I’m going to miss Bonnie Springs. Located in Red Rock Canyon, Bonnie Springs Ranch was originally established in 1843 as a watering stopover for wagon trains going to California on the Old Spanish Trail. It was sold and purchased by the Levinsons in the 1950s, and was developed and opened to tourists in the ’60s and ’70s. By 2018, the Ranch was largely set up to mimic a late-1800s mining town, and included a restaurant, train, Old Nevada town area, wax museum, petting zoo, horseback riding, and mock gunfights complete with the Sheriff slinging a six-shooter. The restaurant had some really good food, and was a great old-timey atmosphere. It was always busy on the weekends. Some 150,000+ people visited this place annually.
In early 2019, the Ranch was sold for roughly $31 million, because the Levinson’s said it was their time to retire, and permanently closed on March 17th, 2019. At the time of this post, new construction plans for the 63 acres include 22 large homes, a bed and breakfast, and a wedding hall, a new restaurant and a motel. It will be sad to see it go. There are more and more of these places disappearing, making way for only the new and modern in order to squeeze every possible penny out of it. The good news is that a third party buyer is interested in purchasing the Old Nevada town and relocating it, and at least the wedding chapel was confirmed to be preserved and relocated. No matter what’s built on the Bonnie Springs Ranch site, every time I ride past it I’ll always see the old place.