Las Vegas Sun

January 18, 2018

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Henderson: History of Excellence

During the past 12 years, the city of Henderson has transformed from a small town into Nevada's second-largest city. But this transformation was not accomplished by accident.

"It is important that people understand that what we have here is not just accidental success," said Mayor James B. Gibson. "You don't ever have success that lasts by accident."

The success is evident. Under the leadership of Gibson, the city has been recognized for its foresight and vision, and has received many national, state and local awards, a sample of which are listed here. Each of these recognitions represents the dedication, commitment and hard work of the entire city council, management and employees of the city of Henderson.

These recognitions also reflect the commitment to the families and businesses in Henderson, sustaining the mayor and city council's vision to remain one of the best cities in which to live, work and play in America.


  • 1997 – 144,558
  • 2009 – approximately 270,000

Square Miles

  • 1997 – 76.1715 square miles
  • 2009 – 105.416 square miles

Assessed Valuation

  • Fiscal Year 1996-1997: $2,000,222,916
  • Fiscal Year 2008-2009: $16,308,288,716

Bond Rating Standard & Poor's

  • 1997: A+
  • 2009: AA+


  • 1997: A1
  • 2009: Aa2

Community Amenities, City Buildings and Facilities Completed

  • Acacia Park and Demonstration Gardens
  • Arroyo Grande Sports Complex
  • Bird Viewing Preserve
  • Fire Training Facility and five fire stations
  • Henderson City Hall expansion, remodel and parking garage
  • Henderson Events Plaza
  • Liberty Pointe complex, including the Henderson Pavilion, Henderson Multigenerational Center and Aquatics Complex, West Police Station and Paseo Verde Library
  • Wildhorse Golf Course, the city's first municipal golf course In Progress
  • Heritage Park Senior and Aquatic Facilities
  • Justice Facility expansion
  • North Police Station
  • Southwest Water Reclamation Facility

Park and Facility Acreage*

Henderson residents have demonstrated their support of parks, trails and recreation facilities by approving more than $54.6 million in voter-approved bonds.

  • 1997 – 433 acres
  • 2008 – 1,107 acres

* City of Henderson residents enjoy additional acres of trails, open spaces and medians not reflected in the total acres listed.

Major Developments

Between 1997 and 2009, more than 20 master-planned communities have been completed in the city of Henderson. During this period, nearly all development southwest of today's 215 and 515 interstates were developed, as well as Calico Ridge, South Valley Ranch and more than half of the city's more than 110,000 housing units.

A few highlights include:

  • Anthem, including Anthem Country Club, Anthem Highlands, Coventry Homes at Anthem, Madeira Canyon, Solera, Sun City Anthem and three golf courses. The total development includes 2,535 acres and is nearing its projected build-out of 13,700 residential units.
  • Water Street District
  • Green Valley Ranch Resort and surrounding development, including The District
  • Inspirada, the first New Urbanist Project approved in Southern Nevada, which covers 1,940 acres and is approved for 13,500 residential units at build-out
  • Nevada State College
  • Sunset Station
  • Fiesta Henderson (formerly The Reserve)
  • The M Resort
  • Ascaya Master-Planned Community (formerly known as Crystal Ridge)
  • St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus
  • Development of Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area
  • Adoption of the city's award-winning Open Space and Trails Plan
  • West Henderson Annexation of 3,500 acres
  • Henderson AutoMall expansion

Major Businesses Moving to or Expanding in Henderson include:

  • Cashman Equipment
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Poly West
  • Touro University
  • University of Southern Nevada
  • 13 higher-education institutions
  • More than 300 new businesses
  • More than $1.5 billion in economic impact in last 10 years

Room Inventory and Visitor Volume Room Inventory:

  • 1997 — 1,183
  • 2009 — 3823

In 2009, more than 502,000 visitors traveled to experience the city of Henderson.

Flood Control Projects

  • More than $122 million funded by Regional Flood Control District for flood control projects built in COH between 1997 and present
  • Nine detention basins completed with RFCD funding in COH
  • Approximately 26 miles of channel completed with RFCD in COH
  • Oversaw at least nine additional projects completed with other sources of funding - Anthem - Inspirada - Tuscany

Nationally recognized departments

  • Commission on Fire Accreditation International
  • Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
  • Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies
  • International Accreditation Service, Building and Fire Safety


  • Best Cities to Live In, Money magazine, 2006 and 2008
  • One of "10 Best Fitness Walking Cities," Prevention magazine
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Award, American Institute of Architects, Las Vegas chapter
  • "Low-Tax Places to Retire in America," U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding Building of the Year, Building Managers and Owners Association
  • Certified Literate Community, Northern Nevada Literacy Council
  • Above and Beyond Awards, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
  • Governor's Arts Award, Nevada Arts Council
  • National Gold Award, National League of Cities
  • University of North Carolina's School of Government, Best Development Review Process
  • Cashman Good Government Award, Nevada Taxpayers Association
  • America's Crown Cities Award, American City and County Magazine
  • Trailblazer Award for Performance Excellence, The Performance Institute
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, Government Finance Officers Association (past 7 years)
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, GFOA (past 28 years)
  • Certificate of Distinction, Customer Service and Surveying, International City and County Management Association Center for Performance Measurement
  • Open Space and Trails Plan, Honor Award for Planning and Urban Design, Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • DeBoer Award for Excellence in Planning, American Planning Association - Project GREEN - The District - Downtown Investment Strategy - Visual Interactive Code
  • Excellence in Youth Sports Award, National Alliance for Youth Sports
  • Silverman Triathlon, Program of the Year, Nevada Recreation and Parks Society
  • Playful City USA, Parks and Recreation playground system and programming for children, Kaboom!
  • Sportstown USA, Sports Illustrated
  • Quality Sports Magnet Center, NFL and National Recreations and Parks Association
  • Most Secure Cities Award, Farmers Insurance Company
  • Operation Loaded Dice emergency drill, MAXI Award finalist, International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Gold Peak Performance Award, National Association of Clean Water Agencies
  • Safety Award, American Water Works Association
  • Platinum Award for Sustained Competitiveness Achievement, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
  • Platinum Award, Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies
  • Turf Conversion Program, Green Award, Las Vegas Business Press
  • Horizon Awards, Regional Transportation Commission (2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Best Workplaces for Commuters, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bird Viewing Preserve, Howland Awards, Working Cities, Winning Ideas

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