You might expect that a story about Las Vegas news should feature the iconic Strip skyline, dotted with mega resorts that can bed 5,000 guests per night (in a single building!), tall towers, and monuments of other cities. Unless your story is discussing the tourists who are shaking off the glitter within those rooms, then I will always challenge your decision to use this imagery to refer to Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas I know is made up of the residents who live, work, and play against the beautiful mountain backdrop. Our neighborhoods are aplenty with trails, parks, coffee shops, coworking spaces, and other suburban pleasures like big box stores. Yes, “people live here.” No, we’re not showgirls and we don’t live on the Strip. We are thinkers and doers who still retain the pioneer, battle-born spirit and say “We don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done.” We are cowboys who make our own decisions based on informed consent, not heavily-lobbied governmental recommendation.
What’s this diatribe leading up to? This morning, Las Vegas got Uber.
No, Uber is not a cab service. Las Vegas residents have tried for decades to benefit from the transportation services that proliferate the tourism industry. No, if you imbibed too much at Money Plays and just wanted a ride to your Summerlin abode, you were out of luck. A cab was not going to come and get you. So as other cities benefited from the car sharing economy introduced by giants Lyft and Uber, the Clark County entities benefiting from taxi regulation warned Las Vegas residents that it was far too dangerous for them to accept a ride with a stranger.
And residents shouted back in challenge. We have done our research. We have enjoyed alternative transportation ecosystems in various other cities. Thank you for your concern which I am sure is aimed solely toward my safety and not toward your pocket, but I want my Uber.
According to Geoff Carter in this morning’s Las Vegas Weekly, it’s here.
So, while it’s true that we can always ride our bikes to the bar, we can always carpool, and we could always take a bus… We demand the right to have more options in a transportation ecosystem that serves all of us who live in Las Vegas.