Making designs on Vegas

Four of Sin City’s leading architects and urbanists join the Weekly for a spirited discussion about building a better city


We tend not to see the built environment, though it’s all around us, and of all the arts forms, architecture is the one that tends to have the most tangible impacts. Books and movies and music will come and go—we cherish those we love, and we ignore those we don’t—but we’re stuck with buildings, good or bad, for a generation, or a lifetime. Buildings are the physical manifestation of who we are and what we value—and this is no more true than here in Las Vegas.

With an economic downturn that has brought construction to a near halt, now is the time to celebrate the city we’ve built over the last 100 years and consider the direction we want to go from here. To that end, over the next seven pages we’ll sit down with several of Sin City’s best architects and urban thinkers for a stimulating roundtable about how the city can improve its architecture, urban planning and efforts to be more sustainable; we’ll introduce you to several of the unheralded buildings around the Valley that prove that between mammoth casinos and endless tract homes quality design abounds; and we’ll profile an architect from Washington, D.C. who dreams of radically rethinking Las Vegas’ most famous street. Las Vegas will grow again, but its long-term prosperity depends on thinking more seriously about how to make a more vibrant, resource-efficient community. So sit back, relax and enjoy and remember—none of these buildings bite.

Ron Smith

Ron Smith

Dr. Ron Smith is Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is also Founding Executive Director of the UNLV Office of Urban Sustainability Initiatives. This office promotes multi-disciplinary research, educational programs, and collaborative partnerships focusing on environmental, economic, and social/cultural sustainability in the community, state, region, and world. He received his PhD in Sociology from Washington State University and his academic specializations are community and urban sociology, community sustainability, architectural sociology, and organizational performance. He has published three books and more than 30 journal articles and book chapters.

Mike del Gatto

Mike Del Gatto

Mike Del Gatto is a Principal and Partner at Carpenter Sellers Architects in Las Vegas. Del Gatto has worked on the first building on the new Nevada State Campus, the Academic & Student Services Building; the Frontier Girl Scouts Service Center; the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy and restaurants such as Sedona and Kennedy & Al’s in the District at Green Valley Ranch. He was selected as the 2006 AIA Nevada Young Architect Citation recipient and the 2008 AIA Western Mountain Region Young Architect. He has also served on the AIA Las Vegas Board of Directors.

Eric Strain

Eric Strain

As Principal of assemblageSTUDIO, Eric Strain’s work has received over 35 Design Excellence Honors in only the last 12 years. Projects include: the winning entry in an invited design competition for the UNLV Lynn Bennett Early Childhood Education Center, Mesquite Heritage Museum and Art Center, Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort Visitors Center, UNLV Student Services, Border Grill, unicaHOME, the Mercer and several residential projects. Prior to forming the firm, Eric spent four years at the UNLV School of Architecture as an adjunct professor in graduate and undergraduate design studios. In addition, he spent one semester as a visiting instructor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Architecture.

Robert Dorgan

Robert Dorgan

Robert Dorgan received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota, and a Graduate Design Diploma from the Architectural Association in London, England. An award winning designer and educator, he has taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and UNLV. Professor Dorgan is the founding Director of the educational non-profit organization, the Institute for Small Town Studies, where he continues his role as editor of their quarterly journal, fishwrap. He currently serves as the Director of the Downtown Design Center in the UNLV School of Architecture.

Editor’s Note: This transcript has been edited for length. For highlights from the conversation, including excerpts not printed below, listen to the audio clips posted below.

Weekly: Will the flagging economy offer any long-term opportunities to rethink how we develop the city, or do you think it’s merely just a pause in the usual kind of approach to development that has allowed Vegas to grow so spectacularly over the last 10, 20 or more years?

Eric Strain: There are some hidden opportunities in this. To be perfectly blunt, I think that over the past couple of decades we’ve been fat, dumb and lazy, and we’ve put out some real shit, architecturally, in this community. And I think this is an opportunity to look at what we really value and what we really should be building and how we should be building. We’ve continued for so many years putting up white stucco and red tile, and is that really the appropriate response for this environment? So I think this is an opportunity that, if we take it seriously, we can really start to decide what this valley was and use that as clues to where we can go. I think Phoenix has done it much better than we have. They have a rich history, and we have themes.

Robert Dorgan: One of the discussions that’s going to happen, if there is a pause, and if there is a chance to stop and reflect, is going to be about density, because we’ve sprawled out to the edge of the federal lands. And we’re not going east into Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon, we’re not going west in Mount Charleston. We’re not going north into the bombing range and the Nellis properties, and south is conservation areas and BLM lands. And it’s happened over the last eight to 10 years that I’ve been coming to Vegas, is that we’ve started to build inside the city, and we’ve started to redensify. And I think that’s going to be a discussion that’s gonna have to happen. Because we all prize our yard, we all prize our own little castle, our own little McMansion. Party wall’s a four-letter word to a lot of people. But I think we’re going to go more vertical, and I think we’re going to get closer together. And I think that’s going to be a good thing, or an opportunity to take advantage of.

Desert Living Center at the Springs Preserve


Del Gatto cites the Desert Living Center at the Springs Preserve as his best example.

Mike Del Gatto: I also think it may be a time when we in the architecture community have the opportunity to teach and inform the public about what good design is. I think [in] other countries [where] the general public respects design, I think you see better design ... There’s some great work being done in Phoenix, but there’s still also a lot of clay rooftops. But I think that community has embraced great design. And I think our community maybe is getting a little bit better, but it’s our job to inform the public and try to make them understand what is good design, and it’s not a theme. There’s an appropriateness to what we do, in our climate, in this area, and I think it’s our job to help with that.

Weekly: What do you guys think of CityCenter in terms of its potential to elevate architecture in Las Vegas? Or do you think that’s kind of an oversold notion?

Del Gatto: I don’t think it’s oversold at all. Every time somebody does a great piece of design in this town, it doesn’t matter who does it—if it’s a local architect or an architect from somewhere else. You as an architect have more opportunity to do great design, because you don’t have to work as hard to sell it. You don’t have to convince your client as hard that they need to think outside the box.

Dorgan: There is a shift since Wynn went up, [and] CityCenter, that the theme is not about an oasis in the desert, some Saharan desert. It’s not about cowboys or Indians or some other sort of theme. It’s not about pretending to be Paris or Venice or Luxor, but it’s about an elegant, well-crafted design.

Audio Clip

Robert Dorgan and Eric Strain discuss design in Las Vegas

Strain: The theme of CityCenter is design. It’s not New York or Paris, like you’re saying. They’ve taken it as far as the designer of New York-New York took New York-New York. Really, if you take it down to the nuts and bolts, it’s still wrapped in a theme. It’s just finally design is a theme and people are talking about it.

Ron Smith: I’ll just make a caution, that all this talk about design is really talk among us, that’s among professionals, architects, people related to the field, designers, to some extent builders, artists, etc., upper-middle-class and higher professionals. Really, I think, except for the a-ha factor by somebody driving down the Strip, in many ways it’s sort of irrelevant to everyday life. People are scrounging for jobs, unemployed. Some are moving out. They live in their homes, some of which are not very good. Some are being pushed out of their homes. I just want to put in context that we’re kind of a select group here, and I think that’s true nationwide. Let’s just be careful in all of our talk about whether design’s had impact or not. It’s always had impact among artists and wealthy people and educated people and so forth.

Weekly: How do you make it so everyone feels like they have some stake in thinking about these issues?

Smith: There’s a lot of the studies that talk about to get a sense of place it could take 10, 15 years before you get a real sense of place, of history. Most people don’t know about Las Vegas. They don’t care about Las Vegas. They don’t know about Nevada, its history; they know nothing ’cause they’re recent transplants. But what we can do, I think, in terms of design, both for social reasons and all the senses of sustainability, is build places where we can at least foster that to some extent. I know it sounds simple, [but] we need to build places that integrate rather than divide people.

Dorgan: We trust each other less. Because we’ve constructed this world where we don’t have opportunities to get together and interact with each other. ... We’re not building the corner coffee shop, we’re not building the front porch. We’re not building the bowling leagues into our neighborhoods. We’re not building the walkable communities, we’re not building schools.

Weekly: How difficult is it to get a buy-in from the development community, [which] is likely to say, “There’s no incentive for us to do anything different than what we’re doing. It works.”

Strain: It’s very difficult to get clients to think outside their four [property] lines, to think that what they’re putting in this community has more of an impact than just that one project. And then when you do get those clients that start to understand and start to appreciate the fact that “by God, what I’m putting here is gonna be here for 100 years, it’s gonna have some impact,” then you have a planning commission who looks at it and says, “Those are your four property lines, deal with what’s inside [those] four property lines.” So then it’s a whole new process to get a planning commission to accept the fact that you want to do something different. Then it’s the city council. This profession is a constant battle of getting people to look at things in a new light ... This isn’t home for anybody. It’s Wisconsin or wherever. But then you ask them how long they’ve lived here and they’ve lived here 20-25 years, but they still don’t refer to this place as home. And as a designer that’s very depressing we have that kind of feeling out there in this community.


Architectural Las Vegas
Diamonds in the desert (2/19/09)
Remaking the Las Vegas Strip (2/19/09)

Weekly: How do you make inroads against that feeling?

Strain: I think it’s the Downtown ... what they’re starting with the Downtown design center ... Ron talked about it’s very easy to talk about this stuff amongst us, but how do we get it out into the public? I think the lectures that have started at the Downtown design center, I think they need to be out more in the public. The public needs to know about those things. And I think then, we have to insist you do your job to inform the people that those things are out there.

Audio Clip

Robert Dorgan and Ron Smith on design and sustainability

Dorgan: I still think Springs Preserve should have a branch office in McCarran Airport, that when you go through there you don’t just see ads for Penn & Teller and Mamma Mia! but you actually see displays about sustainable building, about resource management, about water usage, about how do you live in 115-degree heat. And if you get 40 million people coming through here every year, that’s one way to get that discussion going.

Strain: Are those the 40 million people we want to educate, or do we want to educate the 2 million people who live here?

Dorgan: Both.

Strain: I’d rather see those at every school, at every shopping center.

Dorgan: ... that you have to drive to ...

Strain: ... Yeah ... but I think the 40 million people that come here, they’re wonderful, we need them, but if we don’t educate the 2 million people that live here, there’s not going to be much left for the 40 million people to come see very soon.

Dorgan: Of course, they say of those 40 million visitors, 50,000 of them every year decide to move here.

Strain: Not anymore.


Dorgan: But if the population expectations about how we’re going to grow to 4 million people happen, those 4 million people are going to be imports, right?

Strain: Well, most of the 2 million are imports.

Weekly: Even if you put little Springs Preserve kiosks everywhere, everyone still has to drive to them, and so I’m wondering what you think about how viable sustainable planning or development or mass transit is in a city where, for the most part, everybody has to drive everywhere to get everywhere.

Del Gatto: You have to take the first step, and the first step has to be the right step. One of the things that concerns me is ... every study you read about public transportation says the answer’s not anything on wheels. Light rail’s very expensive, extremely expensive, but there’s a negative connotation associated with a bus, and I know the idea is to do a bus rapid transit, and I’m sure there’s all the reasons to support that, but I don’t think most people will utilize the bus rapid transit, but I think you’d get a larger cross-section of the community that would utilize light rail, or some sort of rail format of transportation.


RTC’s $52 million ACE bus rapid-transit line, which will connect Downtown with the Strip and run on dedicated lanes through Downtown, opens at the end of the year. Federal stimulus money means RTC’s next BRT line, along Boulder Highway, may get under way this year.

Smith: Well, I think there’s some serious financing issues. We’ve talked to the RTC and Jacob Snow about this, and he just doesn’t see it as possible, in terms of the federal dollars, and so what I think he’s going to do is, in his mind, the next best option, given that we have a car culture here. But Robert made a good point earlier, and that is, the more dense we can make population the better this probably is.

Audio Clip

Robert Dorgan and Eric Strain on living carless in Las Vegas

Dorgan: Financially it might be a while before we get the light rail going, but infrastructure-wise we’re in a great spot because our right of ways on those feeder/commuter streets are wide enough to absorb quite a bit of mass transit, no matter how super sexy the carriages are—Tropicana, Flamingo, Sahara, Desert Inn, all those streets are wide enough to handle that sort of feeder connection. And because a lot of those nodes happen to have an Albertson’s, a Vons, a Target, a lot of the sort of needs, you could imagine these sort of one-mile stops would actually feed those little areas.

Weekly: Would you guys support ripping up the monorail and trying again with another answer down there?

Las Vegas Library and Lied Discovery Museum


Predock’s Las Vegas Library and Lied Discovery Museum was completed in 1990.

Dorgan: No, I think we should continue it. The monorail was supposed to go to UNLV. It was supposed to go to the airport. It was supposed to go north to the Stratosphere, stop at Fremont Street, it was supposed to go up to the library that [Antoine] Predock did. It was supposed to go all the way up to Cashman Field. Why not extend it? Why not actually have it connect to more places as opposed to rip it up? I mean, we should have transit options.

Strain: We could have as many options as there are. People aren’t going to give up their cars. I think we have a better chance of coming up with alternative fuels, so that you can continue to have your car but not burn gas.

Dorgan: That’s part of it, but I completely and totally disagree that people will not give up their cars. I moved here from D.C., and there’s a whole group of people that live inside the Beltway because you can get around on mass transit, because you can walk. They refuse to go outside the Beltway to go to IKEA or Home Depot.

Strain: But they’ve lived that for generation after generation. We’ve lived cars.

Dorgan: Yeah, but you look around D.C. and most of the people living there are 20-somethings, staffers, and they’re more than happy to not have a car. If we create neighborhoods that allow people to live without a car ...


“We have an overabundance of projects that deal with uniformity and mass consumerism when instead we should be dealing with ideas of ‘local’ and ‘specific.’ One must ask, ‘Is there any interest from the community, politicans or governmental agencies in the specific of local?’ Projects should be encouraged which express the individuality of the particulars and not the commonality of a worldwide mass culture. Projects should be dealing with ideas of site integration, orientation, transitions from indoor to out, the creation of microclimates, abundant screened daylight, mass, material and shade.”

Strain: I just don’t see this culture, the West, giving up cars. I don’t care if I can ride a bus from A to B and stop at C, D and F. We didn’t give up our cars when gas was $4.50 a gallon ... I’m not saying do away with it and not have mass transportation, but I think we have to look past what Chicago and New York and D.C. did, because I don’t think that’s the model of what Las Vegas is, or what Phoenix is or what LA is. I think we have to generate a new model based on this place, and this place only, if it has to be.

Weekly: If the federal stimulus goes through, what do you think should be priorities for this community, provided that some monies come available?

Dorgan: That one’s pretty easy, actually. You look to the New Deal as a model. We invested in putting people to work. And we didn’t just put people to work, but we put them to work rebuilding the infrastructure of this country. So they built dams, they built roads, they built schools, they built post offices. And those things are still here. The Hoover Dam was part of that. The Fifth Street School was part of that. Las Vegas Academy was part of that. Route 66 was part of that ... For me to just take the whole thing away from earmarks and stimulus and other sorts of words and turn it into rebuilding our infrastructure ... in a town where so much of our economy is based on development and based on construction. It could be improving our housing stock, it could be greening our housing stock.

Smith: What does concern me about what I’m hearing about the stimulus package is that we were told [at] the university the only projects we could really focus on were—and here’s the term—shovel-ready. Well, I have to tell you, we’ve got all kinds of projects, but they’re not shovel-ready. We need you guys, the architects, to sit with us, work through this, kind of a client-architect relationship, to figure kind of exactly what we want. Why [would] we want to build something that’s stupid? Why [would] we want to build something that’s dysfunctional in 10 years? We need you guys. I understand the need for jobs, but some of this money should not just be going for shovel-ready. The result could be disastrous.

Strain: Isn’t the whole shovel-ready mentality what got us here in the first place? It’s instant gratification. That’s what got us to where we’re at right now. Everybody wants it now, and if I can’t have it now I want it five minutes ago. I think that we started this by talking about a pause. I think that’s what you’re talking about now. If we just throw billions and billions of dollars into shovel-ready projects, we’re gonna be in the same predicament next year. It’s not going to have any lasting effect ... I think what Ron was saying was we need a group, if it’s designers, if it’s politicians, if it’s academia, if it’s a community-based group, to say, “These are the things we want the money to go to.” And if they’re not done next month, so be it. But if they’re done in a year or two years or three years, it’s gonna make this place better. Those are the kind of projects we should be looking at. What is it that will stimulate the community and not just the economics of it? What will stimulate quality of life in this valley? What will stimulate Robert convincing me not to drive my car every goddamn place I go?

Weekly: It’s very easy to find things that are lacking design-wise here in Las Vegas, but what do we have here that we can be proud of?

Del Gatto:I think the Springs Preserve’s outstanding. My wife and my son, we enjoy going there. My only wish for the Springs Preserve is ... we are fortunate enough we can afford to spend $40-$50 to go there and go into the exhibits and eat at the Wolfgang Puck [café], but I wish it was something more that everybody could enjoy ... I’d love to see the district around it become even more community-oriented, and let there be more museums and more things to see, because I think that could help, but I’d like to see more things like the Springs Preserve that are affordable to the masses.

Strain: I think we did okay at Red Rock Canyon. Valley of Fire. I think that was a pretty good design.

Dorgan: Did you design those?

Strain: I would like to talk to the guy that did that. ’Cause they didn’t have an architect that screwed it up. So, I think in a lot of ways, we are our own worst enemy. We design what our clients desire, and maybe not what we think is right. I think Water Street is one of the greatest streets around, and I’m afraid it’s gonna get screwed up. The things that I’ve seen that they’re doing on Water Street right now make me very nervous.

Audio Clip

Mike Del Gatto on Frank Gehry's approach to clients

Weekly: Why?

Strain: I think Water Street has a scale to it that ... It had everything one would need in the heyday of what that street was. The theater that was there. There’s a library, there’s mom and pop shops. But the proposal to come and put—maybe the pause is going to allow those things not to happen—10- or 20-story buildings on Water Street, I think, ruins what Water Street is all about, or what it could be about. I love Main Street in Boulder City. To walk in Boulder City is a great, comfortable kind of feel. As much as the District is or isn’t, Town Square is very similar. I like Town Square better because it still has the car. They didn’t take the car off the street. They didn’t try to make an artificial life. They said this is what it is; we’re going to deal with it. I’m not fond of the architecture, but there’s a pleasant kind of feel to the space.

Dorgan: It’s interesting that what you guys are hitting on are a lot of projects that are well-designed projects or well-designed environments but also a lot of them really talk about our history and our heritage here. And the Springs Preserve and the origin and why we’re here to begin with. And when you’re talking about Boulder City and the federal encampment for 5,000 workers that poured that dam, a lot of those old houses are still there, a lot of the federal buildings are still there, they’ve been taken over by the Boulder City government. That stuff is still there. The old Boulder Dam Hotel. The old opera house. There’s some really fabulous things there. I would even add our Strip, if you’re talking about walkable communities. Any environment that has 180,000 pedestrians on it every day is a pretty sweet walkable space. And that is such an intentional environment, too, and it’s so designed. And whether you argue for the 40 million visitors or the 2 million residents, there are some wonderful environments there. The interiors along the Strip and those properties are just amazing.

Weekly: Does Las Vegas need the equivalent of Central Park? Golden Gate Park?

Strain: We used to have one Downtown, then they put the state office building on it. It was a great park Downtown, right at Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington. Just north of Cashman Field. It was a great park. Baseball fields. Playgrounds. Where the library is, was a great community baseball field.

Dorgan: I do like the model that we’ve flipped that around. And if our property values are so valuable within our landlocked valley that our Central Park becomes Red Rock, becomes Lake Mead, becomes Valley of Fire, you’d like people in New York and San Francisco saying, do we really need a Red Rock? How are we going to get one of those? How are we going to get a Lake Mead?

Weekly: Does Las Vegas have an architectural style? And if not, does it need one?


Dorgan’s referring to the landmark 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas, written by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, which celebrated Vegas architecture.

Dorgan: Yeah, we do. We got a lot of them. The signage is one, that is so over-the-top, for me, that you’re not going to find in Salt Lake City. You’re not going to find it in LA, except maybe on parts of Sunset Strip. You’re not going to find it in New York except for Times Square. What we do in terms of daytime and nighttime signage at an architectural scale rather than at an urban scale, I think, is something that really makes us unique. Ever since Venturi came here 40 years ago to study this town that’s one of the things he picked up on right away.

Smith: I think of neon lights, signage and sprawl.

Strain: I don’t think we have a style that you could say is Las Vegas, and I, for one, would hope to God we never did, ’cause I could see the style becoming the thing that the council says it has to look like. And I think the Valley would just become one building. I think there’s a freshness and a spirit to individualization in how buildings relate to each other. I don’t want every building to be an object, or every building to be a Gehry building, but I think that when you start getting strip center after strip center after strip center, that all look the same, that all have the same idea behind them, followed by the same housing complex, followed by the same school, followed by the same fire station, followed by the same library, I think that’s how we lose our identity. … I would really hate to see that we become so stylized and have a Vegas style, that it just becomes Stepford Wives.

Dorgan: I don’t think our town would suffer from having a style. Rome could absorb baroque for a number of years, then it could absorb rococo for a number of years, then it could absorb renaissance architecture for a number of years, then it could absorb modern architecture, and it could absorb a lot of other styles. A really good city should be able to take a number of different directions and grow from that over time. It should be able to absorb all that stylistic difference.

Del Gatto: Go forward. Don’t go back. Rome’s not building Romanesque architecture now or Byzantine architecture now. They’re into more modern thought … Many of the styles we have here came from somewhere else, and they are either a response to that somewhere else’s climate or the response to the art that was taking place at the time, or social culture. You don’t just go find the Tudor style and you bring it to Vegas, and you put up a housing neighborhood. Or you go find a mission style and you bring it here. What’s appropriate for now, and what’s appropriate for this climate?

Dorgan: I do think we have a much more absorbent physical form here. We can absorb a lot of different styles, and they don’t seem entirely out of place ... We should have a Great Wall of China here. We should have bullfighting rings. We should have chariot races. Where else are you going to go to see those things? We should have more different things going on, and not get into a comfort zone.

Weekly: It’s 2009 today. Flash forward five or 10, 15, 20 years. What kind of city do you want to see?

Smith: If we don’t start looking at the whole issue of renewable energies in this city, whatever form it takes—solar, wind, biofuels, whatever it may be—we are really foolish. I guess I would hope we would get serious about that. We could actually make this the solar-energy capital of the entire nation. We’ve gotta have greater densification. It just makes no sense to keep adding more cars and parking places and parking spaces and all that sort of thing. Not that it is going to go away, but I think we need to do something in that regard. I think also we’ve got to finally build, and I know some of you may not agree with this, for our economic vitality, we’ve got to build some kind of superspeed train between here and LA with stops in between and quit talking about it.

Dorgan: I want to continue to live in a city that’s a destination for all these people to come to. And that is that draw, that has that magnetism that people from all over the world would be curious about what’s going on there. And because we continually reinvent ourselves, there’s always something new going on, and there’s always something to satisfy the eternally curious to come here. And it could be people are coming here to find out about the latest desalinization techniques. It could be they’re coming here to find about the latest photovoltaic techniques, it could be they’re coming here to learn about water-resource management or how to live in the desert. It could be they’re coming here to see our fabulous Strip environment. It could be any number of reasons. It could be we’ve come up with innovative new housing strategies to house large populations. It could be they’re coming here to find out how we finally got Eric out of his automobile, and to see how they could get the Erics of the world out of their automobiles, too.

Weekly: Small price of admission to see Eric get out of his car.

Strain: Every night at 10.

Weekly: Eric?

Strain: I agree with both of them. I would really like to see us embrace the inherent quality of what sustainability really is, and not just take the same thing and put a solar panel on it. And if I put five solar panels on top of it, I’m five times greener than you are, and five times better than you are. But I think we need, as designers, to go back to what sustainability really was. Back before there was technology, and back before there were solar panels. How did people live in the desert? What did they build that enabled them to live here? And really use our God-given ability of design to create sustainable design. Not just taking the same damn thing and putting insulation in it that was made from recycled Levi’s. But really look at how a building can be done sustainably. How does a building embrace the sun? How does it embrace the ground? How does it use those elements? Then we can put the technology on top of that because we have that. It’s not about one or the other. But so far everything I’ve seen and everything they want to cheerlead as the greatest green things you’ve ever seen—the majority of those buildings are some of the goddamn ugliest buildings I’ve ever seen in my life.

Del Gatto: I’d like to see a diverse economy here. I think we need to continue to support and promote tourism. That’s what’s always going to be what makes this community strive. But I would like to see a community that’s more diverse, and I think the only way to get there is through education. And I’d like to see us as a community, regardless of what our profession is or economic class, is to really get behind education, and really make an effort to use education to give us the opportunity to grow more, to have smarter people, all of us get smarter, and have a community where it’s important and relevant. I do not feel that anyone really gives a shit. I don’t feel anyone cares that we have the No. 50 education system in the country, and I don’t think that most people consider what that’s really doing to our community and what it’s gonna do to our community, because it’s terrible. It’s terrible how we value education, because I don’t think we value it at all.

Weekly: Guys, I want to thank you for coming out today down to Henderson ...

Dorgan: Now we’ll all get in six different cars and drive home.


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