10 Things to Know Before You Move to Nellis Air Force Base
#1 THE WEATHER!
Reaching triple digits by June, expect very hot summers here at Nellis AFB. Temperatures can reach as high as the 120s on extreme days, but humidity is very low. This is a dry heat, unlike much of the eastern part of the United States. Winters are mild, you will see snow-capped mountains at Mount Charleston, but snow is very rare in the city. There’s been two snow days in the last 30 years.
#2 THE TRAFFIC!
Las Vegas has three major highways: US 95, Interstate 15 (I-15), and the 215 Beltway. Traffic is manageable compared to other major cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco. The worst traffic is usually centered around the strip and the Las Vegas Spaghetti Bowl, where the US 95 and I-15 interchange. With a mild winter season, weather allows Las Vegas to be under-construction year-round and you will notice this will affect traffic flow. Because Vegas is a 24-hour town and has both regular nine to fivers, as well as shift workers, rush hour is a bit elongated than you might have experienced in other cities: 6:30-10:00am and 3-7:00pm.
#3 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!
Public transportation is not much of a thing here, to get around the city, you will need your car. The bus system is unreliable and unpleasant, while there is no subway or train in Las Vegas either. You could opt for an Uber/Lyft, but you will notice a sizeable dent in your checking account if you rely on these services regularly.
#4 THE STRIP!
The Las Vegas Strip is the 4 mile stretch of the Las Vegas Blvd from the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino on the north end, to the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the south end. The hotels on the strip have lots to offer between world class shows, gambling and 5 star restaurants, along with many free or fee-based attractions. Don’t confuse the strip with downtown Las Vegas, different area, different vibe.
Speaking of the strip, if you walk the strip in the evening, don’t be alarmed by the handbillers. Handbillers are people who stand on the sidewalks outside of casinos passing out porn cards. They look like baseball cards, but for, … well you get the idea, just keep walking.
#6 THE DISCOUNTS!
Las Vegas is a VERY military friendly city to be in. You will be able to find all kinds of discounts and deals for either being military or living in Las Vegas, (as many local offers are extended to local military). From shows, to sporting events to attractions, always ask before purchasing if there is a military, local or online discount to be had and then check the Nellis Ticket Office to compare pricing. MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment are the two major Casino Groups on the strip and they both offer a Military & Veterans Players Card. A players card tracks your spending similar to a hotel or airline rewards card. It is not a credit card and costs you absolutely nothing to sign up. The importance of this card for the military community is primarily free parking at all their properties, but it does include a few other perks that might benefit you.
#7 MORE THAN THE STRIP!
Now that we have discussed the strip, it should be mentioned that there is so much more than just the strip. There are a number of “local” casinos off strip that also have entertainment and attractions, Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston are nearby for the hiking or skiing enthusiasts along with a number of malls and plenty of movie theaters, including a drive-in. Las Vegas, is home to the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) and McCarran International Airport, about 30-40 minutes south of Nellis AFB. For the sports fans, there is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where you can watch NASCAR and other races and Las Vegas is home to the Vegas Golden Knights and soon to be the Las Vegas Raiders, whose stadium should open later in 2020.
#8 THE SCHOOLS!
Clark County School District is not deemed stellar by any means. Though there are some great schools in the valley, you will want to do some research to find the best fit for your child. The on-base school, became Coral Academy a few years ago and is a charter school open to children of service members and DOD civilians. Acceptance is based on a lottery system and residence at Nellis AFB is not required. There are also a number of other charter schools, private schools and Magnet Schools in the area to choose from. If you are not familiar with the Magnet Program, these are schools with career-based emphasis majors in STEM, the arts, as well as other trade and technical programs. The Magnet Program has massively expanded over the last 20 years and offers great opportunity to Las Vegas children of all grades.
#9 THE SIZE!
Many people do not realize how large of a population Las Vegas is. Though the city of Las Vegas has more than 655,000 residents, there is actually more than 2 million residents in Clark County.
#10 THE 9TH ISLAND!
If you are from or frequent Hawaii then you know the locals call Las Vegas the 9th island of Hawaii! Hawaiians love Las Vegas, for a couple reasons: there’s no gambling in Hawaii, not even a lottery, also Las Vegas is the cheapest non-stop flight from Honolulu to the mainland, in most cases, throughout the year. Their love for Las Vegas does not go unnoticed, as Las Vegas has the highest population of Hawaiians outside of the state of Hawaii. You will find 6 ABC stores (a Hawaiian convenience store chain) in Las Vegas, the only locations, on the mainland.
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