Most people recognize Las Vegas, NV for its eye-catching mega-luxury hotels and casinos, amazing entertainment resorts, high-end shopping, and popular drive-thru wedding chapels along The Strip. But, for some of Hollywood’s most sought-after celebrities and society’s A-listers, it’s a great place to call home.
Read on to find out what makes Las Vegas the place to be for the rich and famous.
HOW LAS VEGAS CAME TO BE
Las Vegas is relatively young, having been founded only in 1905, starting out as a small settlement within the vast Mojave Desert. Its development as a city, however, was accelerated by the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1928. With the influx of workers coming to town, communities and establishments soon started cropping up to cater to them.
By 1931, gambling became legal in the state of Nevada. With this development, Downtown Las Vegas concentrated on becoming an entertainment hub for the Hoover Dam construction workers by building speakeasies, casinos, and more.
Ten years later, the beginnings of the Las Vegas Strip were well on their way, thanks to the debut of the El Rancho Vegas Luxury Resort. Then, in 1946, the Flamingo Hotel opened its doors and became a worthy competitor of El Rancho.
As the Strip and adjacent establishments grew, so did the volume of high-profile personalities and members of the moneyed set coming here. Suddenly, the demand for exclusive communities with amenities that were at par with the lifestyle requirements of these people skyrocketed. That demand led to the rise of gated and master-planned communities that are now considered the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas to date.
MOST EXPENSIVE NEIGHBORHOODS
People in the public eye put a high premium on privacy and security, especially when it comes to the place they call home. Las Vegas home builders and city planners understand that once these people have their fill of the excitement and thrills of the Strip, they’ll want to come home to an abode with custom features, luxury amenities, and enough wiggle room fit for the lifestyle they know.
Here are some of the most affluent Las Vegas neighborhoods that draw in celebrities and the well-to-do and then provide everything befitting their high-end lifestyle.
Bearing the rank of the 7th-highest per capita income in the country, MacDonald Highlands is one of the most affluent neighborhoods, not only in Las Vegas but in the rest of the United States.
Access is extremely tight and private thanks to the round-the-clock security detail. Its Tennis Complex is just as popular as its five championship courts are often used for professional tournaments, tennis clinics, and exhibition matches. Exclusive schools, fine dining, upscale shopping, and quality entertainment can all be found within this exclusive community.
Lots within the property range from $650,000 to as much as $2.5 million. Opulent, custom-built mansions are commonplace here. Floating terraces, disappearing walls, and wide exterior decks are some of the impressive features you will find in MacDonald Highlands homes.
Located in Summerlin, The Ridges has the highest concentration of custom homes in the area. Properties here can easily go up to a hefty $12 million, depending on the level of customization made.
One of the most appealing features of this neighborhood is its easy access to Red Rock Canyon. In fact, it has access points to some of the highest altitudes in all of Las Vegas Valley, thereby getting top, prime views of the city.
Tournament Hills gets its name from one of the venues of the Tournament Players Club (TPC) network based in Summerlin as this residential community is built around it, The golf course and its amenities have been recently closed to the public for renovations but Tournament Hills residents are still allowed access to the grounds and the clubhouse.
Apart from the golf course, locals can also easily go to the Hills Center Business Parks, the performing arts center, the library, and more.
Homes here come in architectural styles that complement the beautiful desert setting. Lots cover from 4,000 to 10,000 square feet of area and cost around $1.8 million.
For a family-friendly vibe, Southern Highlands does not disappoint. That’s because this community was thoughtfully planned and designed with growing families in mind. The streets are lined with trees, and there is an abundance of parks and walking trails for residents to enjoy and use for going around the community and beyond.
You will find a wide assortment of property types in Southern Highlands, from luxury real estate to newly constructed homes. With this diverse selection, you can be assured that there’s a property here that will be to your liking. Lot size here is at least half an acre. The sprawling lot area gives homeowners a vast number of options for customizing the property based on their personal tastes. New construction here has been developed by Nevada’s best homebuilders.
The Spanish Hills community opened in 1995 and is one of the more established luxury communities in Las Vegas. It got its name from the series of trails found near it and offers the utmost privacy and exclusivity with its guard-gated entrance and tight security within the neighborhood.
Houses in this community sit on expansive lots and are also highly customizable, although the default style influence is Mediterranean in nature – a preferred architectural style among desert locales and sprawling estates. Homes for sale here are priced anywhere from $2.5 million to $10 million.
Anthem Country Club
Country clubs are known to denote a high-end lifestyle and top-of-the-line materials among homes situated in the area. Thus, it is no wonder that it is the preferred home option for those who can afford to live the good life. Anthem Country Club in Las Vegas is just the kind of sought-after country club as this master-planned gated neighborhood is actually built around an 18-hole championship golf course.
In Anthem Country Club, you get the advantage of living relatively close to the Las Vegas Strip without being too exposed to the area’s constant din and bright lights.
Sprawling mansions with towering structures are typical sights in this neighborhood. Simpler Southwestern-style homes can go for $2.5 million, while elaborate custom-designed houses can go for $10 million or higher.
Country Club Hills
Everything in Country Club Hills feels extra – extra big, extra luxurious, extraordinarily extravagant. A majority of houses here consist of grand mansions fit for the wealthiest and most successful. In fact, an entire section here has been dubbed, “Billionaire’s Row.”
Mansions and estates in Country Club Hills are all custom designed. Those built between 1993 and 1999 were made by renowned builder Christopher Homes. The average price tag for these houses stands at $20 million.
Looking for a genuine oasis in the Las Vegas desert? You’ll find it in this upscale community that’s strategically located between Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Strip. With a Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf course, access to the great outdoors, tennis courts, a sweeping view of the city skyline, great wining and dining experiences, and more, this neighborhood is a testament to the perfect Vegas luxury lifestyle.
The Summit Club is one of the newcomers in the exclusive gated community scene, thus, providing home buyers the opportunity to become one of its earliest residents or investors. The Club Village is its very own version of the famed Las Vegas nightlife, making it a true all-inclusive community.
Custom-built homes are the norm here, with most showcasing modern architectural styles. Resort-style properties are also typical here, as well as the club villa style and desert bungalow.
CELEBRITIES WHO CHOOSE TO CALL LAS VEGAS HOME
Night View at Las Vegas
Since its fledgling days until now, the Las Vegas Strip has been the stage for some of the most spectacular onstage performances courtesy of talented performers who made a name for themselves in this exciting locale. A number of them decided to stay for good in the place that made them household names by having their estates built in some of the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas. Soon enough, other A-listers and celebrities in the fields of American film, music, and stage followed suit and made Las Vegas their home or special sanctuary away from the public eye. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that residents of gated communities here are bound to bump into these personalities in the local grocery or on the fairways.
Here are some of the famous people who decided to call Las Vegas home:
People who rose to fame in Las Vegas
- David Copperfield. He’s not just a magician – he’s an illusionist, and he has been thrilling Las Vegas audiences with his storytelling style of magic for 40 years already. He has a grand estate in Summerlin that he has been living in since 2016.
- Penn and Teller. This magician duo also lives permanently in Las Vegas. All of the talking parts of their performances are given to Penn Jillette who lives just outside Sin City while Teller, for his part, says less but makes up with show-stopping finales to their magic routines.
- Siegfried and Roy. A trip to the Strip was not complete without watching the amazing live performance of Siegfried and Roy with their lovely tigers and other exotic animals. An unfortunate onstage encounter with one of the duo’s tigers, however, signaled the end of their successful decades-long Las Vegas stint. Nevertheless, they managed to build a fortune in Sin City and built their grand estate named Little Bavaria. Both performers have since passed on. Meanwhile, there are rumors of Little Bavaria being demolished soon.
- Wayne Newton.Mr. Las Vegas himself lives in the place that turned him into a superstar. An iconic property, Casa de Shenandoah, used to be Wayne’s until he sold it for a smaller but still luxurious property in another part of the city.
- Carlo Santana. This legendary guitarist is known to have been a long-time resident of the city.
- Celine Dion. She may be born in Canada but this phenomenal songstress found her home in Las Vegas with her late husband and children. She and her three sons occupy a sprawling home in an exclusive waterfront community near Lake Las Vegas.
- Other famous musicians living in Las Vegas include Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, DJ Steve Aoki, and Public Enemy member Flavor Flav.
- Some of the most thrilling professional boxing matches are held in Las Vegas, so it’s no surprise that some of the sport’s legends have come to love the city. Two of them are Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Mike’s current home may not be as grandiose as his former mansion but it still has special amenities worthy of a man of his stature. Meanwhile, Floyd’s opulent Seven Hills estate has its own private gate and all the trappings of the high-end lifestyle he’s known to flaunt.
- Wimbledon may no longer be on their minds as these two tennis greats have since retired and made a home for themselves in the desert setting of Las Vegas. The high-profile couple of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf have been married for around two decades and are now long-time residents of the city.
Film and TV stars
- Nicolas Cage. This Hollywood actor won an Oscar for his stellar performance in the dark and tragic 1995 film, Leaving Las Vegas, but in reality, he never left the city. He still lives in Sin City near the Strip, together with his exotic animals.
- Holly Madison. A reality star who got into the limelight for her former relationship with the late Playboy billionaire Hugh Hefner has made a decent fortune for herself and owns a home in one of Sin City’s neighborhoods.
- Carrot Top. A prolific comedian who rose in popularity in the 90s, Carrot Top brought his stand-up routine to Las Vegas and set up residence here ever since.
THE APPEAL OF VEGAS AMONG FAMOUS PEOPLE
With the Strip being a favorite destination of the rich and famous, it’s not surprising that the moneyed set would want to have a place near the area where they can retire after a day of indulging in this locale’s amenities. Given their high-end tastes, they prefer communities that offer the kind of lifestyle they are used to. And this is exactly what Las Vegas’ exclusive communities have in spades.
Let’s look into the factors that draw in personalities and celebrities alike to Las Vegas.
The desert may not seem ideal for an urban center with a host of classy residential communities, and yet, Las Vegas is thriving.
Officially located in Clark County, Vegas is situated in a basin within the Mojave Desert. The surrounding rocky mountains and the desert flora and fauna serve as the perfect backdrop for the city and its colorful vibe. Moreover, thanks to human resourcefulness, versatility, and creativity, this desert city has been transformed into a livable and remarkable oasis with cooling systems in its golf courses and exciting things to do come sundown when it’s much cooler.
The Mojave also provides some of the most spectacular natural attractions, especially for outdoor enthusiasts among Vegas residents and visitors. Excluding the city center itself and the populated suburbs, most of Las Vegas is still composed of wide-open spaces and trails that invite the more adventurous and active to explore and take in the beauty of the desert setting.
One thing that’s common among many luxury homes in Las Vegas is the desire of their builders to complement the desert setting instead of going too bold or too modern in their aesthetic. That’s why even custom-built homes here tend to lean toward the Southwestern architectural style, specifically Adobe, which uses rustic materials like wood, stone, brick, and stucco. Materials like these usually come in natural, earthy tones that make the perfect complement to the natural desert scene. This style also uses rough textures for the exterior, as well as rounded shapes – like curves and arches – to soften edges.
The Southwestern style also employs a lot of space in its exteriors, as seen in long porches or verandas, making them perfect for welcoming and entertaining guests.
A unique feature of this architectural style is the irregular placement of elements, such as windows and parapets. A Southwestern-style house would also likely have a red roof, either made of tiles or flat sheets.
Not what you think it is
Even though Las Vegas has a reputation that earned it the nickname of Sin City, in reality, it is quite family-friendly, thrilling, and wholesome. Both long-time residents and new settlers find Vegas to be the perfect home with so many opportunities for enjoying the good life, where glitz and glamor meet adventure and exploration.
WHAT TO EXPECT UPON MOVING TO AN EXCLUSIVE LAS VEGAS COMMUNITY
Night View at Las Vegas
The City of Las Vegas has some of the most affluent and all-inclusive communities, so it’s no wonder that many would want to invest in real estate or live here permanently. But what can they expect once they make the move to any of the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas?
Being in the desert, Las Vegas has a subtropical hot desert climate. Thus, you can expect days to be mostly dry and arid, with temperatures that can go past 95°F. Summers are when temps soar up to 104°F, so light clothing is advisable, especially during this time of the year.
The desert cools down by evening, especially during the Christmas holidays when the temperature is at a mild 39°F. Snow is unheard of here but Las Vegas has its occasional bouts with rain, especially during the first quarter of the year. Best to have your umbrella ready during these months.
The drive toward a greener, more sustainable Las Vegas
Even as the city continues to grow, Las Vegas has been championing the advocacy of preserving the surrounding natural ecosystem so that the city grows with it, not over it. This is the vision behind its policies built toward sustaining the natural environment. So far, it has been successful in its cause.
Various programs have been put into place to ensure that the whole of Las Vegas – both natural and manmade – is kept beautiful, green, and sustainable for generations to come. That said, every Las Vegas resident and visitor is required to follow protocols in the following aspects:
- Water conservation
- Renewable energy
- Waste and recycling
- Land use and mobility
- Urban forestry
Las Vegas has so much more to offer than the bright lights of the Strip and its downtown area. The Mojave Desert certainly has so much to give in terms of adventures, scenic vistas, and more.
If you think the Mojave has always been an arid expanse, think again. There was a time when the area was lush with foliage and some of the most massive creatures that have ever walked on this planet. Evidence of this can be found at the Tule Springs fossil beds, known to be one of the best spots to find Ice Age fossils anywhere in the world.
There’s also the Valley of Fire State Park that lies north of Lake Mead where visitors are treated to boldly colored sandstone cliffs fashioned by the forces of nature over time. You will also find prehistoric man’s documentation of their lives in the area in the form of petroglyphs etched in several areas of the park.
Most of all, there’s none more iconic among Las Vegas’ natural landmarks than Red Rock Canyon, so named for the red hues of the rock faces here. Home to some of the best outdoor hiking trails, the desert landscape here glows a beautiful, fiery red as the sun moves along the horizon.
WORK WITH GAVIN ERNSTONE
Gavin Ernstone is the real estate agent to trust as you embark on your search for the perfect luxury home in Las Vegas. In his stellar career spanning over 25 years, Gavin has become one of the top luxury home agents in Las Vegas, thus, earning the respect of colleagues in the industry. He has sold multi-million dollar homes in the most exclusive of communities and dealt with the most high-profile clients, including a number of celebrities.