Bonnie Springs Ranch (FOX5)

Bonnie Springs Ranch (FOX5)

UPDATE: Bonnie Springs Ranch announced on Tuesday the last date of operation would be March 17. 

In a Facebook post, the ranch's page wrote, "Hope your memories are as good as ours and we thank you for your patronage over the years."

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - The Clark County Planning Commission approved a developer’s plan to turn Bonnie Springs Ranch into a housing development.

Previous items on the agenda ran long so both sides pleaded their case late into early morning hours Wednesday, more than seven hours after the meeting started.

"We would argue that plopping down 20 mcmansions in the middle of one of the most beautiful scenic places in Nevada will mar it irreparably,” said one speaker advocating against the sale of Bonnie Springs. "The scenic vistas is part of why Red Rock is so special to people. And this will impact it significantly."

"Everybody should be happy that we're not standing here trying to build 10,000 square foot lots or 6,000 square foot lots,” said the developer in response.

The ranch is expected to close in mid-March. That means Bonnie Springs’ days are numbered. Before it was a beloved attraction, it was a natural spring where travelers and businesses would their water back in the 1840s.

The land was purchased by Bonnie McGaugh in 1952 when it was just a bar and a small home.

“Bonnie McGaugh is the reason we're talking about Bonnie Springs,” UNLV associate professor of history Michael Green said. “She was the one who got into it, she ran a little bar out there, married a guy named Al Levinson. And over the years, Bonnie really was in charge of it. Eventually her kids took it over. But it was her legacy in a way."

Green not only specializes in local history, he’s the director of the Nevada Preservation Foundation. He said visitors should get to know the ‘Bonnie’ behind Bonnie Springs.

“She had been a dancer, a show girl, a skater,” Green said. “And apparently she and her mother were involved in a turkey farm and they were delivering turkeys. And she saw the area and just fell in love with it. And in many ways she was the heart of it."

Bonnie Levinson grew Bonnie Springs into what it was.

"Bonnie Springs just [became] a staple, it just does in part because it is unique,” said Green. “There was nothing else like it out here. Over the course of time, as Bonnie and her family were adding things to it, it became more known in the community. It was a place to go. It was a place to experience the old west."

Levinson died in 2016. Her children have been running the ranch since. If the sale goes through, Bonnie Springs will include 20 new homes, a motel and a barn.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

Recommended for you

(1) comment


Children .....Greed !

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.