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Big industrial park south of Las Vegas wins county approval

Updated February 17, 2022 - 7:33 am

Clark County commissioners approved plans for a sprawling industrial park south of Las Vegas that could flatten a shuttered hotel-casino.

The County Commission on Wednesday gave the green light to a 1.9 million-square-foot warehouse and distribution complex along Interstate 15 in Jean, a remote outpost some 25 miles south of the Strip whose only residents are the inmates at a state prison.

The project, by Reno-based Tolles Development Co., would span more than 140 acres around the I-15/State Route 161 intersection, encompassing vacant land and other real estate, including the Terrible’s hotel-casino site.

That property has been closed since the onset of the pandemic, and plans indicate it would be demolished and then replaced with a distribution center, according to a county staff report.

Tolles is under contract to buy the project site and hopes to break ground within the next 12 to 18 months, partner Cory Hunt told the Review-Journal on Monday.

He also said the hotel would get torn down a couple of years into the development.

New jobs

Warehouse developers have been on a yearslong construction spree in Southern Nevada, and business has only ramped up during the coronavirus pandemic, as an accelerated shift to online shopping has fueled demand for distribution space.

Industrial development in Jean would also provide job opportunities for residents of Sandy Valley, Goodsprings and Sloan, county staff reported, pointing to tiny, remote towns outside Las Vegas.

Commissioners approved a zoning change and design review for the industrial park along with several other items in one vote Wednesday, as part of the hearing’s “routine action items.”

Before the vote, Commissioner Michael Naft, whose district encompasses most of the project site, including the closed hotel, asked county staff to “review the cumulative effects” of the project to “ensure appropriate mitigation on subsequent applications.”

There isn’t much in Jean. As the Review-Journal reported in 2020, it has a cluster of government services and operations, including a small airport, courthouse, fire station and post office.

Its only residents are the prisoners in Jean Conservation Camp, a state facility that houses 240 female inmates.

Clark County records and Nevada business-entity filings indicate the project site is owned by the Herbst family, operators of the Terrible Herbst gas station chain.

Efforts to speak with a family representative were unsuccessful Monday before the Review-Journal first reported on the proposed industrial park.

Past plans

Terrible’s is the only hotel-casino in Jean and would be the latest there to get demolished. As county staff reported, “resort hotels may no longer be viable in this area.”

Prior plans to build big in Jean fizzled. In early 2007, casino operator MGM Mirage announced a partnership with Henderson developer American Nevada Co. and timeshare operator Diamond Resorts to develop 166 acres in the town.

MGM had acquired two casinos in Jean — Gold Strike and Nevada Landing — in 2005 as part of a corporate buyout. A few years later, the three firms envisioned building a hotel-casino and residential, commercial and retail space.

Nevada Landing was demolished, but the project went nowhere, as the partners terminated their operating agreement in summer 2008 as the economy soured.

MGM, now known as MGM Resorts International, reached a deal in 2014 to sell Gold Strike and “related assets” in Jean to the Herbst family for $12 million. The sale closed in 2015.

The new owners launched a series of upgrades at Gold Strike and changed the name in 2018 to the Herbst family’s flagship brand.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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