Daily Archives: February 12, 2009

Getting Buried in Las Vegas a Grave Issue

You’re final resting place is supposed to be somewhere tranquil and peaceful.  For some it’s a welcome relief to finally get away from it all.  tombstone

But not necessarily if your cemetery plot happens to be in Las Vegas.

The classic Hatfield-McCoy feud has reemerged as residents and developers bitterly jaw about the plans for 9,000 new burial plots and 4,000 above-ground tombs at Buffalo Drive and Springs Road in Las Vegas. 

Real estate developer William Gayler and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak met with irate NIMBY residents yesterday to discuss the matter.  Both sides refused to budge.  

Neighbors voiced fears of the cemetery will hurt their property values; Gayler said that wasn’t his problem; and Sisolak chimed in saying there’s little he can do because a cemetery is allowed by the commercial zone for the 20 acres. 

A judge today plans to review the dispute today and decide who is right.  But ‘dem could be mere fighting words as Gayler said the cemetery will be built even if the judge rules against him.  To bypass the ruling, Gayler simply has to get approval from those who own 51 percent of the lot (Gayler owns 25 percent) or persuade the court-appointed receiver to give the go-ahead. 

For those waiting to rest there, though, they hope the issue soon becomes dead and buried.

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Las Vegas Downtown Art Museum Plans Kaboshed

mocaThe dream of Finnish businessman and European art collector Poju Zabludowicz was to come to downtown Las Vegas and build a contemporary art museum.  He and his wife, Anita, have been feverishly collecting art since the mid-1990s and had planned to privately fund and build the museum. 

But, at least for now, that dream will not come true.

 Likewise, the art community of Las Vegas is largely devastated and heartbroken. 

Zabludowicz, chairman and chief executive officer of Tamares Group, withdrew his group’s proposal to build the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in an old fingerprinting building on East Fremont Street in the Las Vegas Entertainment District.  He cited the poor economy for last week’s decision. 

Although Tamares, which owns several Las Vegas downtown properties, including the Las Vegas Club and Plaza, still plans to open MOCA at some undefined future time, it’s just not in the cards now to invest $12 million in a nonprofit venture. 

The City of Las Vegas also required that the museum be completed within two years, a timeline that didn’t work for Tamares.

 The Zabludowicz Collection includes more than 1,000 works by emerging artists of the late 20th and 21st centuries.  Some of those works had been planned to be brought to Las Vegas.  The art centerpiece, titled the “Large Field Array,” would have been a permanent installation of about 8,000 square feet, being comprised of 300 sculptures by British artist Keith Tyson, who won the Turner Prize in 2002. 

The City of Las Vegas has already contacted five other groups that previously submitted proposals for building on the site.  Most of them were for nightclubs. 

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who has long identified himself as a proponent of the arts, said that he doesn’t support a downtown art museum.  “It’s not necessary to have an art museum.  I want a mob museum,” said Goodman.

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