Summerlin is an affluent master-planned community in the Las Vegas Valley of Southern Nevada. It lies at the edge of the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon to the west; partly within the official city limits of Las Vegas and partly within unincorporated Clark County. This rapidly growing community occupies over 22,500 acres and according to its developers, "has grown to encompass more than 230 parks, more than two dozen public and private schools, 14 houses of worship, nine golf courses, three resort hotels, world-class recreational facilities, retail and entertainment centers, well-established office parks, a state-of-the-art medical center, and more."
The community is divided into three associations (North, South, and West), which oversee two dozen commercial and residential villages.
At the time of the 2010 census, Summerlin's population was nearly 100,000, having risen from 59,000 residents in the year 2000. With an average annual household income of $139,061, Summerlin is also one of the most affluent communities in Nevada. The community has received national acclaim for its amenities and quality of life. Notably, it was named the "#1 best place to live and play" by National Geographic Adventure in 2007 and one of the Best Places to Live in America by Money Magazine in 2014.
Summerlin was named after Jean Amelia Summerlin, the grandmother of billionaire land-developer Howard Hughes. The Howard Hughes Corporation maintains ownership of the master-planned community, along with Downtown Summerlin (the community's premier shopping, dining, and entertainment district) and the Las Vegas Ballpark (future home of the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team).
In 1952, the famous film director, aviator, and casino mogul Howard Hughes purchased 25,000 acres (10,000 ha) of land in Southern Nevada, making him the Las Vegas Valley's largest landowner. Despite his initial intentions, he ultimately chose not to relocate his company to Nevada, so the purchased land remained undeveloped and empty for decades. After Hughes died of kidney failure in 1976, the Summa Corporation was organized by his heirs to oversee his vast business empire and land holdings. In 1988, the corporation announced that they would be developing the empty acres of land into a master-planned commercial and residential community. They named the project "Summerlin", after Hughes' paternal grandmother, Jean Amelia Summerlin.
In preparation for this large-scale development, Summa Corporation made a deal with the Bureau of Land Management, in which they traded 5000 acres of environmentally sensitive land for 3000 acres of land better suited for development. After this environmental concern was addressed, development began. By the end of 1990, the construction of Summerlin's first residential village, park, and school had been completed. In 1994, Summa Corporation rebranded itself as the Howard Hughes Corporation and continued to develop new Summerlin villages.
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