Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Local Las Vegans may not be familiar with the Howard Hughes Corporation, but everyone familiar with Las Vegas will recognize various projects in the company's extensive portfolio.
For one, the master-planned community known as Summerlin, located on the west side of the Las Vegas valley, is among its developments along with the Las Vegas Ballpark. In fact, the real estate company owns the minor league team that calls the ballpark home, the Las Vegas Aviators.
Chairman of the Board for the Howard Hughes Corp., Bill Ackman, bet on the success of the Summerlin community Thursday when he decided to run a pitch for a new Tesla headquarters by the auto maker's CEO Elon Musk over Twitter.
Ackman's pitch comes less than two weeks after the spat between Musk and Calfornia over business closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 9, Musk had threatened to sue Alameda County after, according to him, a health official with the county ordered Tesla to remain shuttered even after the company was allowed to reopen by the governor's office.
Musk wrote in part, "Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately."
The tweet, as do many of Musk's tweets, sparked a media storm with many speculating where specifically in "Texas/Nevada" the auto-maker would move to.
It's here that the Howard Hughes Corp. is at an advantage. The company, based in Dallas, Texas, has award-winning communities in both states.
The Woodlands, a tree lover's paradise near Houston, is among a few other communities the company has across the Lone Star state that Ackman aptly pitched to Musk via a company sizzle reel.
Yet, in his Twitter-rendition of an elevator pitch, Ackman pushes Summerlin the most since its closer to the Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno and, what any Las Vegan would understand, the neighboring natural wonder of Red Rock Canyon.
Meanwhile, the Musk blow-up with Alameda County was no secret with City of Las Vegas officials jumping into the pitching circle rather quickly.
Mayor Pro Tem Michele Fiore wasted no time, posting an open letter on her own official Twitter page to Musk just two days after the billionaire threatened to sue.
With less focus on the amenities and more said about the "business-friendly tax and regulation structure" of Las Vegas, Fiore even appealed to the new father's sense of legacy.
"I genuinely hope you will consider my offer and let me take you on a tour and show you the fantastic home Tesla could have here in Las Vegas, and while we may not be able to legally registered (sic) your son’s name yet, we sure would love to see a new Tesla building open up on X Æ A-12 Lane," Fiore wrote.
Still, it's unclear whether or not Musk still has plans to move his company after all. Following an emphatic announcement on Twitter that he would open the factory against the county's orders, basically daring the police to arrest him.
In the end, they didn't arrest anyone. Then, the company dropped its lawsuit against the county. On May 12, the Alameda County Public Health Department said it was allowing the plant to begin its operations as long as it followed strict health guidelines.
Musk has shown interest in the Las Vegas valley in the past. His 'The Boring Company' just recently finished tunneling on its first-ever project beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion.
Neither Tesla nor Howard Hughes Corp. immediately returned a request for comment at the time this report was filed.
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