. Provided us the energy to keep pushing hard each day for our shareholders.
This is a simple conclusion, but after 19 years in Vegas, I think we might need a change. There simply isn’t enough outdoor living there. I can see why Boulder, CO has become such a tech hub. So many founders have discovered that they want the work/play balance. At the end of the day, the glitz of the resorts in Vegas never were a draw for me at all. Most of the restaurants were hyper-fabricated instead of simple food like the unbelievable farm-to-table offerings at Central Market in Petaluma.
Time will tell, but living where you play is a pretty fundamental conclusion that Jen and I have come to. We don’t gamble. We don’t go to shows or concerts. We don’t hang out at bars. We are not crazy about celebrity chefs who are never present. We would rather be sitting outdoors with some friends having great BBQ after an awesome mountain bike ride. No one ever coached us to look for this. That is what I find hard to fathom. Everyone we know seems to either like where they are at or don’t articulate that they have thought about what they really want.
There is a reason Aspen is Aspen or Park City is Park City. The costs for those resort towns is crazy. I think that is the type of place I want to call home though. I suppose the next phase of life will be to find what we want at the price-point we want. I’ll keep you posted.