What’s the Native’s Favorite Las Vegas Suburb?

Anthony Mair

The home of Ace Rothstein (Robert De Niro) in Casino, nestled in the Paradise Palms neighborhood. | Photo by Anthony Mair

I’ve long had a love affair with our clean, green neighbor, Boulder City, stretching back to my days as a restless teenager with my first VW. Boulder City was perfect: close enough to visit, hang out and return home without the parents even noticing, yet far enough away to feel like an honest day’s escape from pressures of Vegas life. All these years later, it still does.

Maybe it’s because Boulder City is one of just two Nevada towns that prohibit gambling (the other is Panaca). I’m no opponent of legalized vice (quite the opposite, actually), but the fact that Boulder City doesn’t have gambling of any kind forces it to be a different kind of place than its neighbors, one whose vibe is more aligned with Small Town America than Sin City. It doesn’t hurt that U.S. 93 runs right down its middle, Route 66 style.

Modern touches like brew pubs and wine bars rub up against dive bars (well, just one) and general stores; art shows share the central park with car shows; parades march alongside gorgeous 1930s bungalows. Adding to all of that, Boulder City celebrates longstanding traditions (Art In The Park is 55 years old this year) and protects its small town roots (only 120 residences can be built in any one year), making it a wonderful place to be and just minutes from all the action.

What’s the Native’s dream Las Vegas neighborhood?

As a Las Vegas lifer, I’ve resided in many brand-new apartments and homes west of the Strip (including Summerlin), but my daydreaming heart always gravitates back to the older ‘hoods: Paradise Palms, Scotch 80s, McNeil. My reasons are typical: character, proximity and engaged neighbors. Since I grew up in the center of town, living there grounds me to my past, something hard to find in our ever-changing landscape.

I’m no fan of gated neighborhoods, though, and that eliminates Rancho Bel Air, Rancho Circle (where I delivered newspapers), and the Las Vegas Country Club. So my “dream” neighborhood has to be Pinto Lane. Just a hop from my elementary school, Pinto Lane offered this decidedly middle-class kid a breath of rarefied air when riding my bike to school past stately homes on massive plots of land. The names of its past property owners say it all: Howard Hughes, prominent developer Irwin Molasky and many others. More recently, it’s been homegrown tennis phenomenon Andre Agassi and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, who recently put his $5 million estate up for sale. Sadly, that kind of coin isn’t in my bank account, but if it’s in yours, please invite me to the housewarming!

Have a question or comment about Las Vegas past, present or future? Send them to askanative@vegasseven.com