Growing with the Pros: How a pro sports hub scores industrial investment

March 8, 2021

Five seconds left on the game clock: Las Vegas Raiders versus the New York Jets, the Raiders in possession but trailing 28-24 with no timeouts left. Quarterback Derek Carr takes the snap and fires off a 46-yard pass that connects in the end zone. Raiders win 31-28.

While sportswriters called Derek Carr’s last second pass a “miracle,” in fact the game-winning play in the 2020 matchup reflected precision teamwork and great preparation at the Raiders’ massive new state-of-the-art headquarters and performance center opened in last year in Henderson, Nevada.

An emerging pro sports hub, Henderson is also the new home of the American Hockey League’s Silver Knights, which opened the Lifeguard Arena in November in conjunction with the city of Henderson to provide a combined practice facility/community center; the Knights will play their games in the Henderson Event Center, opening in 2022.

The winning edge for global industry.

“Win-win” is how Derek Armstrong, Henderson’s Director of Economic Development and Tourism, describes the Lifeguard Arena and the Event Center. “The Knights have ideal facilities to practice and play, while Henderson reaps the benefits of an exciting venue for sports and other entertainment as well as a community center with enhanced amenities and expanded recreational opportunities.”

Created through a deft leverage of public-private funds, the two facilities provide a textbook example of a winning play made possible by Henderson’s skillful development teamwork. And it’s that kind of strategic teamwork and playmaking that is behind this pro sports hub also emerging as Nevada’s leading pro-business city, with a winning edge that has attracted global power players like Google, Haas Automation and Amazon.

Adding to Nevada’s pro-business playbook.

Nevada has long topped the rankings for pro-business states with one of the nation’s most favorable tax climates, which, among other advantages, eliminates personal and corporate income taxes. The first state in the nation to greenlight autonomous vehicles, Nevada nurtures innovation with a business-friendly regulatory environment and lower costs. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council has rated the state as the nation’s “most entrepreneur-friendly.”

Henderson adds to the Nevada playbook with property and worker compensation tax rates that are the lowest in the region. Costs are reduced too, beginning with 30% lower utility rates. And for startups and relocations, Henderson’s specialized Red Team assistance drives operational efficiency long before ground-breaking or move-in with streamlined regulatory ease. Bringing together the expertise and assistance of 7 city departments, the Red Team provides a one-stop responsive support system in permitting and beyond.

“This is a get-to-yes environment. Get-to-yes state, get-to-yes county, get-to-yes city,” says Marc Badain, President of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fast off the mark.

Getting to yes for the Raiders’ headquarters and performance center began with finding the right location that could accommodate a complex that encompasses over 300,000 square feet spreading out on a 30-acre site. For Haas Automation, a world leader in the manufacture of machine tools, getting to yes required securing world-class skills as well as a large prime site and location.

After Haas selected a West Henderson site offering strategic proximity to the company’s California headquarters, the city quickly scored a workforce solution: Custom training through College of Southern Nevada (CSN) in the near term, with a collaborative state and local team effort resulting in a new $2 million advanced manufacturing rapid response training program through CSN and WINN (Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada).

“We want to be playmakers in every sense,” says Armstrong. “Whatever the need, we’re ready to make the solution happen now. We know that for global industry the game clock never stops ticking.”

All-star teamwork, a winning record.

Henderson’s on-going teamwork for existing business and industry was deciding factor when Google considered Henderson for its $600 million data center. The company was impressed by the city’s long-term relationships with major corporations like Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Financial Services, Levi Strauss and Ocean Spray.

And for local business the city’s team spirit is singularly impressive. Sam Kaufman, CEO and Managing Director of Henderson Hospital, notes, “The relationship the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development have with the city of Henderson—the city council and all of the departments in the city—is phenomenal. The collaboration is amazing.”

Agility, speed, teamwork and, above all, relentless focus on business goals, will continue to move this pro-sports, pro-business city forward, according to Armstrong. “Henderson competes hard every day, in every way, so that our business and industry can do the same in the global marketplace.”


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