Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 | noon
Location: At the intersection of U.S. 93 and Highway 168, about 60 miles north of Las Vegas. Right on the border between Clark and Lincoln counties.
GPS: 36.800391°, -114.945485°
Elevation: 2,322 feet
The plans for Coyote Springs were grand, if not grandiose. At more than 40,000 acres, it wasn't a master-planned community as much as it was a city. Originally, there were plans to build more than 150,000 homes, golf courses, resorts, schools and stores. About an hour away from Las Vegas, it would have served as a bedroom community.
The plans were the brainchild of renowned lobbyist Harry Whittemore, a political power broker who used his skill to pave the way for Coyote Springs. A power transmission line was moved off his property and built across the road on federal property. Water rights were tied into a deal with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
But then came the Great Recession, and the project stalled. Bad blood developed between Whittemore and his partners, and Whittemore was pushed out. There were ugly allegations and dueling lawsuits. Before those lawsuits were quietly settled, Whittemore became the target of a federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions. The once-powerful lobbyist was indicted and convicted.
The city he intended to build is empty. The graded dirt features the outline of the great plans for Coyote Springs, but there are no houses, schools, stores or resorts.
But there is a golf course. And it’s not just any golf course. It’s a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Although all of the facilities, like a restaurant and a full clubhouse, are yet to be finished, the course is a beauty, and it’s open. Tee times are available, and with the lack of residents nearby, it doesn’t appear to be too difficult to get on the course.
If you go: The golf course’s website can be found here. It promises locals’ rates, so bring your Nevada ID. There is no restaurant, but there are sandwiches and snacks available. There are no services, so make sure you have enough gas to make it back to Interstate 15.