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Doumani clan keeps legacy alive

From California apartment buildings and oil wells to the Las Vegas Strip to The Ridges in Summerlin, real estate remains the focal point of the Doumani family. When grandfather Malick Doumani stowed away from Lebanon on a ship called Majestic, he had $13 in his pocket. In 1901 he landed in Mexico then worked his way to the United States in 1902. He couldn’t speak a word of English but bought real estate in California and Las Vegas — apartment buildings and oil wells, according to grandson Ronald Doumani.

The Doumani family, which once owned the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, recently sold their 5-acre parcel on the Strip, where the former historical La Concha and El Morocco motels and casino sat, for a reported $180 million. Profits from the sale of the land were divided among the second and third generations, which includes Ronald, 35, his brother Fred Jr., 44, their father Fred Sr., 72, and their cousins.

Seventeen miles due west and 25 minutes away from the Doumanis’ former holdings, Ronald and his wife, Misty, closed escrow Nov. 21 on a custom home in The Ridges in Summerlin.

The Doumanis’ Realtor, Tom Love of the Tom Love Group of Realty Executives of Nevada, describes the Las Vegas market condition: “The smart money and Wall Street have invested over $20 billion in new hotels on the Strip and that correlates to a big rebound in the residential market in the near future.”

The 1.28-acre private lot in the Rimrock area holds a 9,700-square-foot, two-story home with five bedrooms, plus two library/game room, three wet bars, formal living room with fireplace and dining room, separate family room with wet bar and wall of retractable doors.

There is a home theater room with another wet bar, a 120-bottle wine enclave, and a kitchen with double oven and convection oven and gas cook top.

The master suite upstairs holds a retreat and fireplace, a wellness room off the master closet, balcony and his-and hers-entry steam shower, double sink, makeup/vanity area and jetted tub. Outdoors in the rear of the home there is a two-level patio with pool and spa, fire pit area with the entire upstairs surrounded by outdoor balconies.

Ronald Doumani said the couple will be upgrading the electronic home theater, furnishings and a fence around the pool at a cost of $500,000. “We are adding a casita, gym and six-car garage to the four-car garage that came with the home,” Ronald said.

The cars he has now are “my James Bond Aston Martin, Porsche 928 GTS (1995 with 400 miles); a 1989 Corvette, a gift from my father for my 17th birthday with 28,000 miles; a 2001 Mercedes 600SL with 18,000. I personally drive a white Cadillac 2004 Escalade with 55,000 on it. I am waiting to finish the garages so that I can get more cars,” he said.

When asked about Ronald and Misty’s new home, Fred Sr., said, “It is absolutely gorgeous. I am very happy they got it. I like The Ridges. It’s a great area.”

For the seller, Dawn Prendes, 43, widow of slain Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. Sgt. Henry Prendes, 37, “the house was to be our dream home.”

Sgt. Prendes, a 14-year veteran on the force, was fatally shot by a gunman with a semiautomatic assault rifle while answering a domestic violence call in southwest Las Vegas on Feb. 1, 2006.

“We wanted this house for us, Henry’s three children and our three big dogs and have the biggest, best parties. It was a dream to further our dream — live there for a year, sell it and move to Montana to build a Christian camp for children,” Dawn Prendes said.

Prendes was the certified public accountant and chief financial officer for the Golden Nugget, a Las Vegas downtown casino. She said she left her high-paying casino job to accept a position as the executive director of resource development at the Central Christian Church in Henderson.

“The church is like my second home. Henry was everything to me. Three years we were together. We did more than most people do in a lifetime — we never said ‘we’ll do that later,’ ” she said.

According to Prendes, she paid $685,000 cash for the land in March 2004. A year later, the couple received the permit to start construction. She said it took 18 months to complete for a total cost of $3.4 million.

Originally listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service at $6.2 million, the home was reduced to $5.9 million and then $5.29 million until it sold for $4.2 million.

“I golf, and Henry was an avid golfer. There is a tournament — on the second anniversary of his death — the Henry Prendes Golf Classic on Feb. 1, 2008. It is great way to honor Henry,” Prendes said.

“Though some segments of real estate sales have had challenges in 2007, the higher-end and custom market continues to be vibrant and aggressive throughout the Las Vegas area,” said the seller’s Realtor, Susan Smith, of Prudential Americana Group Realty.

Smith said she bases this market analysis on sales she has been involved with at The Ridges.

Have an item for Hot Vegas Properties? Joan Schiller Travis can be reached at 338-9797 or JTwriter@cox.net.

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