Some showmen have shrines; Lance Burton, 47, has magic and an enchanting backyard that is filled with a gazebo, free-formed pool and spa, built-in barbecue and a stately eucalyptus tree from an era filled with mystery.
Hailed as Master Magician and appearing at the Monte Carlo Lance Burton Theatre since June 21, 1996, Burton arrived on the Vegas scene in 1982, performing in the “Folies Bergere,” which still runs at the Tropicana.
When he first came to town, Burton spent six years renting, first in an apartment, near the Statue of Liberty replica in a shopping area on Sahara Avenue and Valley View Boulevard — his roommates were the white doves he used in his show — and then a room in a three-bedroom house shared with other performers.
A country boy at heart, Burton, a native of Louisville, Ky., said he bought his first house in 1988 in Sunrise Manor, near Charleston and Nellis boulevards, when it was considered rural, “People had horses back then,” Burton said. “For close to 20 years I had barbecue parties for the cast and crew and other performers, including Mac King, Penn and Teller, Clint Holmes and the Amazing Jonathan. We played volleyball and swam. It is a wonderful backyard on a three-quarter acre lot.”
The house, built in 1984, is listed by Realtor Dulcie Latorre of RE/MAX Advantage in Henderson, for $700,000. Wayne Bernath, Burton’s director of publicity, advertising and marketing, believes the magician paid $200,000 for the home. This was confirmed by Karen Davis, senior appraisal tech at the Clark County Assessor’s office.
The house, zoned for horses, is wrapped with a wrought-iron railing surrounding the second-floor balcony across the back of the home with a partial view of the Strip, said Latorre.
The living room has a sunken seating area in front of one of two fireplaces, the other in the master suite on the second floor. The house has five bedrooms, 3 3/4 baths, breakfast bar and nook, central vacuum and security camera.
Adding to its Spanish style, the front of the home carries Burton’s initial “B” designed into a black security grill gate.
Last November after several years of purchasing land, getting permits and hiring contractors, Burton moved into his custom castle on 10 acres of a flattened hill site in Henderson. Davis said the taxable value with improvements as of July 1, 2007, will be $4.2 million. Construction is still underway.
Burton said the Sunrise Manor house had been “out in the country and the city grew around me, so I was not in the country anymore. I feel more comfortable in a rural setting. You can take the boy off the farm, but not the country from the boy.”
Burton’s passion for magic was sparked at the age of 5, when he met Harry Collins, a magician, who was performing at a Christmas party at the Frito-Lay plant where Burton’s mother worked. The performer brought young Burton on stage and “discovered” coins behind his ears.
“It was the most magical experience of my life — hearing the audience laugh and applaud. At 5 years old, I was totally captivated. At that age, I believed that the money was coming from my ears,” Burton said.
He has come full circle, he said, as he brings the patter of little feet on his stage and finds the larger coins of this silver state behind their ears every night of his performances.
Soon the patter of his granddaughter’s feet will be among them. His son, 25, and granddaughter, 2, live in the Las Vegas area.
Panorama VP Paul Scaringe
trades golf lot for city loft
From golf course green to urban sophistication, Paul Scaringe, vice president of sales for the Panorama Group, is trading his Rhodes Ranch lifestyle for loft living in Panorama Tower I of his employer’s mixed-use development located at Dean Martin Drive and the Harmon Corridor.
An avid golfer, Scaringe bought his 4,066-square-foot home in 2002 for $585,000. The five-bedroom, three-bath home with marble floors and plantation shutters, sits on a 12,947-square-foot lot — possibly the second largest in the community, he said. The backyard on the golf course has its own putting green and pool/spa.
A bachelor, who was listed in a Las Vegas publication more than a year ago as one of the “Top 40 under 40,” Scaringe, 41, said, “My lifestyle, most of my free time is on the Strip. I don’t play as much golf as I used to. I put in 60 to 70 hours a week at work,” as his main reason for moving. “I’m a single guy and don’t use half the house.”
Listed by Realtor Mark Sivek, GRI (graduate of the Real Estate Institute), with Prudential Americana Group, Henderson, the home’s asking price is $1.3 million.
Scaringe will close escrow in July on his Penthouse Villa loft with two floors, above a retail space. His purchase price is $1.2 million. The loft is 2,700 square feet with one bedroom and bath on each level.
Sivek also purchased a condominium in Panorama’s Tower III.
“If Las Vegas is the Manhattan of the West, then Panorama is the epicenter of the Strip and the Times Square of Las Vegas,” Sivek said.
Ameristar former CEO Neilsen’s Canyon Gate estate listed
With a spinal cord injury sustained in 1985 that left him a quadriplegic, founder and majority owner of Ameristar Craig H. Neilsen rose in stature through his community and professional contributions. Neilsen, chief executive officer of the Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company with operations in five states, including Nevada, died November 2006, leaving an estate in Canyon Gate Country Club.
The 6,203-square-foot home is listed by Kenneth Lowman, broker/owner of Luxury Homes of Las Vegas, for $3.35 million. Neilsen purchased the home in 1996 for $1.4 million, retrofitting it with two elevators, a glass elevator in the foyer and a second, providing private access from the master bedroom to the backyard.
Neilsen commissioned Boehm Design, a Seattle, Wash., design firm, to custom build the furniture and supply the artwork which is being sold with the home.
The interior includes floor-to-ceiling butted glass to maximize the views, granite fireplaces, built-in booth seating, oversized walk-in marble shower, four bedrooms, office, loft sitting area, security cameras and fire sprinklers.
The multi-level rear yard features a 51-foot infinity edge pebble tech swimming pool, covered patios, barbecue and mature palm trees.
“Craig enjoyed the finer things in life and his home showed this. It is filled with custom furniture and elaborate artwork,” Lowman said. “The two elevators that were essential to his movement about the home were incorporated in such a way to add style and pizzazz rather then to be a burden or eyesore.”
Joan Schiller Travis can be reached at 702-338-9797 or JTwriter@cox.net.