By Charlene Dean
A lot has changed in Las Vegas over the years and when a young man, raised in Pahrump, went on to make his mark in the world he captured in words the beginning of an economic boom the area had never before experienced.
The book Sun, Sin & Suburbia: A History of Modern Las Vegas, by Geoff Schumacher, was first published in 2004. Schumacher said in a recent interview, “I realized the book needed updating. So much has happened it no longer reflected modern Las Vegas.”
“At that time, the area was going gangbusters. It was the crest in a wave before the housing bubble burst and there was breakdown in the national economy.”
Schumacher, himself a victim of the Las Vegas housing bust, said the Midwest, where he lives now, was not hit “near as hard or as close to home as the Southwest” when the economy failed.
Schumacher said the first book was a “snapshot of the best,” and the revision captures the “long fall” and what he feels is the beginning of an economic turnaround.
“It was well worth rewriting the book to document the changes and update the area growth,” Schumacher said. He laughed, “I improved my writing style as well.”
He will launch the revised edition of Sun, Sin & Suburbia from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Nevada State Museum, 309 Valley View Blvd., in Las Vegas.
Two book signings are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14. The first will be from 10 a.m. to noon, at Barnes & Nobles Booksellers, 567 N. Stephanie in Henderson and the second will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Barnes & Nobles, 2191 N. Rainbow Blvd., in northwest Las Vegas.
Schumacher said it was a struggle to find time for the rewrite. “I didn’t have problems staying up late at night when I was in my 30s and 40s. But I find it more difficult to carve out that time now.”
Schumacher graduated from Pahrump Valley High School and still has family members in town. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalisn from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1988.
He spent 23 years serving in some capacity for Las Vegas publications as a reporter, editorial writer or editor.
During that time, Schumacher spent 10 years as director of community publications for Stephens Media and oversaw operations of the Pahrump Valley Times and other news publications, including Las Vegas CityLife and Spanish-language newspaper El Tiempo.
Two years ago, he moved to Ames, Iowa and became the publisher of the Ames Tribune and its sister publications in central Iowa, which are also owned by Stephens Media.
“It’s neat to have started out with this company as a reporter and come full circle.”