Well, Las Vegas, if you are being locally correct... The terms 'Vegas' and 'Las Vegas' mean two very different things to the locals in the area. Las Vegas gives respect to the city's rich culture, while "Vegas" is almost seen as a derogatory recognition of the robust entertainment features of the city. Nevertheless, I have returned from a 5 day trip to Las Vegas. Myself and 17 other classmates studied the Downtown area (where both potential sites are located.) We examined multiple urban design strategies, and effects of gentrification in the regenerating Las Vegas Neighborhood.
Downtown is unique, it is the original Las Vegas Strip, filled with neon lights that seemed to span for miles. Throughout the years of the emergence of the present day strip, Downtown struggled. Times are changing however, people are starting to care about the area again. The Fremont Street Experience is one of the top places to see in the entire city. Young Professionals are working to revamp small businesses in the area. We visited Studio Bunnyfish, and got to see first hand the effects of this new form of urban regeneration. I don't know if there is another city in the country so influential to change than Las Vegas.
After conducting site visits and visiting with contacts in the area, we are able to grasp the connection that food can have with the people that consume it. From all of our conversations, it seemed like the overarching concerns fell right in line with our vision of education, food awareness, and social outreach. We are pushing these ideas of creating a journey from start to finish for the people interacting with our site. We especially liked the enthusiasm we felt from the local people when it came to having another source of fresh food, in an interesting and unique place. We realized there is a huge need for branding, which raises a real opportunity in our social outreach efforts. By creating an identity, the food hub becomes that much more important to daily life. We are pushing hard to clearly explain our mission, and tie key points to the design decisions we make. More to come.