LAS VEGAS (AP) — A replica “Old Nevada” mining town outside Las Vegas that started as a wagon train pit stop in 1843 and grew in recent decades into a tourist attraction featuring mock Wild West gunfights could soon be replaced by a high-end housing enclave.
Developers have submitted plans to Clark County to divvy up Bonnie Springs Ranch into 20 large residential home sites, 25-room motel, restaurant and outdoor amphitheater.
Gone would be equestrian stables, petting zoo, train ride and rustic boardwalks used by thousands of tourists who traveled about 25 miles west of the glitzy modern casinos along Las Vegas Strip to step back in time.
“It’s a great escape from the normal Vegas city life,” said Robyn Reynon, a Las Vegas health care technology worker.
Reynon, who recalled her mother working as a performer at Bonnie Springs in the 1990s, said she started a petition calling for the site to be preserved as part of history.
“It’s a great escape from the normal Vegas city life,” she said.
Attorney and project partner Randall Jones and developer Joel Laub expect to complete their purchase of the site by mid-March. Jones didn’t provide a sale price for the 60-acre property.
“Our hope is to make a transition that everybody feels good about in the end,” he said.
It is unclear if it will still be called Bonnie Springs Ranch — named for town founder Bonnie Levinson, who died in 2016 at 94.
Her children are comfortable with the proposed development as being within current zoning, family attorney Paul Connaghan said. He also declined to provide the sale price.
Laub founded Astoria Homes and is known in Las Vegas as developer of the Silverado Ranch community. Jones is a founding partner of Las Vegas law firm Kemp, Jones & Coulthard.
Jones said strict conditions would ensure that custom homes blend with the trees and meadows of nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Red Rock National Conservation Area, a popular hiking, biking and rock-climbing area that draws more than 2 million visitors a year.
“We know people are emotionally attached to Bonnie Springs,” he said.