Bonnie Springs Ranch developer: No zoo, smaller motel, natural look

Aerial of Bonnie Springs Ranch property
A real estate listing photo showing the 63-acre Bonnie Springs Ranch property.

Additional details have emerged about the future of Bonnie Springs Ranch.

The developers, Joel Laub & Associates, are hoping the new details will reassure the public that their intentions are to preserve the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon while adding residential housing that falls well within the county’s rural zoning requirements. The Current reported Monday that the 63-acre property is set to be divided into a smaller commercial property and new residential neighborhood.

“We want to minimize impact,” says Randall Jones, a local attorney and partner on the Joel Laub & Associates project. “Make it feel like it blends in with the surrounding area.”

Clark County’s rural zoning regulations restrict residential development to one home for every two acres of land, meaning the Bonnie Springs Ranch property could legally have 31. The developers are currently planning for 21 homes and a commercial space that is open to the public.

Bonnie Springs motel
Design of proposed new 25-room motel at Bonnie Springs Ranch.

As previously reported, the commercial part of the development will include a restaurant, rentable event barn and lodging. The ranch’s existing motel has 50 rooms. The current proposal from the developers calls for a 25-room bed and breakfast.

The developers confirmed that their plans call for no gaming and no petting zoo.

Also axed is the old-western feel, replaced by an updated aesthetic that uses materials matching the surrounding area. The current plans also call for the reopening of a natural spring that was previously closed by the family.

Renderings of key areas on the proposed property were shown to the Current, however the developers say they aren’t ready to release any images publicly because they haven’t been finalized.

Jones says they took some inspiration from nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Bonnie Springs Ranch has been a family-friendly destination for decades. The developers said they anticipate the revamped commercial property being used for public events like farmers markets or small concerts.

Meanwhile, the homes will be accessible via a private road with a guarded gate. However, Jones says the development as a whole won’t have a surrounding wall and instead have a natural barrier created by a company that specializes in revegetation. The properties range from 1.84 to 3.39 acres each and will have vegetation and walkways between them.

“It’s not McMansions,” says Jones, “not huge boxy homes.”

The developers are considering a maximum home size of 5,000 square feet. What the eventual homes would look like hasn’t been determined but the developers suggested — “Italian style, Southern France style, maybe Spanish colonial.” They declined to give a range on what property and home costs might be for the residential neighborhood.

Jones noted Laub has been involved with The Nature Conservatory for six years. He says both men come from families with deep roots in Las Vegas and understand the importance of preserving Red Rock Canyon.

“Joel (Laub) and I have been hiking there since we were little kids,” says Jones. “We still hike there all the time. We know every canyon out there. Joel contacted me because he thought we could do something good for Red Rock and Bonnie Springs. We can preserve it in a way that reflects the whole Spring Mountain area.”

He sees the decision to “downzone” — meaning asking for less than the county requirements allow — as a reflection of that desire not to overdevelop. He understands people’s emotional attachment to the existing Bonnie Springs Ranch but feels strongly the end result of their development will have plenty to offer the community.

“We anticipated it would be an emotional thing for people,” he says. “We hope to put people’s minds at ease. We want to be respectful. Of Red Rock Canyon. Of the family. Of the legacy of Bonnie Springs Ranch.”

Jones added that he didn’t want to speak for the Levinson family, who owns the property, but that from his perspective they were “sensitive about who they sold the property to.” He said discussions are still ongoing about whether the development will retain the Bonnie Springs Ranch name.

Though the ranch and the developers, the Current has requested comment from the Levinson family but has not yet heard back.

The developers are scheduled to go before the Clark County Planning Commission on Feb. 22.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

6 COMMENTS

  1. That’s the first time I’ve heard the term “McMansion’s” used in this part if the country. I thought that was strictly a New Jersey term.

  2. As a resident that has lived here over a quarter of a century, I really hope you developers keep your word on what you state you will do in this article. Bonnie Springs has been a part of my life and it is a very emotional thing to hear that they will be closing and there will be homes out in that beautiful area. I still think it’s a tragedy and once again, the rich benefit while the rest of us won’t. I’m not exactly sure what you have to offer for the community. Bonnie Springs offered a train ride a wonderful place to take our children and escape from this crappy town. I am devastated as I am sure many others are too. I literally cried 4 hours when I found out that they sold Bonnie Springs Ranch to home Developers. So sad that we can’t leave nature alone. That land should be for all of us to enjoy, not just the rich and they’re 5000 square foot mansions on 2 acres of land.

  3. I wish we would of known they were closing, we would have taken a trip to see the beauty of the place. we get rid of natural places and destroy the area. This is about money as if we need more housing. This is sad it was so enjoyable to spend the day there. Relaxing. They say they will be respectful well we’ve seen what respectful is to housing developers. The natural beauty will be gone.

  4. The beauty of Blue Diamond is that it is tucked away. When I go to red rock I climb to the highest tops to see my city at a distance. It is the distance from civilization that draws me out there. I don’t go to see homes. I dont go for more people. I go for nature. Seeing more residential communities in a space I go to for peace and balance is unsettling to me. This is also a natural aquifer that supplies water to the wild life, and an influx of families may effect that as well.

  5. Super bummed about the news of Bonnie Spring’s end. From what I understand Bonnie Levinson started it all with the restaurant. I wish that would endure, that ranch club is no joke. I’ve been going for several years usually to Bonnie Screams. This last year was particularly not good (sans magician Devereaux, he was great!) and this explains why. Too bad, would’ve been nice to go out with a bang. I feel for the community there as it will drastically change and this will likely be the beginning. Although I am torn since I am a big fan of Laub’s Loftworks, perhaps he will not disappoint.

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