Thirty years ago, the master-planned community was in its infancy. The then-new Summerlin Parkway, Nevada’s first tri-level interchange, was jokingly dubbed “the road to nowhere.” The first neighborhoods were in planning and early development, and in a move that was a departure from standard development practice, The Hills Park opened months before the first residents began to move to the area — making a statement that Summerlin would be a community like none other.
Today, some 30 years later, the community has proven that sentiment true. It is home to more than 100,000 residents and continues to set and maintain the standard for quality of life in Southern Nevada, according to Kevin T. Orrock, president, Las Vegas Region for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of the community.
“As they say, location is everything, and Summerlin boasts the best location in town,” he said. “The community, which spans 22,500 acres along the valley’s western, elevated edge, sits at the base of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It boasts cooler temperatures thanks to its elevation, which also delivers spectacular views — not to mention sunsets. Summerlin not only looks different, it feels different.”
From the beginning, Summerlin’s master plan was unlike any other in Southern Nevada. It factored in ample space for parks, open space, trails and golf courses — setting aside more than one-quarter of its total acreage for abundant outdoor, active spaces foundational to the community’s active lifestyle.
Of note is the fact that The Howard Hughes Corp.’s predecessor, Summa Corp., helped to establish a boundary for the National Conservation Area to forever protect Red Rock Canyon from development. In a landmark exchange with the Bureau of Land Management, the company helped to create a buffer zone in the late 1980s, well before Summerlin development began. That boundary still stands today and will forever protect Red Rock Canyon and the environmentally and culturally sensitive lands that surround it.
In fact, the community’s high design standards are created to complement its natural surroundings. As one of the valley’s earliest adopters of desert landscaping and the first community to implement strict Water Smart conservation guidelines, Summerlin has long fostered a culture of environmentally sensitive development.
The design standards that keep Summerlin looking clean, beautiful, modern and peaceful include sidewalks with tree-lined streets, beautifully manicured streetscapes designed with the desert environment in mind, outdoor signage restrictions, street and trail lighting that points downward to minimize nighttime glare and light pollution. Other features include curated plant palettes, colors that blend with the environment, and design standards that require four-sided architecture on all homes. “Attention to detail is everything,” Orrock said. “Summerlin’s overall aesthetic is proof of that.”
Summerlin’s master plan also identified ample space for a plethora of schools — public, charter and private — to ensure future residents would have abundant and quality educational choice. Today, the community is home to no fewer than 26 schools, including many of the valley’s top-rated public schools and its most prestigious private schools.
“The value of schools is foundational to community building,” Orrock said. “Families make living decisions based on access to schools, so the importance of schools cannot be overstated. Every new village we plan always includes land for schools.”
Ranked as the nation’s No. 1 best-selling master-planned community for nearly a decade from the early 1990s to the early 2000s, Summerlin is still landing on the best-selling list year after year. In 2019, Summerlin ranked No. 3 nationally based on new home sales and was awarded Master-Planned Community of the Year by the National Association of Homebuilders in 2020 — not bad for a community now entering its fourth decade.
“Particularly this year, we are reminded of the importance of home, family and community,” said Danielle Bisterfeldt, vice president of marketing for Summerlin. “Summerlin was created with a vision to provide a sense of community for all generations. With three decades under our belt, we believe these are some of the top reasons why Summerlin continues to resonate with residents and homebuyers.”
Summerlin’s all-star roster of national homebuilders, has long been a part of the community’s development mantra, ensuring that quality, innovative, and progressive home design remains a community hallmark. In fact, the list of national homebuilders in Summerlin includes many of the country’s largest and most successful builders as ranked by ProBuilder.com for 2019: Lennar (No. 1); PulteGroup (No. 3); Toll Brothers (No. 4); KB Home (No. 6); Pardee Homes (parent company TRI Pointe Group No. 9); Richmond American Homes (parent company MDC Holdings No. 10); Shea Homes (No. 12); Taylor Morrison (No. 16); and Woodside Homes (No. 25).
A variety of homes in all styles and price points is just one reason why the community has held its value and appeal through the years. Summerlin offers more than 160 actively selling unique floor plans in 34 neighborhoods throughout 10 distinctive villages, priced from the $300,000s to the millions. Homes in Summerlin run the gamut from expansive estate-style and luxury custom residences to a diverse range of detached homes in multiple elevations for families of all sizes. A variety of attached homes, from town homes of all sizes and price ranges to luxury apartments, are ideal for multigenerations — from millennials to empty nesters and active adults.
While Summerlin is exceptional for many reasons, the fact that has its own downtown puts the community in a league of its own. Downtown Summerlin includes an outdoor pedestrian retail center home to 125-plus national and regional brands, 30-plus restaurants and eateries from fine dining to fast casual and movie theatres. While Downtown Summerlin has easily become to go-to shopping and dining spot for those who call the community home, it also a popular gathering place for nearly everyone in the valley thanks to accessibility via the 215 Beltway.
Downtown Summerlin also boasts not one, but two professional sports facilities: City National Arena — practice facility of the Vegas Golden Knights; and Las Vegas Ballpark – home of the Las Vegas Aviators, professional Triple-A baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). With both pro hockey and baseball converging in Downtown Summerlin, the area is one of the valley’s most popular hotbeds of sports and fun.
It’s easy to stay active in Summerlin thanks to the community’s abundance of recreational amenities. This includes the community’s award-winning trail system that offers more than 150 miles for walking, running and cycling; more than 250 parks of all sizes that are home to tennis/pickle ball/basketball courts, baseball and softball fields and playgrounds; five community swimming pools; community centers for socializing and gathering, 10 public and private golf courses, including the state’s only two Tournament Players Club facilities; and, of course, nearby rock-climbing, cycling and hiking at Red Rock Canyon. The community’s social infrastructure is bolstered by youth and adult sports leagues, camps and activity classes for all ages.
For information on all actively selling neighborhoods, visit Summerlin.com. Before you visit, call the builders to check on hours of operation. Phone numbers for each neighborhood are on Summerlin.com.