Bonnie Springs Ranch Reportedly Sold, Set to Close

A popular Las Vegas attraction, Bonnie Springs Ranch, has been sold and will close.

Upon news of the sale, we contacted the Bonnie Springs Motel and were informed while employees haven’t been officially notified of the sale, the motel won’t take reservations beyond Feb. 2019.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Springs Ranch was a portal to another, much sweatier, time.

According to sources, Bonnie Springs Ranch will be leveled by April, including its zoo and buildings.

Bonnie Springs Ranch is touted as a replica of an Old West town and is located in the Red Rock Canyon area, 20 miles west of Las Vegas.

The ranch spans 63 acres.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Let’s just say Bonnie Springs Ranch has a lot of old-timey charm.

The “Bonnie” in Bonnie Springs Ranch comes from Bonnie McGaugh, the woman who purchased the ranch in 1952.

McGaugh, a one-time dancer and showgirl, passed away in 2016.

While she purchased the ranch in 1952, the ranch’s history dates back to 1840, or approximately “like a bajillion years ago” in Millennial years.

Fun fact: The zoo at Bonnie Springs Ranch started when the owner took in two two pygmy goats from (wait for it) Wayne Newton.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Tweren’t nothing fancy, but people seemed to like it.

Wikipedia mentions speculation Bonnie Springs Ranch is haunted, but we won’t elaborate because ghosts don’t actually exist and there’s already plenty of stupidity in the world.

Here’s us talking about the rumored sale of Bonnie Springs Ranch on Channel 8, because we sort of always have to make things about us.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Racial sensitivity, be damned, we’re having a rootin’-tootin’ good time!

It’s unknown what plans the buyer of Bonnie Springs Ranch might have for the sprawling site, or its zoo animals or Old West artifacts.

Update (1/8/19): A source tells us Bonnie Springs Ranch was sold for $25 million. Following our scoop, shared plans have been filed with Clark County to divide up the ranch into 22 parcels for residential housing. Documents show the buyer of Bonnie Springs Ranch is Joel Laub, former CEO of Astoria Homes.

Update (1/9/19): Our story has been confirmed by a number of sources. It’s expected the sale will be finalized in March 2019 when demolition will begin, but the buyer has agreed construction will not start until the zoo animals are relocated. Plans call for 20 homes to be built (each 2-3 acres), as well as a 25-room motel and 5,400-square foot event barn, whatever that might actually be.

Update (3/12/19): When will Bonnie Springs close? March 17, 2019. This was shared on the Bonnie Springs Ranch Facebook page.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Springs Ranch is riding off into the sunset.

84 thoughts on “Bonnie Springs Ranch Reportedly Sold, Set to Close

  1. Boulder Steve

    Never heard of the place. Guess if I want to check it out better get my butt in gear. Not long for this world.

    1. Peaches

      Theres a special place in hell for people like Mr.Laub…progress my butt.. Its destruction of our history..and shame on family who sold it! Just keep building youll see what happens! Mother Earth will eventually claim her planet..

      1. Achilles

        I agree!!! This is bs!! Money hungry assholes!! What’s gonna happen to all those animals?!! Heart breaking!!! Smh

      2. Morty

        Who are all these haters? Wow! Never seen so much venom toward a person who did not do anything wrong. 2016 has had some major side effects I guess. Mr. Laub is not evil, he just bought some beautiful land that you would have wanted to buy for yourself if you had the money—that’s all this is: Envy.
        Turns out Envy is evil, not Mr. Laub.

    2. Achilles

      Exactly!!! My kids love going there too! I got money stuck to the walls in there!! Decades of memories!!! Money hungry assholes! Vegas doesn’t need no more homes either!!! We’re already crowded!!! Bonnie springs is the home of those beautiful animals!

      1. Lisa J Huizinga

        I’ve been going there for years….I take people from out of town there for a little get a way from the city lights all the time… My kids are grown now and remember going there many times…It was a treat to see Bonnie sitting at the end of the bar several times visiting with the customers. I knew Bonnie and her passion for her beautiful getaway. She would feel sad if she knew. I will truly miss this place. Lots of wonderful memories… I don’t get why they couldn’t buy somewhere else and leave this place alone…… It’s always packed for breakfast and lunch….Visit it while you can! And, take the train ride too. Feeling SAD :((

    3. Ricardo

      Yeah, cause nobody is allowed to do with their property as they desire. I honestly don’t know, but I assume the in-place zoning would be pretty restrictive. I’d rather have Bonnie Sorings as it is forever, but 2-3 homes per acre and some sort of central facility doesn’t exactly sound like a major rape and pillage of the land. The reason we have Spring Mountain Ranch as a public resource today is that there was a public outcry against Fletcher Jones and his partners taking the property on a condo/ golf course development path. Maybe if we the people could organize a funding drive to buy the land at a fair profit from this Laub guy, a similar preservation could occur; better idea than cursing a guy for daring to change something he owns.

    4. Janjira Williams

      How can you live in Vegas&not heard of BonnieSpringRanch?!whenever I got friends&families from out of town I always included the ranch as part of Vegas tour.that place is so sad to see it gone soon.

  2. William Wingo

    It has its own Wiki entry: It’s also shown on wikimapia, about 1/3 of the way to Pahrump and well off the beaten track out among the gypsum mines. Coordinates are 36°3’30″N 115°26’59″W.

    Maybe they’ll tear it down and build timeshares like they did with Nevada Landing at Jean….uh, sorry.

    There was once a similar “desert ghost-town” attraction South of Las Vegas and just East of Boulder highway, but that area is all housing developments now.

    Anyway, it’s another end of an era. Wonder what will happen to the animals.

    1. Ken valentino

      It’s not only the acumbag developers it’s the scumbag politicians who sell is out for they’re own greedy interests like Steve sisolak who is one of the people who voted to let developers build a housing development across from Bonnie springs and red rock up on the ridge .

      1. Janjira Williams

        It’s not the politicians.its Bonnie’s greedy useless children.they inherited the ranch from parents&too lazy to do real they sold it for$31million. I bet they spend all of that within a year&be homeless&broke.i wish the parents made some sort of stipulations on the will about their useless kids inheriting&selling to developers.

    2. Alicia Bergner

      I miss Red Rock being the place to go climbing and watch “battle of the bands”. I worry that Mt. Charleston’s old lodge is next. We have so few old landmarks in the Vegas valley and Bonnie Springs was a true treasure.

    3. Nelson Warren

      First, he is a Las Vegas Developer since at least 1977. Scumbag or not, I’ll let you decide.

      Second, Howard Hughes did not live at the Spring Mountain Ranch (aka Howard Hughes property), he bought it to tear down the buildings there and put up condos and the like but could not get zoning permission. Spring Mtn ranch is a Nevada State park so I don’t expect that it will be sold any time soon. I know this because my mother was one of the first park rangers when the park became a state park.

      For those of you who are going to miss Bonnie Springs, take a look at Spring Mtn park, no fake gun fights, no bar, no zoo, but if you want a place to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of the red rocks area (perhaps with a picnic lunch) it is the place to go.

    1. Marsha

      I got married there in June 2000. My husband and I made sure to come back and have a new picture taken in front of the chapel in 2010. Was planning on 2020 but I guess thats not going to happen.

  3. Chris Fehrman

    Thats disappointing to hear. My grandchildren loved the ranch last year. Another less expensive fun attraction gone.

  4. Bryan Eggers

    Great reporting on this. Like others have said, no one would buy a huge piece of property with an old ranch unless they were going to bulldoze it and build houses. I’ve never been to this place but it looks like fun.

  5. Dennis Vincent

    Whoa man…. Thats like my favorite place since I was 2 yrs old. I used to set the aggressive llhama loose on the tourist. I was kicked out once for chasing a chicken. Good times.

  6. Heléne

    I’ve lived out 4 generations of BONNIE SPRINGS Memories. All 4 seasons for 50+ years were beautiful. It will be highly missed, especially the Zoo & its famous BONNIE BURGER.
    The Stanford, Laatikainen and Bailey families with miss our great adventures!!!!
    If you haven’t ever gone there, don’t go now… leave bbn oout for the decades of Fans.
    THANK YOU BONNIE, for sharing your beautiful old Ranch with us.

    1. Dawn

      Wonder if we can a petition started to make this a historical land mark??? Just a thought…I went there as a kid, I’ve taken my kids and was looking forward to taking my grandkids….

  7. Kunochi Turtledove

    Sue Miller (my foster mother) was the leader of a Girl Scout Troop in the 1980’s & I was in that Troop. We went on many outings, & one was to Bonnie Springs Ranch. I loved the little zoo. It saddens me that another piece of Red Rock Canyon is gone.

  8. Jess

    What!!?! This is Ridiculous. What about the animals? They have to have more info than this. This is part of my childhood being crushed into pieces. I hate that everything is being destroyed.

  9. Lisa

    This is so sad……
    We’ve gone horse back riding there & we go visit the zoo & feed the animals…..
    I’m so scared for what will happen to the animals…..

  10. Mike

    I hope they are smart enough to auction off all the little things that made it an interesting place. Who doesn’t need red a train or wooden Indian statue.

    My family has been going to Bonnie Springs for several generations. It’s sad it’s fallen into such disrepair. When we were there’ a few months ago the inlytthibg active were the turtles in the pond. Everything else looked worn out and unmaintained.
    I hope it is rebuilt into something locals will continue to love and use and not someones private ranch.

  11. Holly Lynn

    This is hearbreaking it is true!! A fav place of mine and many since childhood! What is going to happen to all the animals in the Petting Zoo?? This is horrible!!!

  12. Holly Lynn

    CORRECTION: This is heartbreaking if it is true!?! A fav place of mine and many since childhood! What is going to happen to all the animals in the Petting Zoo?? This is horrible!!!

  13. Tammy Reese

    This is the saddest thing I have heard in a long time. My husband and children were born in Las Vegas and we went to Bonnie Springs all the time. The Bonnie burgers were great. I have years worth of pictures.

  14. Beverly Mason

    Went to Bonnie Springs every year for over 20 years. Our children and our grandchildren love going there. The ride going there was beautiful. Seeing the wild horses and donkeys was always exciting to the kids. When we would have visitors from other states we would that a ride to Bonnie Springs. So many fun things to do there. We have great memories from going there. Thank you Bonnie Springs for so many years of great family fun. Very Sad.

  15. Robert G

    Bye Bonnie Springs, you have gotten very run down in the last 10 years. I’m excited to see what will be here. In this area with the money spent, I’m sure it will be beautiful!

  16. Nonya

    Millennials are almost 30 now, please stop dumbing us down. The current generation of teenagers is called Gen-Z. Thanks.

  17. David Lundgren

    Figures that another developer will ruin such a marvelous place for the sake of more homes. The last thing Vegas needs is more housing spoiling the landscape and using up resources

  18. D

    What a shame. I grew up in Vegas, I’ve been going
    to Bonnie Springs all my life. I’ve taken my kids all their lives and now my grandkids. It was always something fun do outside of the city. Bonnie Springs is part of our history and now it’s being torn down for houses that are not needed. Heartbreaking.
    Please stop destroying our history and our beautiful mountains.

  19. Dan

    Why on earth would you destroy such a beautiful area by putting in a bunch of houses! It should of been remodeled and made into a nice getaway from the city. As a native Vegan I am truly disappointed by this news. I know it is run down at this time, but it could be such a shame to see it go. A lot of memories out there.

  20. Josh Boyd

    Bonnie Springs is one of the best places Vegas had to offer for families and kids. I tell everyone visiting about it. When my kids were younger, we went there a lot. Closing it will be a big loss!

  21. Patricia Canfield

    Wow, what a shame! Does anyone care about where families can go and feel safe and let their children have fun!!!
    I have been going there since 1980, took my children, grandchildren and company
    ..I still visit Bonnie Springs. I know they are struggling, but another housing development, come on… really!!!
    Blue Diamond is not a real suitable place due to location…you think Bonnie Springs is the answer….I beg to differ!!
    it is so sad people think they can make a gold mine out of Las Vegas history or other people who are trying hard to preserve some of our history regardless of what it takes…
    People love to destroy important landmarks in our area!

  22. Patricia Canfield

    My thoughts are certainly expressed in the above paragraphs! Why not rebuild Bonnie Springs and make it a BIG tourist attraction for families!! You will still make plenty of revenue, have your take families out and see the real Vegas country!

    1. Patricia Canfield

      This is my 3rd attempt at leaving a reply, perhaps you do not want to listen to what I have to say!
      Bonnie Springs needs to be built has a great tourist attraction, not another housing development! Something were tourist can bring there families and see the west, not homes and not glitter!

        1. Scott Roeben Post author

          That is not the case. I only delete comments when there’s name calling or whenever I feel like deleting comments.

  23. Cindy Reed

    It’s so sad to see it go. I was born & raised in Las Vegas left for 21yrs. I always came back for vacation and one year brought a friend that had never been here, we took her to Bonney Springs and we all had a lot of fun. It was a great place to go away from town.

  24. Dale & Gord Patterson

    Always our favorite spot each yearly visit for the last 30+ years. Shared it with many friends and family over the years! Great memories! Celebrated it with our Granddaughter again last May when in town – we had taken her when she was only a year old, great fun seeing her enjoy the various animals! So sad to see yet another Old Vegas memory fade away. Too bad the new developer cannot incorporate some of the Bonnie Springs history into his plans.

  25. Robert shipyon

    Enjoyed my visits to Bonny Springs over the past 45 years or so. It is run down and the family had the right to sell, the county or state had the opportunity to purchase it for it’s historical significance but didn’t. 61 acres divided into 22 parcels for what. New owner is gonna want a return for his investment I’m sure. That valley is a stark contrast to the Vegas valley. It was a nice getaway when the city got to be too much. I guess we have to see what the trusted elected officials lol and developer have in mind for this area. The assumed outcome will be palms will be greased, ordinances will be revamped, bs public hearings conducted, zoning changes and something will be done out there that residents won’t like much but those with a lot of money will say benefits the city as a whole. We’ve seen this movie before.

  26. mirsa Aldana

    Wow.i it is one of the most beautiful places in Las Vegas. Were you able to make family reunions. And breathe the fresh air, have fun,
    Is a relaxing place

  27. Jane

    My thoughts to the author….
    1. The oldest Millennials are in their early 30’s, so sweet burn.
    2. Your entitled jokes to lighten up the article aren’t entertaining, they don’t come off as fun and light hearted like you hoped they would. (or maybe you weren’t going for the vibe, either way it’s dickish)
    3. Quit journalism

    1. Mike

      Who said this is journalism?

      If you can’t tell the difference between a newspaper/journalistic resource and a blog, which Vital Vegas is, you should quit the Internet.

      Those who read the Internet and assume it qualifies as journalism are a danger… to themselves.

  28. Cassie

    To hell with the new owners! You have no no heart to keep this place the way it’s supposed to be, which is historical and should be left as so. You people are sad and should be ashamed of yourselves! Damn with you developers.

  29. Mike

    I wanted to chime in and note how surprised I am that this story, of all stories, has generated such traffic to your website. And then I looked at one of the last few comments before posting my kudos to you and realize I probably shouldn’t congratulate you for all the traffic you’re getting. But the clicks don’t discriminate. Crazy clicks count, too!

  30. Laina Stock

    So sad that a place that has a beautiful place like this and tear it down out of pure greed…..not to mention all the homes sitting empty already and then there’s the shortage of water but hey history isn’t important to this person or your city….shame shame

  31. Brian

    For as old as it is and it’s history get it declared a historical monument And I won’t be able to terret down and build anything there

  32. Fran andrews

    Soooooo Sad to hear of this sale of Bonnie Sprongs.. Never thought that would ever happen.. This place just one word was AWESOME ! And upset that they are going to build more homes…. I just cannot believe that they are going to make more homes? With the water situation in crisis.. Hate the changes for our beautiful Vegas ! Some things need to stay the way they are.

  33. Eric

    I guess EVERYONE’S an “idiot” just because they are expressing their OWN opinions
    which they are perfectly entitled to.

    You’re expressing your opinion Tina.

    So what’s that make YOU?

  34. AnneMarie Aldorasi-DeRenard

    Ok, so now we’ll have a bunch of new desert dwellers wanting to kill any wild animals that get into their properties. This is where they (the animals, wild and the ones there in the small zoo) have lived for so many years, now the earth movers will tear everything up and they’ll all be displaced.
    As far as it being sold I guess while the owner was alive she would not sell the property but now that she is gone whoever she left it to can do whatever they want with it. I love it out there. So much fun and such a great way to spend a relaxing day.
    So I’m sorry it is going to be gone now forever. I hope the new owners take into consideration all the old artifacts & stories and somehow preserve them. Maybe build a small building for people to visit, that would be nice.

  35. TheMultiplex

    Reading these comments has been…illuminating.

    When things like this happen (“beloved local thing goes out of business, is bought by others”) it’s always the same thing. “I loved that place!” Then why’d you and everyone else stop going?

    “Greedy developers, they should build (insert nice thing like a park or similar business) instead.” You pay for it then. Go buy it. Get a group of concerned citizens to raise the capital to buy it and save the day! But you don’t really care, you just hate change. Especially if it impinges on nostalgia.

    “The city/state should buy it or make it a historical landmark!” Why? It’s a private business and it has failed. No one’s taking the memories away from you, you and your kids can make great memories plenty of other places. Nothing lasts forever. Etc. Make it a landmark, great! Now it can sit there closed and slowly rot, or just sink taxpayer money into something we know people don’t want anymore. How fun.

    It’s the “we don’t need anymore homes/it’s too crowded” comments that are the most infuriating. I didn’t realize it had been decided Vegas was full. How convenient that you get to decide no one else can move here because it’s no longer to your taste. You move somewhere smaller then. And hold on, *looks at the gobs of empty land surrounding the city*, no, I think there’s still some room to expand if we want.

    And of course the usual “damn California people moving here, rabble rabble rabble.” Just shut the fuck up. You’re not special because you got here first. They’re not worse because they’re getting here now. Considering the brief history of this city, the number of 3rd generation or older people living here is minuscule. It’s a free country. They can relocate and build homes wherever they’d like, and so can you if you don’t like it.

    If only all these angry people would direct their anger at the real enemy. Parking and resort fees.

    1. Jay

      Sound reasoning and logic likely won’t work on this kind of crowd. I love reading comments on articles like this, because it reminds me of how much people truly want socialism, but would deny that, and don’t understand how private property works.

  36. E. Marie R.

    Sad to here some more history is disappearing. First off Ghosts are real and second of all, if you don’t know what an Event Barn is, you should’ve done your homework!

  37. Willie

    Well folks, it turns out Joel Laub originated from Calgary, Canada, and so is Astoria Homes. However, he only builds homes in Las Vegas and has a home here as well. It’s too bad Las Vegas is growing as rapidly as it is. The sad thing is places like Bonnie Springs Ranch is destroyed for a dollar. Blame the ones who inherented the place and Clark County for approving it for tax dollars. I hate to see all our history around the United States disappear.

  38. Diane G.

    All this hatred towards the developer, but the family sold the land. It all falls on them. If we don’t want the land developed, then we have to stop selling it to them.

  39. Terry Wilsey

    Laub is just ati business man. BUTT so is Trump. America must finally come to appreciate Mother Natures BOTTOM Line the .ENVIRONMENT. Sadly both Rhodes and now Laub etc DE-GREEN the Valley more with NON sequential leapfrog development. Lets consider IN FILL that considers GREEN affordable housing with convenient transportation. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE IDEA OF A “RING AROUND THE VALLEY”. LV/CC HAS ALMOST NEVER HAD TRULY CREATIVE PLANNING. I too have enjoyed Bonnie Springs and chatting with Bonnie and eating steaks, petting the animals, overnighting at the motel after a performance at Spring Mtn Ranch and doing a horseback ride in the morning. Sadly Las Vegas has had relatively little respect for history/herstory (Bonnie). Lets hope the developer(s) PAY the current and future costs of Utilities, Sanitation, Roads etc and don’t leave the rest of us to underwrite their costs

  40. Robert Kimmel

    Did anyone notice that Bonnie Springs is in the middle of Nowhere? Plenty of surrounding land to build if needed. Why would any investor need that spot to develop is beyond me?

  41. Christy Abercrombie

    Sad. Yuck, more hideous construction on beautiful land. Part of Las Vegas History bulldozed over for a buck. My grandparents knew the original owner and I’m sure they are all miserable with this turn of events. I’m sure its only a matter of time before developers find a way to start building right up to the mountains. Sorry future generations.

  42. Andre'

    As a 65 year Las Vegas resident, I am disgusted that the Levinsen family didn’t explore a sale to such as the Nature Conservancy or State Park system. Although private property, Bonnie Springs has been essentially a public use area and now this part on Nevada’s natural treasure will be another of Earth’s last best places to be enjoyed only by the very richest of it’s citizens. It is a disturbing precedent for intrusion into this natural wonder. Where are our elected representatives to champion a solution to benefit all residents; not just the most well off and well connected. This is not smart public policy planning to allow this scar in Red Rock also an important tourist destination. Such a disgrace!

  43. Heidi S Regner-Refior

    How the Hell is this place not a Historical Monument. This place absolutely discuss me. Is nothing sacred? Or is everyone just so greedy that anything to mk a buck they will do. Haunted to boot what they gonna end up w a Amityville Neighborhood

    1. Harry

      It seems to be the trend everywhere… that is nice peaceful and close to Nature.
      Wherever there’s a nice quiet wholesome place here come the developers to screw it up.
      As a native miamian I’ve seen it happen to my city.
      What were once pristine Clear Waters are becoming polluted.
      All in the name of money.???
      As a yearly visitors to Las Vegas.
      I would always visit Bonnie Springs Ranch and get off the chaos and nonsense of the strip…. it’s sacrilegious to develop that sacred ground.
      Las Vegas is headed in the same direction as South Beach,
      San Francisco, Etc…… soon the traffic will be gridlock in all directions. ?
      A lot of local politicians are getting their palms greased……GREED
      And Corruption.
      My heart goes out to all the locals as well as the visitors….
      Blessings and peace be with you?

      PS…. I want my dollar bill from the bar back……?


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