88°F
weather icon Mostly Clear

8 Las Vegas eyesores we’re all tired of looking at

Las Vegas often finds itself on lists of the most beautiful cities in the United States, but the city of bright lights and glamorous buildings still has its fair share of eyesores.

From downtown to Henderson, here are eight things Las Vegans are tired of looking at:

Industrial plants in Henderson on Feb. 28, 2007. (John Gurzinski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Industrial plants in Henderson on Feb. 28, 2007. (John Gurzinski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Henderson-adjacent Black Mountain Industrial Complex

Situated between Lake Mead Parkway, Sunset Road, Boulder Highway and Interstate 515 is a neighborhood of chemical, wastewater treatment and manufacturing plants.

This industrial corridor existed before surrounding Henderson was even incorporated as a town (the area itself is not incorporated by Henderson). The area was once home to the Basic Magnesium Inc. plant in the early 1940s which produced a quarter of the magnesium used by the War Department for aircraft parts and incendiary munition casings in World War II.

Chemical, titanium and wastewater plants were built where Basic Magnesium once stood, and have caused a host of environmental issues in the past 30 years, including chlorine leaks, chemical dumping and a massive chemical-fueled explosion.

Much of the area today is owned by the Nevada Environmental Response Trust, which is working to clean up the hazardous chemical perchlorate from groundwater before it reaches Lake Mead.

The failed SkyVue observation-wheel project, right, towers over South Las Vegas Boulevard on Fr ...
The failed SkyVue observation-wheel project, right, towers over South Las Vegas Boulevard on Friday, March 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

Concrete towers on the Strip

Two 247-foot concrete towers still stand in a mostly-empty lot across from Mandalay Bay.

The towers are from the failed Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel project from the early 2010s that was meant to rival the High Roller, which opened in 2014.

The Super Wheel project faced growing financial difficulties, and construction stopped on the project in September 2012.

The future of the project site, which was put up for sale in 2015, is still uncertain.

Joker’s Wild Casino is seen on Boulder Highway, Friday, June 9, 2023, in Henderson. (Chi ...
Joker’s Wild Casino is seen on Boulder Highway, Friday, June 9, 2023, in Henderson. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @chitosephoto

Boulder Highway

The nearly century-old highway has a reputation for dated casinos, flexible-stay apartments, RV parks and a high number of pedestrian fatalities.

The dark Eastside Cannery continues to sit along the roadway untouched and barricaded. The property closed nearly four years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said in 2022 that the property may reopen if the company sees greater demand.

Henderson announced a plan last year to “reimagine” a 7.6-mile stretch of the highway with improved sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and lighting to make the area safer for drivers and pedestrians, though Henderson business owners said they had mixed feelings about the project.

A pile of trash sits near the base of Frenchman Mountain, east of Sunrise Manor, on May 1, 2023 ...
A pile of trash sits near the base of Frenchman Mountain, east of Sunrise Manor, on May 1, 2023. (Jennifer Hurtado/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Desert around Frenchman Mountain

Lake Mead Boulevard between Frenchman and Sunrise mountains in the east valley has long been a popular spot for dumping trash.

Concrete barriers have been installed at the end of several streets at the base of Frenchman Mountain, but trash dumping continues to be an issue in the desert area on the edge of town, community members told the Review-Journal in May 2023.

A coalition of Las Vegas residents is currently working to turn the area east of the city into a national monument in hopes it will lead to a cleaner environment.

Two large pits belonged to asphalt company Wells Cargo, Inc. sit on either side of Spring Mount ...
Two large pits belonged to asphalt company Wells Cargo, Inc. sit on either side of Spring Mountain Road between Buffalo Drive and Tenaya Way. (Clark County assessor's office)

Spring Valley’s pits

Drivers in Spring Valley might pass giant, deep pits sandwiched between sprawling subdivisions.

While these pits may be an eyesore, many of the pre-date the homes they neighbor by nearly three decades.

Two massive pits found across from each other on Spring Mountain Road between Buffalo Drive and Tenaya Way belong to asphalt company Wells Cargo, Inc., which have owned the plots since the mid-1960s, according to Clark County assessor’s office records.

The surrounding homes, however, were built in the early 1990s. Some of the homes even sit on land purchased by developers from Wells Cargo.

So, next time you complain about the pits being an eyesore, remember that they were there first.

The Ascaya luxury community in Henderson, Thursday, July 1, 2021. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Revi ...
The Ascaya luxury community in Henderson, Thursday, July 1, 2021. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Erik_Verduzco

Henderson’s Ascaya neighborhood

Mountain-side community Ascaya has been a symbol of the Las Vegas Valley’s real estate crash during the Great Recession.

For years, the development was bare with only its exposed, houseless tiers visible. In 2021, Ascaya had 313 total home sites, and only 26 completed homes.

But, things are turning around for the luxury development.

Construction has begun on 51 multimillion-dollar homes in Ascaya’s The Canyon project, which developers hope will be completed by the second half of 2025.

Ascaya also topped the list for the biggest Henderson home sales in 2023.

The future site of The Philly at 215, a residential building, in the Naked City area in Las Veg ...
The future site of The Philly at 215, a residential building, in the Naked City area in Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2023.(Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae

Naked City

The neighborhood next to the Strat has gone decades without development, and exists in the minds of many Las Vegas locals as a hub for crime, drug dealing and prostitution.

But, like Ascaya, things are looking up for the neighborhood that, according to Vegas legend, got its name from naked, sunbathing showgirls.

An 87-unit apartment complex is slated to open across the street from the soon-to-open Atomic Golf attraction at the Strat.

Developers are hoping to turn the area into an attractive neighborhood for Strip employees.

This March 26, 2019, file photo, shows a bathtub ring of light minerals showing the high water ...
This March 26, 2019, file photo, shows a bathtub ring of light minerals showing the high water mark of the reservoir which has shrunk to its lowest point on the Colorado River, as seen from the Hoover Dam, Ariz. As persistent drought and climate change threaten the Colorado River, several states that rely on the water acknowledge that they likely won't get what they were promised a century ago. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

Lake Mead’s bathtub ring

When thinking about the Colorado River’s historic megadrought, the first image that might come to mind is Lake Mead’s bright white bathtub ring.

The ring was created by mineral deposits on the lake’s rock walls when the lake had higher water levels, according to the National Park Service.

Hoover Dam’s visible intake towers and dry spillways also serve as an eerie reminder of the lake’s low water levels — especially when compared to how they looked 40 years ago when the lake reached capacity.

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST