Atlanta vs. Vegas Living

Lazara's picture
Rank: Monkey | 39

Hey everyone -

I'm a second year IB analyst from the Midwest. I'm weighing a few opportunities for my next role, specifically in Atlanta and Las Vegas and wanted to get some input if anyone has lived in both locations. By way of brief background, the company in Atlanta is in the tech industry, while the one in Vegas deals with gambling (unsurprisingly). The pros and cons I can gather so far are as follows:

Atlanta
Pros:
* More of a real city feel; office location is Midtown/Buckhead
* Feels a bit more cosmopolitan
* Decently diverse (important to me as I'm an Asian-American)
* Decent nightlife/bar scene
* Better singles scene for guys (more women than men)
* Opportunity is in an industry I find very interesting (tech/software)
Cons:
* Probably slightly less pay than the Vegas opportunity (~$10-15K difference)
* Terrible traffic
* Areas near the metro can be dangerous/run-down
* Not really interested in Southern culture or other Southern cities

Vegas
Pros:
* No state income tax
* Cheaper housing
* Better nightlife
* A lot of diversity
* More attractive women
* Better surrounding cities/outdoor locations (San Diego, LA, Phoenix, etc.)
* Probably higher pay than Atlanta opportunity (~$10-15K difference)
Cons:
* One of my main concerns is working in a company involved with the gambling industry may look bad on my resume due to the negative connotation; has anyone found this to be true?
* Location is more suburban (20-25 min away from the Strip near Summerlin)
* A lot of temporary residents and people passing through the city; less of a solid community

Any input is appreciated, thanks in advance.

Comments (34)

Aug 15, 2019

Vegas 100% that'd be amazing

    • 1
Aug 16, 2019

False, everyone thinks its amazing it is not. Most people want to leave Vegas after going to school there.

Aug 15, 2019
Aug 15, 2019

Buckhead area is awesome. Been there MANY times. Great restaurants, bars, nightlife. Great for young people.

Las Vegas is kind of weird. Two locations: The strip and everywhere else. The latter feels kind of barren to me. Not much there. The strip is full of entertainment of any kind but it operates at 100 mph pretty much all the time. Good in small doses. Could never live there.

Been to both at least 30 times.

I like Buckhead.

    • 1
Aug 15, 2019

Thanks for the initial thoughts - that's one of my concerns about Vegas. At first glance it looks kind of bleak and boring outside of the Strip, and I imagine I won't spend a lot of time on the Strip once I've lived there for a while.

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Aug 15, 2019

I have never lived in Atlanta and can't speak to what the experience there would be like, but I have lived in Las Vegas and in my opinion it is an extremely underrated place to live.

The great thing about Las Vegas is that you get all the benefits of a big city (restaurants, entertainment, social scene, etc.) without most of the downsides (cost of living, traffic, etc.). There are tons of amazing restaurants, tons of great shows, lots of random unique experiences that are there for when rich people come to party (race car driving, renting construction equipment to destroy things, gun ranges, super nice golf courses, indoor skydiving, hot air balloons etc.) and even most normal things like bowling allies and movie theaters are extremely nice because they are in nice casinos. Another great thing is that because the city has grown extremely fast recently, everything is brand new. The neighborhoods (like Summerlin) are all new homes and it is all gorgeously planned out because it was built so recently and not haphazardly put together over decades. Downtown summerlin is a brand new beautiful outdoor mall with the brand new Vegas Golden Knights hockey team's practice facility there. If you like the outdoors you have the Red Rock conservation right over by summerlin where you can go hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and cycling. You also have lake mead and mount charleston close by and most communities have great running trails. And as you mentioned, California and the beach are just a short drive away. Vegas will also be getting an NFL team very shortly

And the great thing about Vegas is that you get all of that, but the Cost of living is still super cheap. No state income tax and housing is very cheap and very nice. There is lots of diversity as well if that's important to you. There is an international market that has food from all around the world that immigrants use to make food from their native countries.

Now of course in the summer it is really hot, but it is not humid at all and that makes it somewhat bearable. The rest of the year is gorgeous so that makes up for it. The economy and housing market in Vegas are also pretty volatile, so that is something that might be a concern for some people.

In terms of a more transient demographic, you will definitely not meet many people whose families have lived in Vegas for generations because the city is so new, but I think that can make things exciting and new and most people that are in Vegas now are there to stay (especially in a place like Summerlin). The Las Vegas community is actually pretty tight and has grown a lot closer after the shooting and addition of the Vegas Golden Knights. The whole city banded together and is extremely proud to have their own team to root for. When the Raiders arrive that will only improve.

I don't know how people view working in the gaming industry outside of Vegas, but within Vegas it is definitely completely accepted and nobody will look down on you. What you will find is that most Casinos have so much more than just gambling; they put on huge conferences and events for business, host shows, have stores and restaurants, so I doubt it will look bad on your resume.

Anyway that's been my experience. If I were you, I'd go with Vegas baby!

    • 4
Aug 16, 2019

Im surprised to hear someone say so many nice things about Vegas, as another person who has grown up there. I would say that city doesn't offer the same level of sophistication that big cities provide. most of the money is young and dumb/ aka bottle girls and strippers being some of the highest paid in the city by far. For example Stripper at Spearmint make about 300k a year. Bottle girls work a summer and make about 200k a year. This is confirmed through multiple friends in the industry.

I also found the casinos as companies to work for not the best as they have a high burn rate for a corporate finance role. Ceasars especially and MGM not to far behind.

Aug 16, 2019

I would have to agree that there are great restaurants and plenty of cool things to do in Vegas...bu they all feel like an attraction (to me) which makes them seem extra fake. I live in FL about an hour from Disney and that's similar. Everywhere you go there's new attractions, shops, restaurants but it all seems so contrived. One day nothing, the next day everything. Not my thing.

    • 1
Aug 21, 2019

I lived in Vegas and have property in Vegas. I second Defenseturtle.

I had to move back to NY. The pace is vastly different, and I'm a New Yorker through and through. But I do recommend Vegas. Phenomenal gyms also. As far as the person quoting what strippers and bottle service girls make, I've known many and I find those numbers to be inaccurate or misleading. Sometimes, that's true. Not all the time. That's not a sweeping standard. And probably irrelevant.

Vegas natives can be very street smart, as they grew up in a hustler city with a hustler mentality. I also found less hypocrisy over there. The City of Sin, you're not chastised for your "sins." In NY, people do sweep things under the rug or hide things much more, for the sake of appearances. Vegas, people don't feel the need to hide how they may live or the decisions they make.

My two cents.

Aug 15, 2019

The Atlanta women I saw were pretty hot around Buckhead and Vinings...

Aug 15, 2019
Lazara:

Atlanta Cons:
* Probably slightly less pay than the Vegas opportunity (~$10-15K difference)
* Terrible traffic
* Areas near the metro can be dangerous/run-down
* Not really interested in Southern culture or other Southern cities

I've only even participated in debauchery in Vegas - never lived there - but to address your Atlanta cons:

  • Atlanta is very, very affordable. I'm not sure how Vegas is, but be sure to compare cost of living.
  • Most of the horror stories about traffic are from 50 year old people who live in the suburbs and drive an hour and a half to the city every day. The traffic sucks, but if you live near your work and hang out, you will very rarely experience it.
  • The "metro" does suck and it is not commonly used, but it is also not particularly run down in the Midtown/Buckhead area. Still, everyone drives or Ubers everywhere in Atlanta.
  • You don't have to be particularly interested in Southern culture to enjoy Atlanta. The urban south is very different from the southern stereotype - especially in Atlanta.
    • 4
Aug 15, 2019

Thanks for the input here, I feel people will complain about traffic no matter what city they live in haha. As a follow up, how is the diversity in ATL? I know it's a major metropolitan area, but I've heard from people in the past that it's still mainly a white/black city, and the other ethnic enclaves are located in the suburbs primarily.

Aug 15, 2019
Lazara:

Thanks for the input here, I feel people will complain about traffic no matter what city they live in haha. As a follow up, how is the diversity in ATL? I know it's a major metropolitan area, but I've heard from people in the past that it's still mainly a white/black city, and the other ethnic enclaves are located in the suburbs primarily.

Depends on where you live. You can be only around white people if you want, or only around black people if you want, or only around Asian people if you want, etc. You can be only around Conservatives if you want, or only around Liberals if you want, or around a mixture, etc. But if you're in Buckhead or Midtown or Inman Park or Old 4th Ward or West Midtown or Decatur, etc. you'll see all types.

    • 1
Aug 16, 2019

Buford highway has good asian food. Duluth is basically a Korean town with many Korean chicks if you're into that.

Aug 16, 2019

Duluth has a ton of Koreans, many pockets of Asians, diversity shouldn't be an issue.

Lazara:

Thanks for the input here, I feel people will complain about traffic no matter what city they live in haha. As a follow up, how is the diversity in ATL? I know it's a major metropolitan area, but I've heard from people in the past that it's still mainly a white/black city, and the other ethnic enclaves are located in the suburbs primarily.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Aug 15, 2019

I love Atlanta but you do have to be open to Southern culture (white, black, Asian, whatever). If you are it's a fantastic place to live.

When I was in college this was a banger:

    • 1
Aug 15, 2019

I'd go with Atlanta personally. Having been to Vegas multiple times it's a place that seems to get really old after a while and the areas outside of the strip are barren as others have said.

Aug 16, 2019

I do not think you need to be concerned about Atlanta having a southern culture to it. Especially not the Midtown/Buckhead areas.

Aug 16, 2019

big boi

You know the answer

    • 1
Aug 16, 2019

a town

    • 1
Aug 16, 2019

Can't speak to the location - although some good comments all around on that.

As far as gambling on your resume... I think you are on the right side of that wave. Gambling carries much less of a stigma than it used to. It's also not like you are putting 'professional gambler' on your resume - I'm assuming you'll be in a corporate development/strategy/finance area role. I think that would be great experience to have on your resume, especially if you are able to get involved in any of the international aspects of their operations (I've no idea how they work or are split).

The only downside i'd consider is the amount of opportunities in your geography job wise... i'd suspect Vegas is a one trick pony for what you are going to be doing. If things go south, it's worth considering that you'll probably need to re locate (but, frankly, who cares as you are young and ostensibly don't have a family yet).

    • 1
Aug 16, 2019

Thanks - you're correct, it's a strategy/finance type role and there seems to be a fair amount of international operations. Those were my thoughts as well, it seems like it would be a unique opportunity to live in Vegas for a bit before settling down, whereas Atlanta seems like somewhere I could live anytime.

Aug 16, 2019

I've only visited Vegas twice and I can't imagine why anyone would want to live there. Absolutely hated the city, everything felt fake, artificial, and superficial. It's a poor man's idea of what rich is.

Atlanta will also provide exits to NYC and Vegas to SF/LA. Tech has more exit ops than Gambling.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2019

Interesting the polarizing reactions that living in Vegas gets. Personally I would live in Vegas in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity. I've traveled there enough that it almost feels like a second home sometimes. I'm also a full degenerate and recognize it's not for everyone.

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Most Helpful
Aug 20, 2019

@Lazara, I've lived in both Atlanta and Las Vegas, as well as several other U.S. cities and abroad. I absolutely adore Las Vegas, but to be fair, most who live here don't. I could not stand the traffic in Atlanta and would never move back.

I've worked in everything from HC to manufacturing to FIG to gaming. Gaming is by far the most interesting industry I've ever worked in. There is no stigma. In fact, working in gaming will give you a unique perspective on M&A/strategy that others won't. Plus, gaming touch traditional gambling, F&B, entertainment, etc. It's a very diverse industry that's constantly changing.

Other benefits of Vegas obviously start with the entertainment and F&B. We have the best nightclubs in the world and plenty of world-class restaurants. Even the restaurants off the Strip are some of the best I've ever been to. If clubs aren't your thing, there are still many local bars, lounges, etc. that are amazing. There is also plenty of hiking in Vegas and within a few hours drive. Think of Vegas as the DC of the West Coast- drive for two to four hours and you literally have everything. Outside of the Strip, Las Vegas is a small town, so if you don't like going out, you'll still find plenty of things to do.

Another benefit is the diversity. The general mindset here is to live and let live. Everyone from your most ardent Trump supporter in their raised pickup to your leftie Berniecrat in their Prius lives here. The diversity also extends to racial and ethnic diversity- we have plenty of Asian, African, non-Western European, etc. restaurants here. Vegas' Chinatown isn't the same size as the ones in NY or SF, but it's still pretty solid.

Some downsides to Vegas would be the lack of a young working professionals scene and dating. Dating in Vegas is an absolute disaster. Unless you can regularly afford Valentinos and Chanel bags, you have no chance at ever dating a pool girl or any of the stereotypical Vegas chicks. That leaves a very, very small dating pool. Just keep that in mind. Atlanta has Vegas beat by MILES in this sense. Some people hate the heat here, but I personally love it. It rarely dips below 110 during the day from mid-July through late August. Vegas is also arguably even more image-driven than LA and completely unlike Atlanta.

Feel free to PM me or post here if you have any more questions.

    • 4
Aug 21, 2019

Makes sense, thanks for the additional color - just sent you a PM.

Aug 20, 2019

I've been to Vegas a ton for work related things and strongly dislike it. It is very oddly small outside of the strip like others mentioned.

Aug 21, 2019

ATL and not really close. Vegas is tons of fun but at the end of each trip I'm always ready to get back home. Atlanta has quite a bit of variety with fairly close access to beaches and mountains equally.

I'll grant you the MARTA can get a little sketchy but the stops that truly are that sketchy are not stops you would be getting off at anyway. The traffic does suck but pick the right living area and you will always be within walking distance of nightlife or just a short MARTA ride.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    • 1
Aug 21, 2019

Been to Atlanta many times and lived in Vegas. You can be happy in both, if this is about your career choose Atlanta. Many more opportunities there, and sounds like you want to be in tech anyway. To me all of your cons not major enough to be relevant (salary is relevant now, but think long term...salary will work itself out if you do what you love and work hard). I've lived all over the country, including NYC, Boston, DC, Vegas, San Diego, now Houston. Southern major cities are fine to live in. If you don't like Atlanta for the long term, you can move.

If you're in it for an adventure, Vegas is fun and easy to live in. It definitely has more of a suburban living feel to it though. There ARE attractive women, but pretty shallow. A buddy of mine was a big-wig for a casino company and said that when he went out, he told women he was a bellman (rather than a casino Exec with a JD) because there are so many gold diggers. When have you ever heard of a guy lying his status down when chasing tail!? If you're so inclined having a casino on your resume is not a concern. I moved from hotel and casino career into Commercial Real Estate Banking.

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Aug 21, 2019

To you point, Vegas is the only city I have ever dated in where I get asked on almost every single date what car I drive and how much money I make. Absolutely bizarre city for dating. Like your friend, I never tell people what I actually do.

    • 1
Sep 5, 2019
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Sep 6, 2019
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heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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