It's nice to know that in the city where glitz is king, stone reigns. The 40 million people who annually visit Las Vegas are treated to some the most impressive examples of interior and exterior stone uses in North America.

Impressive stonework is even found in areas where we commoners may never get. I've been told that one of the most famous casinos recently renovated a special room reserved for high rollers that included a $1.5 million stone installation package.

With such a fantastic display of stone and the craftsmanship required to place it, I think we should lobby the tourism board to change the name Las Vegas to “Stone City.”

Fortunately for our industry, what is happening in Las Vegas isn't staying in Las Vegas.

It's no surprise that natural stone is growing in popularity. Natural is in. Building owners are including stone in their specs wherever they can. Accordingly, stone fabricators have heavily invested in more productive and efficient cutting and polishing systems, which help keep costs affordable. Fueling this growth is an explosion of new and interesting quarry sources from which designers, architects, and contractors can buy.

Natural stone installation has become one of the fastest growing markets for mason contractors, who are the key ingredient in creating this gain. In some respects, they are actually front-funding these projects since it's the mason contractor who actually purchases the stone. In a 2006 survey, we discovered that more than 75% of our readers purchased natural stone for their projects sometime during the last year.

It's important to keep up with all the new technologies and products involved in performing quality stone masonry. StonExpo 2007, which will be in full action at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in a few weeks, will provide a great opportunity for visitors to learn more about this industry segment. Our staff has worked hard to develop several pertinent seminars for contractors and design engineers. Along with the educational program, there will be hundreds of exhibitors offering interesting products and services.

I'm looking for help in my quest to change the marketing slogan of Las Vegas to “Stone City.” I'd like to develop a list of the ten best stone projects in Las Vegas. So if you know of a place that should be on this list, please e-mail your nomination to me, at

If you are at StonExpo, drop off your nomination at the Bookstore. We'll give free show tee-shirts to the first five new nominations each day.