Las Vegas Country Club is in talks with an unidentified buyer who has interest in turning the golf course into a high-rise development in three to five years, sources said Friday.
"No offer is on the table," said a Regency Towers resident who was informed about a letter that went before the club's board of directors.
The potential buyer is believed to be from the Middle East. A sale would require two-thirds approval from the 600 club members.
One of the city's oldest gated communities, the development started as a golf course and clubhouse in the late 1960s. Residential elements, including two luxury towers, were added in the early 1970s.
Before the golf course was built, the site was a thoroughbred racetrack named Las Vegas Downs that was accessed by a gravel road off Paradise Road, according to the club's Web site. When the racetrack went into bankruptcy, investor Joe W. Brown bought the property.
Brown sold it to Marvin Kratter, who opened the club under the name The Las Vegas International Country Club. It eventually was sold to four partners of Realty Holdings: Moe Dalitz, Harry Lahr, Nate Adelson and Irwin Molasky. They renamed it The Las Vegas Country Club and made it a private club in 1971.
For decades it was home to some of the city's most influential families and entertainers, and it had an occasional mob connection. Mob frontman Frank Rosenthal had a house on the golf course, and reputed hit man Tony Spilotro was rumored to have been a resident in the towers.
Current residents include billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, entertainers Steve Lawrence and Edyie Gorme, and longtime casino executive Burton Cohen. Elvis Presley's doctor, Elias Ghanem, lived there, along with Rodney Dangerfield, Debbie Reynolds, George Carlin and LaToya Jackson.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
REMAX conventioneers will get a private sneak preview next week of the U.S. debut of Journey with new lead singer Arnel Pineda. Journey's March 8 concert at Planet Hollywood Resort was to have been their U.S. debut. But the band scheduled the REMAX appearance two nights earlier at the MGM Grand. ...
Longtime local journalist Scott Dickensheets has joined the staff of Las Vegas CityLife as special projects editor. Dickensheets has worked at the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Life magazine and, most recently, as editor in chief of the Las Vegas Weekly. Dickensheets, 45, will oversee features, cover presentation and special projects at CityLife, owned by Stephens Media LLC, which also owns the Review-Journal. ...
"Mamma Mia!" star Carol Linnea Johnson will perform the national anthem before the NASCAR UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. The race will air on KVVU-TV, Channel 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Kevin Harvick, the 2007 Daytona 500 champ, racing go-karts indoors with friends and members of his crew at Pole Position Racing on Thursday. Also there: NASCAR drivers Jason Keller and Brad Coleman, TV and film star Mickey Jones, and Vinnie and Cody, formerly of "American Choppers." ... Hollywood couple/comedians Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman, having lunch Friday at the Bistro Buffet (Palms). ... New UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel and Bruins offensive coordinator Norm Chow, among a large group at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Thursday. The party shared a magnum of Silver Oak wine ($520). ... Talk show host Regis Philbin, dining Thursday at Strip House restaurant (Planet Hollywood Resort). ... Boxer Zab Judah, actress Jennifer Tilly and New York Giants star Michael Strahan, stopping by Tryst nightclub (Wynn) on Thursday. ... NASCAR racers Kenny Wallace and Mike Bliss, checking out McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon (Rio) on Thursday. Also there: Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth. ... Former NBA star Gary Payton, celebrating the birthday of his wife, Monique, on Thursday at Poetry nightclub (Forum Shops at Caesars). Also at Poetry: former NFL star Jerome Bettis.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Hillary Clinton is down there in Texas, campaigning hard. She's pulling out all the stops. Today, she was campaigning in a rawhide pantsuit." -- David Letterman