Blog A Tale of Two Cities Breakdown: #DENvsLV

Sept. 30, 2022


Week 4 is here, and Denver pulled off a squeaker of a win against SF. Let’s go to a conference matchup and see how Denver stacks up against a long-time rival. #DENvsLV

The Fundamentals

How do these cities stack up against each other? How's their housing production? Do they play a successful defense against NIMBYs? Are they meeting the affordability needs of everyone?


As always, let’s look at the record for building housing. Las Vegas built a lot of homes in the 2000's, but the homes were far from the jobs. Where and how you build matters.



Home prices? It's a coin toss.


We can look in more detail though. Are home prices going up because there's demand for high-end housing? Is affordable housing no longer affordable?



Both Denver and Las Vegas have seen the most affordable housing increase in price the most. That's a recipe for displacement and a sure sign neither city is allowing enough housing.

How We Got Here

The camel hump of the subprime crisis was particularly painful for Las Vegas. Why though?

Cities are engines of opportunity. Opportunity in Las Vegas means fun, and having homes built far away from the fun makes it particularly sensitive to boom and bust.

Denver's long been a boom-and-bust town. "Lord, Grant Me One More Boom and I Promise Not to Screw it Up" might be a slogan from Texas, but it sure sounds like it could have been us in the 70's or 80's.

However, Denver's economy has diversified over the past couple of decades. There's more opportunity, and more types of opportunity.

The Wildcards

Water. We share the resource, and everyone's talking about it.

We can make homes for people.

Hear It From The Other Side: An East Bay YIMBY Responds

The Raiders have moved, again, to Las Vegas. We're going to point out that most of their history has been in Oakland (or, Los Angeles). So we asked an Oakland YIMBY for their response:
Hopefully tktktk

The Final Prediction

Chris Calls a City

Denver’s diversified economy gives us a leg up in the long term. Chris Calls It for Denver, but leads us to our last point!

You can be an important part of making more housing happen! Sign up for our newsletter, become a paid member, and learn more about us here on our website. We use your membership to convince politicians we have power and to work towards hiring staff. We are a 100% volunteer organization with incredible people and results, but delivering the results Denver needs means we need someone who can work on housing every weekday.

In a democracy, you have to play for a team if you want to win. YIMBY Denver winning means we all have more affordable housing, higher quality of living, and a more functional city. Join us, won’t you?