City of Las Vegas quietly reopens Huntridge Circle Park

The quick and quiet reopening of Huntridge Circle Park last month came as a surprise to many in the neighborhood.

Las Vegas city officials were silent about its Memorial Day weekend opening. As of press time, even the city’s website still listed the troubled park as closed.

But Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, who represents Ward 3, where the park is located, knew several weeks in advance because he authorized the park’s opening.

Reese said he gave the green light to open the park after a recent meeting with members of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation. The group is so far behind financially that the park would have been closed for another two years waiting for them to catch up and build the proposed veterans memorial, Reese added.

The memorial, which is expected to occupy about half of the park, is estimated to cost $800,000 to $1.2 million — all of which was promised to be raised in private donations by the foundation. The project’s website has since shut down.

“I’m not one of those people who do things for political gain. I’m out of (City Council) in a couple of meetings,” Reese said. “… I just hope the neighbors appreciate the park and use it like it’s supposed to (be used).”

The city shut down the park in 2006 because of ongoing safety issues involving the homeless that included the fatal stabbing of a homeless man.

“People were popping pills in there, and there were all kinds of needles and syringes,” Reese said. “It was a haven for them. We had people beating up and killing each other. There were more reported fights, too.”

Reese was instrumental in the council’s 2009 passing of a picnic pavilion or special event permit process for residents who want to drink in the park as a result of the safety and trash issues.

Brown and white “Park Open” signs suddenly appeared at the park on Maryland Parkway near Charleston Boulevard. The park is scheduled to be open on a trial basis from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, said Jace Radke, city spokesman.

It was unknown how long the trial period will last. Las Vegas marshals will patrol the area during that time.

“A park should be opened seven days a week, but I don’t want to see anything happen again,” Reese said. “We still have neighbors concerned about safety. When the park was open, the crime rate was up high. Since it’s been closed, it’s down low.”

Some neighbors discovered the park was open that Friday, which meant city offices were closed. Some said the move was politically motivated. The park has been a debate topic for Ward 3 candidates Bob Coffin and Adriana Martinez. Both pledged to reopen the park should they be elected to office.

Most, like Lance Kirk, president of the West Huntridge Neighborhood Association, were happy the park is now open but expressed concern about a lack of communication between city officials and residents.

“I expected more of an outreach. We want to work with you. What do we need to do?” said Kirk, who has been outspoken about reopening the park. “Yes, it’s good to open the park, but opening it doesn’t necessarily mean things that happened before won’t happen again.”

Las Vegas real estate agent and neighborhood activist Jack LeVine said he was “flabbergasted” at how it was reopened.

“There were no press releases,” LeVine said. “The neighborhood associations weren’t contacted. The activists weren’t contacted.”

As for the lack of publicity, Reese makes no apologies.

“I felt like whenever you get four or five people together, they don’t always agree on everything, and we would just open it quietly,” he said. “We felt like because of the holidays, we just needed to go in there.

“I’m going to be gone in a month, and hopefully the person who takes over my job will be able to go in there and make sure it stays open. I’ve got the promise from the park marshals that it’s patrolled and taken care of.”

In a few weeks, city officials plan to open Doug Selby Family Park at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and Sandhill Road in Sunrise, Reese added.

Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at or 383-0492.

Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Youth cancer survivor receives gift bat at Winter Meetings
Cancer survivor Steven Mondragon, baseball player at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, California, received a complimentary bamboo bat during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Day 9 Highlights
Highlights from round 9 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR 2018- Will Lummus Leads in Steer Wrestling
As NFR 2018 enters day nine, steer wrestler Will Lummus continues to see his name at the top of the standings. Las Vegas Review Journal host Cassie Soto speaks with the Mississippi native about his excitement to be participating in his first ever NFR.
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like