Wayne Newton dreams of showcasing ranch

Even a gloomy overcast can’t dim the opulence of Wayne Newton’s 52-acre ranch, where Arabian horses graze in lush pastures and gold trimmings adorn the furniture and interior décor.

The 14,000-square-foot house could be deemed historic, partly because it has been home to an area icon — nicknamed "Mr. Las Vegas" — for 44 years. It also harks back to an era when Vegas was more rural than urban.

Newton, 68, hopes to offer paid shuttle tours of his gated Casa de Shenandoah ranch at Pecos and Sunset roads within a year, a plan that has drawn opposition from some residents in his upscale neighborhood.

He also is partnering with Steven Kennedy, a Texas businessman, to build a museum and theater on 10 acres of commercially zoned land north of Sunset Road.

In an interview Wednesday, Newton dismissed rumors that he was trying to turn his home into a tourist attraction because of money problems.

He said his main interest is showcasing a home that he molded into a unique setting, filled with antiques, animals and ponds fed by artesian wells. Making profits on the enterprise is secondary, he said, insisting that he is financially healthy.

"Frankly, it’s become humorous to me," said Newton, referring to the scuttlebutt about his money woes.

Ticket prices have yet to be determined, he said, adding that some of the proceeds would go to charity.

Clark County commissioners must approve a special use permit for commercial shuttles to take visitors on and off the property.

Newton’s representatives will present the plan Tuesday to the Paradise Town Advisory Board . The board then will make recommendations to commissioners, who probably will review the plans in November.

Some residents fear that Newton’s tours would increase traffic and ruin what is left of the neighborhood’s rural character. A group of them aims to speak against his plans at the town board meeting.

The issue has grown rancorous. Kennedy, the Texas developer, sued one critic, M.J. Harvey, and alleged defamation after she publicly denounced him and his intentions.

Harvey declined to comment for this story, citing legal concerns.

Wendy Meoz, another neighbor, said letting Newton run tours would open the door for other residents to launch business ventures in their homes. That would lead to more nonresidents driving in and out of the neighborhood, she said.

"This is a money-making operation that benefits only the owners of the property," said Meoz, a 25-year resident. "We want to keep our area low-key. This is an old, established neighborhood, and we like it a lot because of its rural atmosphere."

But Michael Montgomery, who has lived just south of Newton for 30 years, said the tours would have almost no effect on the area.

Newton has asked that the ban on commercial vehicles be lifted on the northern 200 feet of Tomiyasu Lane, which abuts the western side of his ranch, Montgomery said. That would allow him to bring visitors onto the property a good distance away from the nearest neighbors, he said.

Otherwise, Newton will pursue commercial zoning for a portion of property facing Sunset Road, so the shuttles can enter from there, Montgomery said. That action would change the complexion of the area more drastically.

"If they (residents) want to preserve the area as they’ve known it for 30 years, they should play ball with Steve Kennedy and Wayne Newton," Montgomery said.

Newton concurred with Montgomery’s statements. And he added that running shuttles would be far less intrusive than building the 80 houses that current zoning would allow on the property.

He noted that when he built the ranch in the mid-1960s, the area was truly rural with none of the strip malls or subdivisions you see today along the corridor. He was practically the only homeowner in the area.

"I don’t want to offend my neighbors," Newton said. "But I was here before we had neighbors."

Newton said he and Kennedy formed CSD Management LLC to handle future commercial ventures. He said he turned over his Shenandoah ranch to the firm but still controls the property.

County records show Kennedy as the firm’s managing partner and Newton receiving about $19 million in the transaction.

Newton said he envisions opening a museum to display the copious memorabilia he has collected over the decades during his association with nearly every big-time star who graced a Vegas stage.

Visitors would tour the museum and then jump on a shuttle that would take them to Shenandoah, he said. Some tours would include a walk-through of his home’s first floor.

His ranch features an exotic menagerie, including 54 Arabian horses, a miniature monkey, African cranes and some cockatoos, which could be heard screeching in an adjoining room.

Antique buffs can check out his 20 classic cars and his centuries-old furniture and statues, he said.

There is also his disabled Fokker airplane that he keeps on the grounds as "garden art," he said.

The twin-engine plane transported him on concert tours for 14 years until the Federal Aviation Administration ruled that the engines no longer could carry aircraft of this weight, Newton said.

Replacing the engines would have cost $2 million, and most of the electronic equipment was stolen while the plane was housed in Detroit.

So he hauled it by truck to the ranch, where it will remain, he said.

Newton said he could foresee his museum evolving into a Las Vegas entertainers’ hall of fame.

In his Red Room, he stores a treasure trove of old Las Vegas items: guitars that Johnny Cash and Elvis played, Frank Sinatra’s old microphone, Jack Benny’s violin.

And this is just a fraction of the historic wares that museum-goers would see.

"There really is nothing in the world quite like the Shenandoah," Newton said. "I’m very proud of what I’ve created here."

Contact reporter Scott Wyland at swyland@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with RJ
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Otting oversees all national banks, credit unions, mutual savings banks, coops and the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Paris Wade discusses about his “Liberty Writers” website
Paris Wade, who made national headlines for operating a fake news website and boasts about getting President Donald Trump elected in 2016, speaks during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wade is running for Nevada Assembly. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers.
Las Vegas Metro police and Henderson police officers ride their bikes during the Vegas Team's last practice rides in preparation for the Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal @bizutesfaye
UNLV students walk out of class on national walkout day
UNLV students and supporters chanted, marched and rallied on national walkout day Friday, April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Captain Sasha Larkin Discusses Challenges, Progress in North West
Captain Sasha Larkin, of Metro's Northwest Area Command, discusses what issues face the northwest valley's residents and what police are doing to address them.
Southwest giving passengers on deadly flight $5,000 for compensation
Passengers on Flight 1380 have been receiving checks as a gesture of goodwill from the airline.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skate Park
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skate park at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
Endangered Devils Hole Pupfish numbers enough for concern, but not panic
Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Death Valley National Park came together at Devils Hole, about 90 miles west of Las Vegas, for a biannual count of the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endangered species. Their count this time – 87. (Video by Patrick Connolly)
Hickey Elementary Students Put Harry Potter on Trial
Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School students learned how the judicial system works by putting Harry Potter on trial for the illegal use of magic.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
The Clark County Museum Turns 50 This Month
The Clark County Museum has an extensive collection, dating back to prehistoric times in Southern Nevada up through the present day. It was first established in April 1968 and has had several locations before it's current home on South Boulder Highway.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like