Is Las Vegas on the Mend?

Las Vegas
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Las Vegas

Oscar Goodman is winding down his tenure as perhaps the most famous mayor in Las Vegas' history.

He hopes to go out on a high note, even as the state reports the city's unemployment rate has reached a record high of 15 percent.

"I think we're doing better," Goodman said, adding that he's now comfortable saying he's "cautiously optimistic."

All tourism-related trends in Las Vegas are improving, and the recession has forced the region to move aggressively to diversify its economy.

The Cleveland Clinic Ruvo Brain Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is one example. Goodman maintains that it will draw medical tourism to the region.

As President Obama headed to Las Vegas to campaign for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week, Goodman said he wouldn't be there.

Goodman maintained that he had a scheduling conflict. But he admitted, though, he's still waiting for the President to make a "definitive statement" in support of Las Vegas after saying what many here consider disparaging remarks both last year and in 2010 about gambling.