On February 16, 2011, Armstrong Teasdale and the accounting firm Fair, Anderson & Langerman co-hosted a dinner with the Nevada Development Authority for franchisors attending the International Franchise Association's 51st annual convention in Las Vegas. The theme of the dinner, which was held at the world-famous RM Seafood restaurant, was why Las Vegas is "the best business climate in the U.S."
The dinner was kicked off by celebrity chef Rick Moonen, finalist on last year's edition of "Top Chef Masters." Chef Moonen explained to the group why he, a native New Yorker, decided in 2005 to close his New York restaurant and open RM Seafood in Las Vegas. Chef Moonen, like so many others who have moved to Las Vegas, saw the city as the ideal home for his restaurant — focusing on sustainable seafood (yes, a sustainable seafood restaurant in the desert). The group was treated to a wonderful menu, featuring such delectable delights as crab cakes, grilled shrimp, artic char, and (for those who do not like seafood) Chef Moonen's wonderful filet mignon.
After dinner, Nevada Development Authority President and CEO Somer Hollingsworth explained to attendees why Las Vegas is a great place to do business. Mr. Hollingsworth's speech not only focused on the obvious straight financial incentives – highlighted by our state not having a personal income tax or any corporate income tax — but he also explained the other reasons why a franchise company would find itself at home in Nevada. Our well-known high foreclosure rate has resulted in Las Vegas having some of the most affordable housing in the country. We have the most computer-literate and customer service-oriented workforce, many of whom are available for ready and easy employment. McCarran International Airport is one of the busiest, and most accessible airports in the country. We have world-class medical facilities and are attracting other top-flight research and biotechnology companies that have decided to relocate here for our growing health and bioscience industry. Best of all, we have (in my opinion) the best quality of life in the country — with excellent shopping, amazing nightlife, and little traffic so that you can spend less time in your car.
For these (and many other reasons), businesses are leaving states like California with oppressive business climates to experience the benefits of doing business in Las Vegas. Mr. Hollingsworth closed his remarks by noting that the Nevada Development Authority stands ready to talk to, assist, and work with any company considering relocation.