chapter  10
30 Pages

The Instant Metropolis: Building a City without Basements or Closets

ThewerenottheonlyonesbuildinginLasVegasasthenewcentury

began."TherearetwoseasonsinLas"thetwenty-yearveteranofthe

city'sconstructior.industrytold1ne,"summerandconstruction.Abig builderinConnecticutbuildsthreehousesorsoayear,Hereyoubuildsev-

enty-fiveandwouldevennotice."TheoftheLasVegas

Valleyborehimout.TheedificeoftheStdpin2000,visiblefromalmost

in!hecommunity,offeredmilesofgleamingarchitectureandcost

billion~;construction.Verylittleofitexistedin1990.Everyof theStripfromthatdecadeshowsconstructioncranes,soubiquitousthat

couldeasilyreplacethemouniainbluebirdasstatebird.Twobilliondol-

'arswasrecordedcommercialandpublicconstruciionin1999inClark

G:.1yearinwhichtheStripV'C'LYlittlenewcons;ruction.Equally

p1·o:ninent,theconcentricringof

thesoutheasterncornerofthe

subdivisionsstretchedlikeabeltfrom

theNorthwest.In1999the

recorded2homesales,withavaluationnearlybillion.

Thousandsofgradedandlinedhomesitesindirectionpromisedmore

mortgag·c....onedevelopernotedasheaddeduptheconsequences.The