weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Former UNLV basketball player still flying high

Greg Goorjian was one of California high school basketball’s all-time top scorers when UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian recruited him to play for the Rebels.

Goorjian is still scoring these days — not baskets, but million-dollar sales at One Queensridge Place, a 219-unit luxury condo high-rise project in the Queensridge development of Peccole Ranch.

Goorjian, vice president of sales and marketing for One Queensridge Place, made the transition from hoops to real estate after graduating from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 1983 with a business administration degree. His emphasis was on finance and real estate.

For eight years he was married to Leann Peccole, youngest daughter of Las Vegas real estate magnate William Peccole. That helped launch his career, admittedly. But it’s the knowledge of the Las Vegas real estate market he gained as an executive assistant at Peccole Nevada that gives Goorjian the ability to put the $800-a-square-foot starting prices at Queensridge towers into perspective.

"There’s very few ways for the valley to grow because of land constraints," he said. "You’ve got the Air Force base to the east, Indian land to the north, Red Rock to the west. You really learn that land is a valuable commodity in Southern Nevada."

Goorjian manages all marketing of the $ 300 million One Queensridge Place project, including positioning, pricing and sales. The 20-acre site is approved for two more towers and nearly 400 condo units.

Question: How much of your success do you owe to basketball?

Answer: Everything. It brought me here. It forged my first relationships with people who were very successful. When I first moved to town, I was staying next door to (former Gov.) Kenny Guinn.

Question: Tarkanian was forced out as basketball coach at UNLV, but many Las Vegans remain loyal to him to this day. Are you one of them?

Answer: The No. 1 guy I thank for being here is Jerry Tarkanian, because he recruited me and brought me to town and through him you get to know who’s who in Vegas. His son Danny was right behind me and went to Bishop Gorman (High School). I met all the families — the Higginses, the Fertittas, the Herbsts — they all had boys playing at Gorman. You know, it’s a small town.

Question: Why did you stay in Las Vegas after your playing days at UNLV?

Answer: I had an opportunity to be involved with the Peccole family in the planning and development of 3,000 acres of land. I had the opportunity to be involved with Canyon Gate (Country Club) and Peccole Ranch.

Question: What did you learn from working at Peccole Nevada?

Answer: Getting involved with community development, you learn there aren’t a lot of land owners with large parcels that have the ability to control the surrounding environment and have an impact on the valley and our quality of life. I guess having a hand in community development taught me some things about the bigger picture of the federal government owning much of the land here.

Question: You’re working with Executive Home Builders and Chief Executive Officer Johan Lowie, who built mansions at Queensridge and is now doing One Queensridge Place. What makes these guys special?

Answer: They brought a product that was phenomenal, the way they finished the homes. They used stone. They used iron and glass, things we see in high-rises that fit the old world. Here comes Johan from Israel with the DeHarts to put this product in the neighborhood, which is Mr. Peccole’s dream, not to have stucco everywhere. You see the same thing from here to Palm Springs. You can’t tell the difference between a Taco Bell, a gas station and a single-family home.

Question: Your wife is an interior designer with Executive Home Builders. What’s it like working with her?

Answer: It provides for great talk at home about the buyers because we both know them intimately. It’s a pleasure to work with my wife. It’s been interesting and exciting to see her in action and to see her grow in her position and become very astute at what she does.

Question: What kind of changes are in store for Las Vegas?

Answer: Water issues. Vegas doesn’t need yards and Vegas doesn’t need swimming pools. We’re living in the desert. Look at Lake Mead. Look at the gray line.

Question: Meadows basketball team won the state title and you were named coach of the year. How much of that transfers to the business world?

Answer: I think coaching skills relate to employment. Recruitment and retention and keeping them motivated. You measure their strengths and weaknesses and evaluate them.

Question: What have you learned about the high-rise industry from working on One Queensridge?

Answer: The biggest thing I learned is it’s very much like a horizontal community but it’s vertical. You have so many houses within the community with certain amenities. We have 404 total units in Queensridge that’s on probably 200 acres. Here we have 219 homes on 20 acres and there’s more total square feet, I’d say, in One Queensridge Place than in Queensridge.

The biggest difference is how you get the project financed and how you get the project built. Just owning the land without debt isn’t good enough. Nice financial statements … still not good enough. You’ve got to have reservations convert to sales and you’ve got to be smart enough to sell it two years from when it’s built, so you don’t sell it for less than you build it for.

I think vertical residential living in the West is new to the contractor community, new to the development community and even new to the lending community. You do learn that it’s not stopping. This form of residential living is here to stay.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada’s real estate industry blamed wrong enemy when bubble burst

State lawmakers approved a bill in 2015 — a decade after Las Vegas’ wild building spree — that raised barriers to pursuing lawsuits alleging shoddyconstruction. A measure now working its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature would wipe out or change provisions of that law.

CEOs get $800K pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Pay for CEOs at S&P 500 companies rose to a median of $12 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation, according to data analyzed by Equilar.