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Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Las Vegas Abandoned Construction Site #1

The Las Vegas area is littered with abandoned construction sites -- both commercial and residential.  5 years ago Las Vegas had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation -- now it's over 15%.  5 years ago the city was a boomtown -- construction cranes and building all over the valley.  I remember travelling to LV in 2005 and I counted over 20 huge construction cranes across the skyline.  Now most construction has ground to a halt. 

The photos below are from an area in Henderson called MacDonald Ranch.  MacDonald Ranch is a gated community of million and multi-million dollar homes.  Some of the richest people in the country have homes in MacDonald Ranch -- EBAY founder, Wal-Mart heirs, etc.  Part of MacDonald Ranch has been built, but a huge part of it has just been abandoned.  All the infrastructure is in place -- roads, water, sewer, and graded home sites.  However, the builder just walked away from the site and left thousands if not millions of dollars of equipment behind.  Perhaps one day construction will start again and the project will be finished.
Here’s a pano of the construction site.   Note this is just a small portion of the site.

MCDR pano

Here’s an aerial showing the location:

Map picture

Heavy equipment left behind.  Note – this stuff has not been moved in well over a year!

MCR site27 MCR site35 MCR site36
MCR site37 MCR site43 MCR site51

Building materials and equipment left behind to slowly rust and deteriorate:

MCR site16
 MCR site67
MCR site13
MCR site11 
MCR site02
MCR site23
MCR site04 
MCR site45
MCR site01 

All over the site are various sorts of batteries, half-full gas cans, and barrels of chemicals.

MCR site29 MCR site30 MCR site48 

Nature is slowing trying to reclaim the construction site:

MCR site38 MCR site39 MCR site55

Some of the home sites have stunning views of the Las Vegas valley.  Here’s a pano of one of them.  This home site is actually about mid way up the development.  There are sites even higher up in the hills!  This would be the view from the backyard of the home site:



  1. This a sad post. We see this stuff everywhere in Las Vegas, and it's more or less depressing (although optimists such as myself see opportunities here). But I appreciate the nice photos along with the social commentary. I wanted also to let you know that I work for a habitat restoration and land reclamation company called Soil Tech, and we restore old construction sites (and mining sites) back to nature, and we do it in such a way that it appears natural. Please check out their website when you get the chance, I think you will enjoy it. I really love Soil Tech as a company and I think you will too. The site is

  2. @soil:

    Thanks for the information. Interesting website also...

    I am curious as to who is responsible when a site gets abandoned like this one? With all the state and federal environmental laws, rules, mandates, etc., how can such a site be permitted?
    I would assume a bank now controls the property -- what responsibility do they have?

  3. This reminds me of all of the abandoned sites I used to explore around in las vegas in the 90s that were such a mystery to me. I used to wonder why these were here and sort of revel in the magic of them because they were being reclaimed by nature and by unruly teenagers. Now I see from the other perspective these sites where it isn't a mystery but I know it is some fools progress ground to a halt.

  4. @ jimmyhoofa: sorry i didn't get back to you earlier. you asked a great question, and I assume that the owner of the property has responsibility but I don't know for sure as these issues can get messy. i do know that banks are greedy; if they do a cost-benefit analysis and find that the cost of paying fines for state and federal regulations is less than the cost of reclaiming and restoring the land, then they will probably just pay the fines. perhaps the fines for this type of behavior should be increased significantly in Nevada to prevent more of this happening! thanks for the post!