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Luxury housing project taking shape at former Bonnie Springs Ranch

Once home to mock gunfights and a petting zoo, the former Bonnie Springs Ranch is set to take shape as a luxury housing enclave.

Developers of The Reserve at Red Rock Canyon, as the property is now known, held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for the desert outpost west of Las Vegas. It is slated to feature 16 homesites ranging from 2 to 4 acres each.

Prices start at $6.6 million, developer Joel Laub said. That’s just for a plot of land, as buyers then have to build their house.

Spanning 60-plus acres off State Route 159, the guard-gated community is adjacent to some private property but mostly surrounded by federal land. It will include a boutique hotel, an outdoor amphitheater, an event barn, a gourmet restaurant and, perhaps above all else, close-up views of the Spring Mountains and surrounding Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

“Nothing will ever be built around this property,” Laub said.

‘Compatible with the canyon’

Laub and project partner J. Randall Jones have already installed water lines and fire hydrants and launched other infrastructure work, and hope to start construction by year’s end on some commercial areas.

Luxury homebuilder Blue Heron and architecture firm Backen &Backen are also designing “show” homes for The Reserve.

Blue Heron’s would span roughly 9,000 square feet, spread among multiple structures, founder Tyler Jones said. Backen’s is designed to measure about 12,000 square feet, also split among multiple buildings, principal Dusan Motolik said.

Overall, there are strict design guidelines to make sure homes built at The Reserve are “compatible with the canyon” and don’t “stick out,” J. Randall Jones said.

Buyers can have a large main home but are encouraged to break up their estate into multiple structures so it isn’t “one giant building,” he said.

The goal, Laub indicated, is to not have a huge house that could be seen from the canyon.

A total of 13 lots can still be purchased. The project partners each reserved one for themselves, and property records indicate that Las Vegas apartment developer Alan Molasky bought a 3.2-acre homesite last April for $4.5 million.

Molasky, founder of Ovation Development, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Online petition

​​Bonnie Springs was a decades-old attraction that offered mock gunfights and hangings, a petting zoo, horseback riding and a motel.

The replica Old West town closed in March 2019 after Laub reached a deal to buy the property from the family of Bonnie Springs founder Bonnie Levinson, who died in 2016 at age 94.

News of its pending sale and closure sparked a big reaction. An online petition was launched to “save” the privately owned attraction and turn it into a historical landmark, garnering tens of thousands of supporters, and large crowds made their way to Bonnie Springs through its final weekend open.

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, whose district includes the property, previously said that he wished the state or county stepped in to buy the parcel and add it to nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, but neither entity had the “30-odd million dollars” needed to purchase the site.

Laub, who acquired the property for $25 million, said Tuesday that all of Bonnie Springs’ structures have been demolished.

The developers met with the Review-Journal at the site in February 2020 to outline their plans for the project then called The Ranch at Red Rock. The next month, Las Vegas rapidly shut down over fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

Laub said his team shut the project down for a period but also redesigned it, reducing the number of residential lots from 20 to 16 and adding the extra land to the commercial area to spread those buildings out a little more.

J. Randall Jones is a founding partner with law firm Kemp Jones, and his clients include the Review-Journal.

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

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