Monday, October 03, 2005

The price of Vegas

Looking through the papers this weekend, amazed at some of the prices around here.

The price of land – the average price of an acre of raw land around Las Vegas is now $600,000. Down near the strip, in the Harmon area where lots of new things are being built, it’s $3,000,000 per acre. The federal government owns about 90% of Nevada. Periodically the Bureau of Land Management puts parcels up for sale. This is the only place developers can buy big plots of land to create new developments. Parcels are usually two to three hundred acres. In this size the average price per acre is around $900,000. So considering the overhead that streets and parks take, even with the tiny lots new houses have now, that probably adds up to $150,000 per lot just for the land. No wonder new houses cost so much.

The price of a steak – somebody was writing up what good steaks cost on the Strip. The top of the line steak, a Kobe beef filet at the Bellagio goes for $190. Looks like Kobe beef is the major type. Varies from the above down to a low (low?) of $140 at the Mandalay Bay. Personnally I think the best steaks are the broiled in butter ones down at Ruth Cris’ Steak House, but even then that’s $50 for non-Kobe beef. That’s just the steak, extra for a potato or sides. Guess my driving down to the Twin Creek’s at Silverton Casino for $20 (with sides and salad) isn’t too bad.

The price of French – Joel Robuchon, rated as probably the best French chef working today, has opened his first US restaurant. Robuchon at The Mansion inside the MGM Grand, is supposed to be exquisite. Joel was the first chef to earn three Michelin stars over three consecutive years for his Paris place. Reviewed in the paper on Friday, looks like his place here is probably equally fine. But it also looks like I may never get to eat there – there are two price-fixed offerings: nine coursed form $165 or 15 to 18 courses (depending on the season) at $298. That’s without wine – and who can eat a French meal without wine? I’m embarrassed to pay $55 at Rosemary’s for their five course tasting menu, no way can I come up with over $300 (per person), but from reading the review it seems like quite an experience. And evidently there are people with money, for the place is booked solid.

The price of a condo – lots of condo projects going up around town. The cheapest lists a price range of $300,000 - $3,000,000. One I am impressed with is going up on Fort Apache, about ten miles from the strip. Those prices range from $700,000 - $7,000,000. And it’s under construction, which means that they have already sold at least 60% of the units. It’s a tall tower, probably a few hundred units at least. Most of these are not sold as primary residences, but for people that visit Vegas frequently.

So, wow. Looks like lots of people have lots of money.

No comments: