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At the time of this writing (Spring 2021), the housing market in Las Vegas is hitting all-time highs. Average home prices are higher than they were pre-housing crash of 2008, and the available housing stock is so limited that many buyers are paying tens of thousands over asking price and they are doing it with cash. All of this is happening against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry (travel, meetings, events, restaurant, etc.) was among the hardest hit sectors of the economy, and many workers in this largest area of the Las Vegas economy are low-income employees struggling to keep their job...let alone pay for the ever-increasing costs of housing. This architectural design thesis by Maria Dos Santos examines housing for hospitality workers and their families by pulling precedents from the hotel industry into the development of community dwellings. A mixed-income housing inventory along with mixed use amenities like on-site food, entertainment, daycare, school, and work space borrows from the integrated resorts' model of "everything under one roof". After identifying several ideal locations for this kind of design, Maria sought the guidance of local leaders in the affordable housing arena to ensure that the project was not only financially feasible but that the experience would be one prospective residents would desire. Two interesting propositions emerged from the project's development. FIrst, housing created in collaboration with the hospitality industry (ex. corporate sponsorship) for the benefit of hospitality employees may produce higher degrees of employee satisfaction and company loyalty, which typically translate into greater guest experience and overall profitability. Second, the potential to integrate housing on or near The Strip and connecting amenities of the hospitality industry to the broader community might translate into more properties being deemed essential in any future scenarios that require partial closure of non-essential services. The hospitality industry is quite essential to Las Vegas, and the hospitable housing of so many service workers will only improve the perception of Las Vegas as the nation navigates what appears to be another housing bubble.
Las Vegas (Nev.)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Affordable housing; Las Vegas; Strip; hospitality; hospitality workers
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Dos Santos, Maria, "Las Vegas Living: Incorporating Affordable Housing in the Strip" (2021). Hospitality Design Graduate Capstones. 35.
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