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Terms commonly used on this website


Adaptive-reuse   - The repurposing of an existing building of structure. In Vegas, the Holsum Lofts project is a good example - converting a defunct bread factory to design industry studios.

Approved project
- An approved project has gone through the necessary approval stages with the county and/or city and the FAA (for height concerns). The fact that a project is approved is no indication that it will be built. Often, developers go through the steps to have a project approved in order to flip the land for a higher price. 

Boutique-Hotel - A term originating in North America to describe intimate, usually luxurious or quirky hotel environments. Boutique hotels differentiate themselves from larger chain/branded hotels and motels by providing personalized level accommodation and services / facilities. Sometimes known as "design hotels" or "lifestyle hotels", boutique hotels began in the 1980s in major cities like New York, London, and San Francisco.

Casino-Hotel - A casino hotel is a smaller hotel with a casino. These properties do not usually have all the amenities of larger resorts or casino-resorts. The Westin Casuarina is a good example. It has a small casino and one restaurant.

Casino-Resort - A casino resort is a full-service resort with a casino. Generally, casino resorts have several restaurants, retail, lounges, showrooms, convention facilities, nightclubs, spa facilities and a large casino. There are 23 casino-resorts on the Las Vegas strip and many more scattered around the valley.

Condo (Residential-Condo) - A development where individual units are owned, but common areas and amenities are shared equally by all owners. These are designed to be used as a permanent residence.

Condo-Hotel (Condotel) - This genre of residential building meets several needs that make it attractive. As development costs increase, the cost of hotel development can make developing new hotels difficult, especially in major cities. By selling the units as condos, the developer moves much of the development cost to the condo owners. By owning units that can be rented as hotel rooms, the owners are able to get a return on their investment allowing them the ability to own a residence in a resort or major city. Owners may also elect to keep the units to themselves, adding personal art items, and not allowing the renting of the unit to strangers in their absence.

Crown - The crown is the top of a high-rise building. Usually, a decorative architectural element that disguises electrical, mechanical and other unsightly devices.

Dark-Towers - These are residential condo towers (generally, near major destinations). The majority of the owners are rarely there as they use them as vacation homes instead of a permanent residence. In the evenings, only a few of the windows are lit.

EIFS - EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing System) is a modern, lightweight synthetic wall cladding that includes foam plastic insulation and thin synthetic coatings. The final product often resembles stucco and can be shaped to mimic detailed architectural stonework. The exteriors of Bellagio, Caesars, Venetian and Paris are prime examples of massive EIFS facades.  

Googie - A subdivision of futurist architecture (influenced by car culture, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age), originating from Southern California in the late 1940s and continuing into the mid-1960s. With upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes, and a bold use of glass, steel and neon, it decorated many a motel, coffee house and bowling alley in the 1950s and 1960s.

Green Buildings
- A whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Several new buildings in Las Vegas are "green", these are marked with a green "G" on the Construction Stats page.

Groundbreaking - While this term used to signal the beginning of construction, it is more of a ceremonial ritual these days. Groundbreaking ceremonies as of late, have been held months before and, in some cases, after construction actually begins.

Land Flippers - In Vegas it has become rather commonplace for a company to; purchase a plot of land (or several parcels as an assemblage), hire an architect to render an image of a high rise building on that land, put up a convincing website about the development, present their proposal to the county for approval, hire a bulldozer to clear the land, and build a chain-link fence around the property (usually with banners advertising the new development).  Although this seems like a real project, the land (now cleared and approved for high rise construction) is worth many times what it was worth from the start. The company then flips (sells) the land and building permits for a healthy profit and the original project never gets built. This practice has lead to the misreporting (by the media) regarding a failing high rise market.

LEED Certification - The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systemô is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance "green buildings".

Live/Work - A live/work is a residential condo project that is zoned so that the resident can run a business from their residential unit.

Loft - Although many definitions exist, for our purposes a loft is a residential condo (single or multi-level) which has exposed utilities (plumbing pipes, electrical conduit, heating and AC ducts, etc.) and minimal interior walls. This allows the resident to be more creative and have more flexibility when designing their living space. Lofts are (obviously) less expensive to build than conventional condos.

Mid-Mod - a.k.a. Mid-Century Modern     The modern architectural style of the mid 1900's, specifically the 1950's and the 1960's.

MiMo - (pronounced my-mo or me-mo)  "Miami Modernism" is a particular, whimsical design-style from the 1950s and 1960's, native to the greater Miami region (similar to Googie).

Mixed-Use -  A mixed-use project will have many different elements i.e. hotel, condos, office buildings, shops, markets, theaters, entertainment venues, night clubs and more. Although many of the casino-resorts seem like they should fit into this category, they generally do not have food-markets and office-space which are two of the qualifying elements.

NIMBY - An acronym of (Not In My Back Yard) describes the phenomenon in which residents designate a development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area, even if the development is clearly a benefit for many. Often, these NIMBYS own desirable property and block developers by refusing to sell it to them.

Podium - The low-rise building out of which the high-rise tower projects. Podiums usually house lobbies, casinos, restaurants, etc.

Soft-Opening - The soft-opening of a project is a short, break-in period when the project opens its doors to the public without any announcement or fanfare. This helps the developers get a better idea of how the spaces work and allow them some time for adjustments before the grand opening. Often, some of the shops, venues and restaurants are not yet open during the soft opening.

Strip (The) -  The Las Vegas Strip is a contiguous 4.17-mile stretch of Las Vegas Blvd. bounded on the south by Mandalay Bay and on the north by Sahara. Thatís the official definition. An interesting side note is that none of the official strip lies within Las Vegas city limits (which starts north of Sahara Ave.)

Timeshare - A timeshare is a business model whereby a company sells small time-slices (usually one week) of a resort to customers. This concept is most frequently used for vacation condominiums/homes. Timeshare owners may elect to: use their usage time - rent out their owned usage - give it as a gift - exchange internally within the same resort or resort group - exchange externally into thousands of other timeshare resorts.

Topped-out - A building is topped-out when the top floor is completed. The facade and/or windows are not a factor to the status. In some cases, an American flag or pine tree is attached to the top, signaling the topping-out of the building. On steel structures, The last beam is often painted white and signed by all the ironworkers. Topping-out of a major structure is often accompanied by a celebration.


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