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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Las Vegas, NV

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A city alive with neon signs, spectacular shows, and posh nightclubs and casinos, Vegas is ritzier and glitzier than anywhere you have ever been. Fine dining, upscale shopping, and of course high-stakes gambling abound in this popular resort town, a hotbed for tourism, partying, and indulgent living.

Despite its reputation as the city of sin, Las Vegas has much more to offer than a night's worth of activities you'll undoubtedly regret in the morning. The city has a unique history, fascinating museums, and breath-taking desert topography. If you are considering a move to this exciting city, the following guide will provide you with the information to make your relocation a smooth and easy one.

Las Vegas Climate

Located in the Mojave Desert, the city has a subtropical desert climate. The sun shines on Vegas approximately 300 days a year, and precipitation is infrequent--totaling only 4.5 inches annually. Most of the precipitation falls in the winter, but even in the region's wettest month of March, it falls for an average of only 3.6 days. Snow is very rare in the city.

Summers are very hot and dry, with temperatures typically ranging from 90 to 104 degrees. Winters are brief and mild, with nighttime lows rarely falling below freezing.

Las Vegas Neighborhoods

While most people know the city for its saturation of upscale hotels, nightclubs and casinos that line The Strip, there are many neighborhoods in the area with something unique to offer. The name "Las Vegas" is often used to describe the several distinct cities that comprise the Las Vegas Valley. Many people don't even realize that The Strip is actually not within the city of Las Vegas, and is located in the regions known as Paradise and Winchester.

However, within city limits lie many dynamic neighborhoods. Downtown Las Vegas was "Las Vegas" and the town's original tourism center until the 1970s. The oldest part of the city, Downtown has been recently revitalized since The Strip stole its spotlight. A popular destination for locals and tourists alike that want to escape the over-the-top pizzazz of The Strip, Downtown is a vintage alternative-- home to the city's original casinos, arts district, and retro Art Deco architecture.

If the stereotypical Vegas atmosphere is too garish for you, there are many more modest places to call home. Summerlin is a neighborhood located partially within Las Vegas city limits, and home to the beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. More than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, picnic areas, mountain biking and breath-taking desert landscape make this destination a must for those who prefer fresh air and mountain views over a stiff drink and a gambling table. Southwest-style homes of stucco and Spanish tile range from the exorbitant $15 million mansions of Summerlin Hills to those of much more affordable prices.

Registering Your Car

You will have 30 days upon moving to Nevada to register your vehicle in the state and transfer your out-of-state license. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $1,000.

To register your car, you will need proof of insurance in the state of Nevada, a Nevada Emissions Inspection report (with certain exemptions), your current registration and plates, title, and VIN inspection.

To obtain your license, you will need your previous out-of-state driver's license, additional proof of identity, proof of Social Security number, and proof of residency.

Las Vegas Schools

Public education in the city is operated by Clark County Public Schools, the fifth most populous school district in the country. The district is divided into seven regions with 311,380 students.

The city is also home to several colleges, including the third largest community college in the country, The College of Southern Nevada. Other institutions include the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine and the Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts. Several schools also lie just outside the city, such as the University of Nevada in the nearby suburb of Paradise, and Nevada State College in Henderson.

Las Vegas Employment

The major contributors to the city's economy are tourism, gaming and conventions. The tourism sector accounts for 46 percent of the employment in the city, making jobs in hotels, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants popular ones for locals.

Unfortunately, unemployment rates are high in the city, at a staggering 12.5 percent--about four percent greater than the national rate. However, many economists say the city is improving and is projected to rise from its slump. Tourism has seen considerable growth since 2010, and in 2012 the city welcomed its greatest volume of tourists to date--nearly 40 million people.

Living Costs in the City

The cost of living in the city is low, at about five percent below the national average. Groceries, transportation, and goods and services are at about the same level or slightly above. Utilities and housing are much more affordable than most other major cities, at nine and ten percent below average, respectively. The median price of a home in the city is just $125,000, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $680 a month.

However, the price of recreation, dining and other tourist-targeted activities can be very costly in Vegas, especially on the Strip. Venturing to Downtown Las Vegas for food and fun is a more affordable alternative.

Las Vegas Moving Resources

There are numerous moving and storage companies located in the city that are waiting to help you relocate to your new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move, whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages here at to get fast quotes for the following services:

Las Vegas Transportation

Public transit in the city is serviced by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, also known as RTC. It provides bus service throughout Las Vegas, Paradise, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and other suburbs located in the valley.

Buses run on about 42 routes, including The Strip & Downtown Express and The Deuce, which shuttle passengers to all of the city's most popular attractions. The Deuce runs 24 hours a day, so it is the perfect ride for club goers or gamblers that party into the wee hours of the night.

Culture & Contemporary Life

While some outsiders may believe that culture is the last thing the city has to offer, they would be wrong. Vice and superficial fun abound in Las Vegas, but the city is also home to lavish theatres showcasing elaborate shows and performance art, fine arts museums, and a burgeoning local restaurant scene.

Acrobats, magicians and pop stars perform in an array of shows on The Vegas Strip. Seven Cirque de Soilel shows astound and excite audiences with impressive acrobatic feats and vibrant costumes, such as the award-winning Mystere at Treasure Island and the musical homage to The Beatles, Love at The Mirage. You can also catch a magic show by the renowned illusionist David Copperfield or get tickets to see mega-stars such as Celine Dion or Rod Stewart belt out a slew of their hits at Caesar's Palace Colosseum.

The city is also home to many fine arts museums and galleries. The George L. Sturman Museum of Fine Art is one of the largest museums in the city and features exhibits by artists such as Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse and William de Kooning. In addition, Bellagio's gallery of fine art features rotating exhibits by classic names like Andy Warhol and Monet.

Las Vegas Relocation Tips

  • Look for work before you arrive. The city has a high unemployment rate, and while things are looking up, it's a good idea to land a job before you make the trek to Las Vegas. If you plan to work in the service or hospitality industries, you may have more luck finding a new job on the spot when you arrive.
  • Learn about water usage regulations. Nevada is a state prone to drought, and residents may be subject to follow specific rules concerning water usage.
  • Remember that Vegas is just another city. Whether the flash and sparkle of The Strip thrills or dismays you, beyond the attractions the city is just like any other. In fact, The Strip is technically not even a part of Las Vegas! Living in Sin City may not be just as you expected it to be. Thorough research on the city's neighborhoods is imperative before deciding to move.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on March 4, 2013

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