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August 29, 2014

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Residents of Lake Las Vegas told recovery on the way

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak hosts community meeting

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Leila Navidi

Residents of Lake Las Vegas and others attend a town hall meeting led by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak on Thursday at Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson.

Town Hall at Lake Las Vegas

Lake Las Vegas resident Debera Hendricks speaks Thursday during a town hall meeting led by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak at Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson. Launch slideshow »

Map of Lake Las Vegas Resort

Lake Las Vegas Resort

1600 Lake Las Vegas Pkway, Henderson

Steve Sisolak

Steve Sisolak

At Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak’s town hall meeting at Lake Las Vegas on Thursday night, hundreds of residents and local officials expressed a desire for open communication and optimism.

Sisolak and Lake Las Vegas officials had a clear message: The glass is half full, and recovery is on the way.

During the two-hour meeting at Loews Lake Las Vegas, residents aired grievances with city officials and asked questions about the future of their lakeside community.

Many complained about landscaping and zoning issues, while others expressed concern that their home values are plummeting and asked what the city was doing to help.

Casino Montelago closed March 14, and The Ritz-Carlton will close May 2. Combined, more than 500 workers will lose their jobs.

“I can tell you from a business point of view, that hotel is worth a lot more open than it is closed,” Sisolak said. “Those golf courses will again be green.”

Lake Las Vegas Chief Operating Officer Jim Coyne said the development should emerge from bankruptcy by the end of June.

But attendees challenged officials to provide concrete signs that the situation is improving.

“Based on what should we be optimistic, to make us feel the glass is half full and not half empty?” asked Debera Hendricks, a six-year resident of Lake Las Vegas.

Sisolak called the situation a “quagmire” but said “it’s beginning to be untangled.”

Hendricks’ husband, Gary, head of the Tremonto Homeowners Association at Lake Las Vegas, said his concern was restoring the resort as a golf-centric community.

Lake Las Vegas’ two public courses, The Falls and Reflection Bay, went into foreclosure and closed last year.

Tourists “don’t come out here to go on a lake,” he said. “Why would anyone drive 20 minutes to do nothing?”

Sisolak said the resort still offered restaurants and recreation, but he agreed that the golf courses would be a key component in the development’s recovery.

Sisolak said he arranged the meeting because of the high number of calls he has received from Lake Las Vegas residents requesting information.

Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen and Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, whose ward includes Lake Las Vegas, also spoke at the meeting. Councilman Steve Kirk was also in attendance. Council members Kathleen Boutin and Debra March did not attend.

“Communication is key,” Schroder said. “We’ve turned the corner. Little by little, it’s all coming together.”

Hafen said there were a couple of items discussed, such as complaints about slow police response times, that he was not aware of. He echoed Schroder, saying he believed open discussion would aid recovery.

Hafen encouraged residents with questions about Lake Las Vegas to call the mayor’s office or contact the city through Henderson’s Web site at www.cityofhenderson.com.

“I don’t even live out here and I’m frustrated,” he said. “I know it’s frustrating, but we will come out of this a bigger, nicer, more beautiful Lake Las Vegas.”

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