March 2, 2022

April 26, 2022

The Story of Lake Las Vegas

Lake Las Vegas has a long and interesting history that many don't know about.

Lake Las Vegas is a 320-acre body of water surrounded by condos, hotels, housing, shops, and a beautiful golf course. About 20 miles (or a 25-minute drive) from the iconic Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find this scenic, Italian-style village near the heart of Henderson, Nevada. It offers amazing outdoor scenery and a peaceful Mediterranean wonderland ambiance that will make you feel like you’re in a different world.

Let’s go for a walk through of the story of Lake Las Vegas.

Where Lake Las Vegas All Began

In 1967, actor and businessman J. Carlton Adair conceived the idea of a man-made body of water in the middle of the desert. At this time, he purchased the land and water rights of the property. He also brought the proposed project — which was then called Lake Adair — to the Henderson City Council. His goal was to boost the economy of Henderson by turning the location into a booming tourist spot.

Unfortunately, Adair struggled to make this vision a reality. After 20 years of planning and no construction, Adair filed for bankruptcy.

In 1987, businessman, engineer, and real estate mogul Ronald Boeddeker acquired the land from the government. In 1990, Transcontinental Properties Corporation, a company also founded by Boeddeker, acquired the property. That same year, some of the work for Lake Las Vegas began to start.

In 1995, the former Chairman of Caesar’s World Casino, Henry Gluck, along with billionaire investors Sid and Lee Bass joined Boeddeker to develop the new community. At this time, the project was valued at $5 billion.

The Plans Were Ready to Go

With the financial support and investment, the plans were slowly being executed. An estimated three billion gallons of water were diverted from Lake Mead to the reservoir to fill the lake. A separate massive dam was also built to keep the supply full.

Lake Las Vegas sits on top of Las Vegas Wash. The Wash consists of two 12-mile long pipes which flow water from the valley and through Henderson City. This design also allows Lake Mead to continuously supply water to Lake Las Vegas.

Boeddeker planned to make Lake Las Vegas a popular vacation spot. It would feature water and boating activities, spa services, trails for walking, hiking, and biking, and other amenities for outdoor experience. There would also be a wide range of fine dining and boutique shopping options.

In 1992, the development for luxury residential and resort areas commenced. Three major resorts were built on the property: the Hyatt Regency, the Monte Lago Village Resort, and the Ritz Carlton. Private golf courses designed by pro golfer Jack Nicklaus were added to the property to host various professional golf tournaments.

The Turning Point for Lake Las Vegas

Things changed significantly for Lake Las Vegas when the economy crashed last decade.

In 2007, developers had to foreclose the project after defaulting on loans amounting to $540 million. A year later, the project went into bankruptcy. From there, it suffered many blows: Hotel room rates dropped, foreclosures increased, golf courses closed, new property sales dried up, and lawsuits were filed.

In July 2010, Lake Las Vegas recovered from bankruptcy with all existing debt wiped off and a $30 million budget to complete unfinished infrastructure projects. A few months later, in February 2011, the Ritz Carlton was reopened as the Ravella at Lake Las Vegas, which would operate as the Hilton beginning 2013. Around the same time, the golf course was purchased. The Hyatt Regency also transitioned to become Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa.

In 2012, much of the land was bought by Raintree Investment Corporation. Together with new investors, work has resumed to slowly rebuild Lake Las Vegas — from the golf courses and hotels to residential areas and other infrastructure.

Lake Las Vegas Today

Nowadays, Lake Las Vegas is known as a unique community that offers a wide range of amenities for residents and visitors.

What’s a lake without water sports? At Lake Las Vegas, you’ll have plenty of water sports to choose from. Pick from flyboarding, kayaking, and paddle boarding to pedal boats and water-propelled jetpacks. In the floating aqua park, you’ll enjoy the inflatable slides, jumps, and trampolines.

For golfers, the Reflection Bay Golf Club offers a course with panoramic views of the lake and rugged mountains. Their clubhouse also includes a golf shop, restaurants, and private white sand beach. 

If you're a foodie, you’ll enjoy the variety of restaurants with diverse menu selections and live music on the floating stage on weekends. There is also the Seasons Grocery & Deli, the local grocery shop, which offers fresh produce and grab-and-go selections. All of these can be found in The Village, an entertainment hub for locals and visitors.

For outdoor lovers, Lake Las Vegas boasts numerous trails that allow you to connect with nature. Plus, it houses two luxury vacation hotels — the Westin and the Hilton.

For residents, the Lake Las Vegas Sports Club provides a top-notch workout facility. It offers group classes, personal training, and pickleball and tennis clubs. It also hosts happy hours and book clubs, and features health and fitness activities like facial therapy, a game room, massage and spa, and swimming pools.

While many argue that progress has been slow, particularly with several village shops and restaurants yet to open, Lake Las Vegas remains a well liked destination. With the beautiful scenery, the serene environment, and the unique experience, Lake Las Vegas has a lot to offer.

Beyond Lake Las Vegas, there are so many beautiful and interesting things to see and do in Las Vegas. It's a great place to visit and an even greater place to live in. Are you looking to settle down here? Contact Brendan King and let’s make it a reality.