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July 29, 2014

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Speculative office market takes hit; Sahara poker tourney planned

The latest report on the Las Vegas office market shows, again, there's a dramatic imbalance between supply and demand.

Consulting firm Restrepo Consulting Group LLC said the Las Vegas Valley’s speculative office market -- that is, space built without a tenant lease in hand -- closed the first quarter with a record 20 percent vacancy rate.

This is 1.6 percentage points above the 18.4 percent recorded for the fourth quarter of 2008 and 4.5 percentage points above the 14 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

As vacancy rates spike this year, Principal John Restrepo warned: "Be prepared for the next phase – a wave of commercial loan defaults well into 2010."

It's a similar story in the retail sector, with vacancies in the multi-tenant anchored retail market growing from 3.4 percent in the 2008 first quarter to 7.6 percent currently.

"Consumer and business confidence and spending continue to plummet and, until we see the job market improve for at least six months, and the credit markets stabilize, demand for retail space will soften and the vacancy rate will continue to rise,'' Restrepo said. "Today’s tenants' market is making landlords more negotiable and creative, but it is severely testing project proformas. Currently, non-anchored centers are being the most severely impacted.

But, the pain is definitely spreading to the anchored sector."

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The troubling real estate situation is likely one of the reasons Community Bank of Nevada still hasn't filed its 2008 earnings report, or more precisely, its losses report. The bank is still assessing the damage the recession has done to its real estate lending portfolio.

Parent company Community Bancorp said Thursday it notified the Securities and Exchange Commission it's still in the process of completing its 2008 financial statements and audit. It now plans to file its annual report in mid May. This is the second such notification, the first was made April 1.

"We believe the Board of Directors and management of the company have implemented a very aggressive strategy to address the challenges in this economic cycle, including plans for strengthening our capital, earnings and asset quality. As always, we remain committed to producing accurate and reliable financial statements in order to keep the public informed of our status," Patrick Hartman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

"The company expects that it will report a loss for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to net income of $20.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, report a provision for loan losses higher than the amount previously reported in regulatory reports and incur a charge to operations for a valuation allowance on deferred taxes. However, the company is unable to report on its final results for 2008 until the audit of its consolidated financial statements has been completed,'' the SEC filing said.

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The Sahara Hotel & Casino is co-hosting a poker tournament April 25 with Las Vegas attorney Eric Blank in support of Blank’s bid to be named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s "Man of the Year." Blank has a deep involvement with the society as his father is a survivor of lymphoma.

The tournament is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. at the Sahara Poker Room, followed by a reception. Buy-in for the tournament is $75 plus a $40 add-on.

Bill Tremper, vice president of marketing and sales for the Sahara, said: "The tournament is designed to give novice players a good amount of playing time for their money, while providing a challenge to seasoned poker players as well. With prizes and giveaways for bad beats, big hands, and bounties, a lot of people will go home winners while supporting this great cause."

Interested players may e-mail [email protected] or call 702 222-2115.

The LLS Man & Woman of the Year is a nine-week (March-May) fundraising competition among community members to raise the most amount of money in honor of the Boy & Girl of the year, Austin Fitzgerald and Jenny Scobie, local LLS patients.

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Payroll Solutions Group is hosting a seminar for small business owners, "Management in Today’s Business Environment," at 9 a.m. April 21 at its corporate offices, 3575 W. Cheyenne Ave., in North Las Vegas. Reservations can be made by emailing [email protected].

The speakers include: Doug Beckley, president of The Beckley Group, management consultants; Michelle Doherty, vice president of health insurance, Brock Rock Insurance Group; Clay Overlien, vice president of business development for Sun West Bank; and Keler Soffe, vice president/loan officer for Mountain West Small Business Finance.

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More Southern Nevada businesses are gearing up for Earth Day on April 22.

The hotel Element Las Vegas Summerlin is honoring Earth Week by converting its parking lot into a "park & ride" from April 20 to April 24.

Carpoolers and area residents are also invited to attend an open-house-style "Relax Evening Reception'' on those nights from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

During the reception, the hotel will show off green programs and services such as preferred parking for hybrid cars, complimentary bikes and its chlorine-free swimming pool.

Called Starwood’s "green trailblazer," Element says it is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all its U.S. properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification. Element says it conserves water and energy with low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances.

Also, Galaxy Theatres is celebrating Earth Day and the opening of the documentary film "Earth" on April 22.

Galaxy Cannery at the Cannery casino in North Las Vegas is also teaming up with The Springs Preserve by providing "Earth" movie prize packages to the winners of the "Green Dreamers Art and Science Fair." That's set for April 25 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Boulevard at U.S. 95.

For details, visit visit their Web site.

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