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Plan proposes bungee jumping, speedboats, other attractions for Sloan

A Las Vegas shooting-range owner wants to bring some high-octane excitement to Sloan, with bungee jumping, an ATV obstacle course and speedboats zipping through man-made channels.

Machine Guns Vegas owner Genghis Cohen is looking to build a 16.2-acre theme park just west of Interstate 15 a few miles south of the M Resort, county documents show.

The project is tentatively called Xpark Vegas and would cost $25 million to $30 million to develop, he said. If all goes as planned, Cohen said he hopes to break ground within the next 90 days and to open the initial phases of the park by next summer.

Keeping with Las Vegas’ image, Xpark is designed to be an adult playground.

Plans call for a construction-equipment area where customers would be “allowed to operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers”; a speedboat area with channels ranging between 21 and 43 feet wide; an ATV and dirt-bike obstacle course; a 180-foot bungee tower; and a shooting range, according to Cohen and county documents. Sloan embed

Clark County commissioners are scheduled to consider project plans at a hearing Wednesday.

If built, Xpark would be another tourist attraction in Sloan, a pint-sized, unincorporated community where investors this year opened Speed Vegas, a recreational racetrack. The town is about a dozen miles south of the Strip, well-suited to intercept the masses of tourists who drive in from Southern California.

Some 25 percent of visitors to Las Vegas come from Southern California, and 97 percent of them take ground transportation here, according to reports by GLS Research for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Travel time between tourist attractions can eat up more time than the activities themselves, said Cohen, who wanted to put several in one location, “kind of like an adult theme-park concept.”

The project site offers a lot of land and good visibility to drivers on I-15, and it’s not a hefty drive from the Strip.

“It’s not far at all,” he said.

County staff members weren’t thrilled with certain aspects of the plans. A county report said the project’s design was “incompatible” with existing and proposed development in that area west of I-15, and that its design “does not comply” with a land-use planning goal of encouraging “environmentally sensitive architecture, landscaping, and signage along I-15.”

County staff also were “concerned about public safety issues” linked to proposed activities such as driving speedboats “through narrow channels.”

“There are insufficient public facilities and services in the area to respond to accidents in a timely manner,” the report said.

Cohen said he had received “very favorable feedback” overall from county commissioners. He also said the boats he planned to use are “incredibly safe,” and that he would keep an ambulance at the property if county officials wanted him to, though he said they haven’t asked him.

Commissioner Susan Brager, whose district includes Sloan, said she had “no idea” how other commissioners would vote on Wednesday. But she said she was “willing to move it forward.”

She also noted that it’s common for developers to change elements of their plans.

“To me, it sounds promising and very interesting,” she said of the project.

Contact Review-Journal writer Eli Segall at 702-383-0342. On Twitter at @eli_segall

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