Things are looking up

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It’s getting harder to have a negative view about Mesquite’s economy and the future of this piece of paradise.

Maybe it’s been some of the glorious days we’ve had recently. The weather has taken a wintry aspect some days, but on others the warm sun has been out making the afternoon a pleasant time to be outside. Never mind old Sol will give us its blast furnace treatment in a couple of months, right now it’s good to be here.

The mayor had some good news for the community last week. He cited some of the accomplishments of his administration. The mayor deserved a round of applause when he said the council cut some of the city’s impact fees last December by as much as 83 percent. He probably would have gotten it, but he quickly went on to other subjects..

Most of us don’t pay those fees directly, so maybe it didn’t seem like that big a deal. But it is to housing developers such as Pulte Homes or a businessman planning to relocate to Mesquite or a local entrepreneur wanting to expand.

He also cited the Golf Fore Kids Christmastime tournament that keeps growing and providing tens of thousands of dollars in new toys for local underprivileged children.

That’s an example of the private sector in action. And there’s been no shortage of businessman showing their belief in the future of Mesquite and the future of the community’s children.

It was just last month when Cory Clemetson of the Wolf Creek Golf Club announced the establishment of a new foundation to help local children participate in sports. It was at the Jan. 27 Mesquite Economic Business Preview that Clemetson committed $5,000 to start the foundation. But then that local spirit of giving, reflected in Golf Fore Kids appeared again with Clemetson being surprised to find audience members shouting out their willingness to donate. It just about doubled that start-up money.

Like the mayor’s state of the city address, there was nothing earth shaking presented that hinted Mesquite was on the verge of another boom. But all of the mayor’s data, and the reports at the business preview all indicated that the worst is over. Mesquite is starting to recover. The population is again on the rise, more houses will be built this year than last and visitorship has increased ever so slightly.

But judging from 2014 so far, visitorship is likely to take a sharp increase. Look at the year so far.

We had a successful hot air balloon festival and BransonFest Out West thanks to the folks at the CasaBlanca. And next month, Mayhem in Mesquite will return, establishing the CasaBlanca as a center for amateur mixed martial arts in Southern Nevada and Utah.

Mesquite Motormania was a joint effort of Mesquite Gaming and the Eureka. That event also filled the community with out-of-town visitors, eating in the restaurants, staying in the motels and hotels and adding to the economy.

And starting tomorrow  the Eureka’s Off-Road Weekend returns. It should draw even more than the 5,000 off-road enthusiasts who attended last year. The wintry weather is other locations makes our climate at this time a year a magnet for people who want to get on their dirt bikes, ATVs, RZRs and anything on wheels that doesn’t need asphalt.

Opening simultaneously and adjacent to the Off-Road Weekend contests is the Mesquite Awesome Adventure Park.

With that 1,000 foot zip line, paintball, archery and off-road racer facilities the adventure park is sure to be a success. But it is experimental. The owners are hopeful it will be a good match for Mesquite. And why shouldn’t it be? The location is perfect with nearby rooms and restaurants.

While most of the activities at the park take a little physical effort, the remote control racers are something almost anyone can do. It will prove to be an excellent family attraction.

Greg Lee at the Eureka has a vision for the future to bring families to town. He suggested at the Jan. 27 business preview that the city should maybe reconsider the location of the proposed splash pad. Locating it at Hafen Park certainly has a lot of merit, but Lee noted if it was somewhere more visible to visitors, it could turn into something else to make Mesquite a familiy destination.

And if the persistent rumors that Anthony Toti at the CasaBlanca has secret plans for another family attraction to be located at the site of the former Oasis Hotel and Casino, Mesquite could become a family tourist haven from east to west.

The summers here can be brutal, certainly. But residents of Las Vegas and St. George, Utah, endure temperatures also most as hot. And summer is vacation time for families with children.

Mesquite continues to show potential and there is lots to feel positive about.

So don’t sit at home fretting that the NFL preseason doesn’t start for six months. Get up and get out. There’s lots to do. And you might see some signs that Mesquite is looking up again.

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