The Mike & Carla Morning Show

Weekdays 5:00am - 10:00am

Las Vegas home sales took a dive last year, and sellers cut their prices. But this wasn’t the only side of the housing market to hit the skids.

Landlords stopped rent hikes, investors bought fewer apartment complexes, and apartment vacancies climbed.

Tenants have also started trying to negotiate rental rates, which was unheard of in the past! Renters are still leasing,  landlords are still buying buildings, and developers are still building, but after a stretch of huge rent growth that raised concerns about tenants’ being able to keep up, Southern Nevada’s rental market has cooled down.

Las Vegas isn’t alone. The U.S. overall ended last year with three consecutive months of sliding rents, Zillow reported.

“We have a little bit more breathing room in the market, and rent hikes are on hold”  Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud said

The average monthly rent for a Southern Nevada apartment was $1,422 last year, down about 1 percent from 2021, according to data released by the Nevada State Apartment Association. By comparison, rents skyrocketed 22 percent in 2021.

Mortgage lenders said renters were “consistently” trying to buy homes in 2021 amid record-low borrowing and huge rent increases. Tenants reported crazy monthly hikes of $200 to $1,000, in 2021!

Brian Hartsell, whose firm manages roughly 1,600 rental units in Southern Nevada, told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “People have been less apt to move lately amid the wobbly economy, and units are now sitting empty longer before they’re leased again.”  Early last year, properties in his portfolio were rented within about two weeks of being listed. Now, it takes about 30 to 45 days.

It’s still very tough to find lower income, affordable housing in Las Vegas.

Debbie Shaw is a 60-year-old graveyard shift worker for UPS. She moved to a rental home in Henderson a little over a year ago. She lives with roommates and pays $200 a week, up from $100 a week at their last house where the rent was cheaper.

She has been looking for a place of her own but with her budget, can only afford to live in dicey areas. She told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “It’s slim pickings. I’ve seen some pretty scary parts of Las Vegas.”

In 2021, Las Vegas’ housing market hit its most hectic pace in years. Because of record-low mortgage rates, median sales prices hit new all-time highs practically every month. Houses sold fast, buyers flooded properties with offers, and builders put buyers on waiting lists.

The rental market jumped as tenants, and an influx of new residents to Las Vegas, looked for more space due to more work-from-home arrangements because of the pandemic. Overall, it became much harder, and more expensive, for buyers and renters to find a place in Southern Nevada.

A hike in mortgage rates also affected Las Vegas home sales. Sales totals dropped sharply, prices fell and available inventory soared. After a stretch of big rent hikes, and higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods squeezed people’s finances — the rental market also slowed down

The state apartment association said that “record-setting inflation will continue to cool apartment demand” and noted vacancies reached their highest level in almost a decade.

In a good sign of the easing rental squeeze, Debbie Shaw, the UPS worker,  told the Las Vegas Review Journal that she has been told she is now “hundreds down” on a waiting list for affordable housing. “Initially I was in the thousands,” she said.

Thankfully prices have leveled in Las Vegas, but what happens when the next stadium is built, or the next team shows up? I guess we just wait and see.


Las Vegas Has A Secret Speakeasy At Every Corner

Las Vegas has a secret! Well, actually, several.

Las Vegas has its fair share of the amazing, advertised on flashy billboards across the city – and country! But some of the most fun activities are kept on the downlow and are very hush hush — and the fun is in finding them. (No – not that. That’s for another time.)

The Speakeasy. A throwback to the 1920s when alcohol was banned and sneaky partiers headed for hidden bars to down bathtub gin. Speakeasies have been enjoying a reemergence, so to speak. Ninety years after the end of Prohibition, these secret cozy hotspots are tucked away in alleyways, behind bookcases and behind unmarked doors. And Las Vegas is rich with those hidden bars and secret restaurants.

Now, it’s time to share the lowdown on some of the most popular on, and off the Las Vegas Strip.

Probably the most well-known Las Vegas speakeasy — a personal favorite, and very popular with Las Vegas locals – that completely commits to the theme of the era, is The Underground at Las Vegas’ Mob Museum.

Make sure you go through the museum first. The exhibits and interactive experiences teach visitors about mob bosses, organized crime and law enforcement. Take that in, then head down to the basement for a drink.

The Underground offers a full bar, a distillery and a cocktail parlor hidden behind a wall. Grab a seat and order up a prohibition-era cocktail, a gin-based Bee’s Knees, perhaps, which comes with a side of Charleston dance history, or a Bathtub Fizz — served in a little bathtub.

There’s a secret entrance at the bottom of a nondescript set of stairs outside, but you’ll need a password to get in. (Luckily, the Mob Museum posts that little detail on its social media.)

Speakeasy at Mob Museum      Las Vegas Speakeasy      Las Vegas Speakeasy      Mob Museum Speakeasy

The Underground offers a full bar, a distillery and a cocktail parlor hidden behind a wall. Grab a seat and order up a Prohibition-era cocktail. A gin-based Bee’s Knees, perhaps, which comes with a side of Charleston dance history, or a Bathtub Fizz, which is actually served in a little bathtub, or an old fashioned, discreetly served in a bottle hidden inside a book!

Once you find one speakeasy in Las Vegas, guaranteed you’ll want more. Just make sure you know the password.

-Carla Rea

  • Commonwealth

    Across the street from the famous El Cortez Hotel, you’ll find The Laundry Room tucked inside what is now the Commonwealth Bar. Actually – the Laundry Room will find you.  Make reservations! Then stroll into the bar, text the speakeasy and wait for a hostess to take you back in time to the Prohibition era. The space (a former laundry) is decked out in 1920s style with space for just 22 guests. It’s one of Las Vegas’ most popular speakeasies, this one is complete with Made to order cocktails, a dress code and rules of decorum: quiet voices, no smoking and no standing at the bar.

    Las Vegas Speakeasy


  • The Cosmopolitan has Speakeasies galore!

    The Cosmopolitan on The Strip, has surprises around every corner and probably the most speakeasies. Superfrico — the “Italian American psychedelic” dining venue — will send your brain into overdrive with performers dancing among the tables at random intervals. Step through the doors of Superfrico’s hidden Ski Lodge, and you’re transported to a mountain ski lodge where penguins (humans dressed as penguins) show up for photo ops and the “windows” always depict a snowy scene.

    Long lines queue up outside the hotel’s Barbershop, too. Yes, you can get your hair cut here. But if you head for the janitor’s closet at the back of the shop, you’ll find yourself in a stylish speakeasy with high-end craft cocktails and karaoke or live music, depending on the day of the week. (Psst, you’ll need reservations.)

    Speakeasy Las Vegas

  • Resorts World

    Resorts World Las Vegas has its own hidden agendas, including a tequila-centric Jalisco Underground, next to Wally’s Wine & Spirits, and the Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den. A wall of lucky cats camouflages it the resort’s Famous Food Street Eats area. Stop by the host stand, and be escorted through a secret passageway, into an intimate, dimly lit bar serving up one of a kind cocktails, including one with a rather risque garnish. It is Vegas, after all.

    Las Vegas speakeasy

  • Area 15, Omega Mart

    Area 15 has its own speakeasy, too. You’ll need admission to the surreal Omega Mart, that masks itself as a freaky grocery store. Hidden somewhere inside is Datamosh, a bar modeled after what creators imagine a pharmacy would look like in another dimension. The cocktails are almost as crazy looking as the space itself, served in off-balance glasses, that will keep you off balance, too!

    Speakeasy Las Vegas


  • The Horseshoe (formerly Bally's), Cabinet of Curiosities

    The Cabinet of Curiosities. The same makers behind the Real Bodies and Discovering King Tut’s Tomb exhibits have created a bar just outside The Horseshoe (formerly Bally’s). It’s filled with strange knickknacks, with QR codes so you can learn more, and it holds the entrance to The Lock, a speakeasy behind a bank vault door. 

    Speakeasy Las Vegas