Among the different parts of the Las Vegas Valley—Downtown, Henderson, Summerlin, even unincorporated Clark County—North Las Vegas tends to get overlooked most. The city of 252,000 Nevadans is often brushed aside or forgotten in favor of flashier municipalities. But the place sometimes known as Northtown is coming into its own.
Founded in 1919 and incorporated in 1946, North Las Vegas has long been known for its manufacturing and warehouse sectors. Those industries are growing with the recent additions of Apex Industrial Park and Amazon’s fulfillment and sortation centers. But North Las Vegas is also evolving into something more. “The city is no longer a bedroom community. “It is a rapidly growing, family-friendly community known for its parks and trails, cultural amenities, job opportunities and diversity.”
Located north of the City of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas stretches over 100 square miles. Decatur Boulevard marks the western boundary. Nellis Air Force Base lies to the east. The northern portion includes the VA Medical Center, Tule Springs and the 215 Beltway.
As rising housing prices across the Valley threaten to put homeownership out of reach for all but the wealthiest residents, North Las Vegas might be becoming a last local bastion for the American Dream. “We have huge swaths of affordable land and a diverse housing stock, which makes the city a top destination for both residential homeowners and commercial developers,” Lopez says. “We really pride ourselves on our city’s diversity and embrace and encourage the wonderful melting pot of cultures that have come to define our city.”
Spend some time in North Las Vegas to see for yourself. You’ll find unique destinations such as the Broadacres Marketplace, the West Wind Drive-In and 33 city parks. A new Restaurant Row is emerging on Craig Road. Giant neighborhood casinos—including Aliante, the Cannery, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station—offer entertainment ranging from gaming to concerts to first-run films. And CSN’s Cheyenne Campus anchors both North Las Vegas’ educational offerings and the city’s commitment to the visual and performing arts. There’s much to see and enjoy. All you need to do is head north.
SHOULD WE CALL IT NORTHTOWN?
Nobody can quite say when or how North Las Vegas picked up the nickname Northtown. According to Urban Dictionary, the name “most likely began as a derogatory term.” A 2002 Las Vegas Sun article titled “Shedding the Northtown image” described new residents leaving the “North” off their North Las Vegas address because they were embarrassed to admit their locale.
A lot has changed since then. These days, residents refer to “Northtown” with a sense of affection and pride—kind of like if your kid brother made the honor roll. Local product Shamir titled his first EP Northtown in 2014. And that Urban Dictionary definition goes on to say that the nickname is so common, it “no longer carries the negative connotation it once did.”
Even the city knows the score. “While we don’t love the negative connotations associated with ‘Northtown,’ we hope people will reassociate ‘Northtown’ with all of the success we’re having right now,”.