Golf Mesquite Nevada

Austin Powers became so popular that he spawned a Mini-Me. And despite the miniature clone’s rascally nature, who couldn’t be flattered and amused by him?


With imitation implying flattery, those of us who’ve lived through the staggering growth f Las Vegas over the last quarter century can’t help but watch with a twinkle in our eye as nearby gas stops and burgs which had no need for a traffic light or a sheriff have blossomed into full-fledged gaming and entertainment meccas unto themselves.      
First came Laughlin. The rural fishing outpost with a population of 95 residents in the 1970s got its name from Don Laughlin, a former Vegas ‘21’ dealer who had the foresight to incorporate. Don became a multimillionaire and the town now has about a dozen or so major hotel-casinos lining the banks of the Colorado River that separates the southern tip of Nevada from Arizona.


Laughlin’s been called a “redneck Riviera” and a “poor man’s Palm Springs,” which doesn’t matter a whit to the tens of thousands of snowbirds who migrate south each winter in their RVs and mini-Winnies to enjoy mild winters and Roy Clark strummin’ his banjo and telling knee-slappers from Hee-Haw.


In the last decade, the growth story of Nevada has been a town to the northeast named for a desert bush. Since 1995, Mesquite, Nevada, has become one of the fastest growing small cities in the country. As such, it’s determined not to repeat Laughlin’s mistake of growing too fast.


“I think any growth we experience here in the next several years will come from expanding current properties,” says George Rapson, general manager of the CasaBlanca Resort. “Our owner, Randy Black, understands that there are limits to growth, and we’re working with city officials to make certain that we develop at a conservative pace.”
Black, who with his brothers has been a long-time developer of residential and commercial properties in Las Vegas, says, “We started looking at Mesquite in the late 1980s, when there was only one hotel and one golf course there. We just felt there was room for more growth. It was a natural stopping off place between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and all the communities in between.”


And it was determined that the growth would best be fueled by the pastime that was growing faster than any other in those years: golf. The land was fertile, and as new courses sprang from the ground, snowbirds looking for a second home or retirees seeking the good life would desire home sites along the fairways. And that’s just what has happened.


“In February and March, a lot of the golf courses up north haven’t opened yet, so we pull snowbirds from Canada and the Pacific Northwest and Utah,” Rapson says. “And once they find us, they come back frequently because we offer a wonderful two- or three-day stay at affordable prices. Some of our customers end up buying second homes here because they like the weather and the slow country pace. Just like Las Vegas, we have become quite a discovery for a growing population of retirees.”


Randy Black says a retired couple can buy a nice house in Mesquite for $110,000, and if they want one on a golf course the price goes up just $20,000. Over the next several years, he expects to see continued gradual growth, fueled by plans to build an airport that can handle bigger planes and a hospital.
But Black sees the real key to success as being no different than it is in Las Vegas. “People want to have fun at a fair price,” he says, “and you have to make your customers feel special. That’s what Las Vegas has done for decades, and we’re just doing it up there at a more relaxed pace. We’re not reinventing the wheel in Mesquite,” he says. “We know how it works. It’s just a matter of getting it rolling.”


When you examine the popular recreation sites in the nearby region, including Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks, and Brian Head Ski Resort, all within a day’s adventure, plus family recreational opportunities such as horseback riding, skeet- and trap-shooting ranges, camping, fishing, hayrides, and nationally recognized day spas, it’s no wonder that Mesquite is a happening place.


Let’s begin with the selection of golf courses, which can be chosen to accommodate the total range of skill levels, from beginner to scratch player: CasaBlanca Golf Club winds through the region’s natural desert wetlands and offers nice views of the Virgin River and mountain peaks. The river meanders along five holes, and water is found on eight others. The practice facilities are first-rate, and all carts are air-conditioned.


Just up the road lies Oasis Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer design recognized as the “Fifth Best New Resort Golf Course in 1995” and one of the “Top 10 You Can Play” by Golf Digest. Oasis has five different tee settings and wonderful desert scenery. Its rugged canyon fairways and beautifully contoured greens beg players to come back several times to challenge themselves. Next to the Oasis-and offering the option of being played with the Oasis front nine for a distinctive round-is the Vistas Nine. A golfer must be precise early in the round as the first hole is a tough par 5 with a narrow, sloping fairway, and the next two holes are closely guarded by water.


The Palms Golf Course is credited with lighting the Mesquite golfing fuse when it opened in 1989. Set amidst a landscape of sagebrush and tumbleweeds, the course is an island of palm trees and lush green fairways with the lakes demanding precision, while the back nine has several elevated tee boxes and some forced carries of desert canyons. The 15th hole features a 114-foot drop from tee to fairway. For four years The Palms has hosted the Re/Max World Long Driving Championships.


Wolf Creek at Paradise Canyon, designed by Dennis Rider, has raised the ante for the entire region and has been called by one golf writer “the finest meeting of land and canyon in all of golf.” Golf Digest agreed, billing the course as one of the top three new upscale public course in the U.S. for 2001. The course from the back tees can be testing for even the world’s best players, but high handicappers shouldn’t be scared away, as five different tee settings make the course playable for all skill levels. Word has spread quickly about Wolf Creek since its opening in late 2000, and nowadays more players than not are bringing along their cameras to shoot the awe-inspiring scenery. Nearly every vista could become a postcard.
The accommodations for the Golf Mesquite package are as elegant as the golf courses. The Oasis Resort Casino Spa covers 2000 acres and provides 1000 deluxe rooms and suites with mountain and pool views. A 50,000-square-foot casino offers non-stop action for adults, and families can enjoy the Oasis’ four outdoor pools. The Oasis Spa treatments are designed to renew the entire body by improving circulation, hydrating the skin, or just adding a touch of serenity to a golfer’s life.


The Oasis Ranch and Gun Club covers more than 1000 acres of farmland, game pasture, and wetlands, which highlight the ambience of the Virgin Valley desert. Guests can enjoy horseback riding at the stables, hayrides around the ranch, and a steak fry at the Oasis Ranch Chuck House. Shooting skills can be tested at the trap, skeet, or sporting clay fields.


At the CasaBlanca Resort, golfing guests can reside in one of 500 deluxe tower rooms. The hotel offers nightly entertainment. A 40,000-square-foot casino with a sports book is open 24 hours. The family will enjoy the lagoon pool with its famous cascading waterfall and waterslide. CasaBlanca also features a world-class spa, offering a range of massage treatments, facials, mud baths, and steam rooms to Watsu, an outdoor yogic-style water massage, and mineral-water soaking pools.


It’s no wonder then that Mesquite, Nevada, is now mentioned in the same conversations as Myrtle Beach, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, and Scottsdale when golfers gather to discuss a great place to escape for three or four days. It’s become so successful, that it’s likely to spawn imitators itself in years to come.


For reservations or further information about Golf Mesquite call 1-866-720-7111 or log on to: www.golfmesquitenevada.com

By Jack Sheehan

 

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