First time I have ever seen Sweet Gum trees in stock at a store here in Las Vegas. The Lowes on Ft Apache road has two variates in stock the Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Festival’ and the ‘Burgandy’. Sweet Gums are known for their beautiful fall foliage, that alone is reason enough to try one here in Southern Nevada
I have never seen one growing here, and there really is not much information about them in our climate. Sunset does not recommend them for our area, but it’s hard to trust them when they have so much stuff wrong about Vegas.
The closest I have found is an interesting article about growing this tree in Arizona here: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/liquidambar.html
My best guess would be that it would do OK at the higher elevations in Las Vegas 2000+ feet or higher, which is mainly the Summerlin and NW parts of Las Vegas. It’s native range is all over the southeast so it probably takes the heat ok. Its the lack of humidity and our harsh alkaline soils that will be the challenge and this will require acid fertilizer supplements. They do get large and their roots are not friendly so if you decide to try one I would keep it away from your foundation and walls in case the tree does thrive. I wish I had more space else I would try one myself, I have hit the point in my yard where I don’t think I can add another tree of this size.
If you happen to have a sweet gum, or if you buy one of these and try it out, please drop me a line and let me know how it is doing.