Hoping to spark retail activity, Lake Las Vegas welcomes new grocery store

An exterior view of Seasons Market at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The neighborhood grocery store and specialty market is located in MonteLago Village.

Lake Las Vegas developers have opened a small, waterfront grocery store, part of a broader campaign to boost business in the opulent Henderson community.

Executives with Raintree Investment Corp. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for Seasons Market, a 5,000-square-foot grocery in MonteLago Village, the project’s retail district.

The store opened June 10.

The closest supermarket to Lake Las Vegas, which has about 2,200 homes, is 4 miles away, and residents have said “it would be a big plus if we could get a grocery store in the community,” Raintree President Patrick Parker said.

Seasons Market Opens at Lake Las Vegas

Raintree Investment executives pose during the official opening of the Seasons Market at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson Tuesday, June 21, 2016. From left: Jeff Anderson, excutive vice president, Doug McPhail, Seasons Market general manager, Patrick Parker, president, and Cody Winterton, executive vice president. The neighborhood grocery store and specialty market is located in MonteLago Village. Launch slideshow »

Raintree is leading Lake Las Vegas’ development for New York hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson, who acquired about 1,000 acres there starting in 2012.

The village, as the retail area is called, has some restaurants and other tenants. But it’s laced with vacant storefronts, and foot traffic can slow to a trickle. As of April, the 56,000-square-foot retail district was just 58 percent occupied, according to its listing broker.

Paulson’s group is betting the grocery will lure more residents and tourists to the village. They’re also opening art and photography galleries this summer, in another bid to increase foot traffic, Parker said.

Altogether, Paulson’s group has spent more than $30 million on communal upgrades at Lake Las Vegas, the 3,600-acre, faux-Mediterranean project off Lake Mead Parkway east of Boulder Highway.

Among other things, executives provided $5.5 million for a roughly $13 million extension of Galleria Drive that opened in fall 2014. They reopened Reflection Bay golf course around the same time and turned Lake Las Vegas’ other shuttered golf course, the Falls, into open space. Both courses had closed when the economy crashed.

Lake Las Vegas has mansions, luxury hotels, golfing and a 320-acre man-made lake. The project started taking shape nearly 30 years ago, but was one of the biggest real estate flops in one of the hardest-hit markets in the country during the recession last decade. The community was slammed by foreclosures, plunging home sales and a big drop in tourism.

It still has a ways to go before it’s on solid footing. Its only casino, for instance, closed in 2013 for the second time, and state casino regulators in 2014 denied the landlord’s efforts to reopen the gambling hall.

The landlord turned the facility into an events center, though it appears only a few events have been held.

By all accounts, however, Lake Las Vegas is making headway under Paulson. One sign, observers say, is the new crop of housing developments.

Homebuilding companies Century Communities, William Lyon Homes and Ryland Homes have launched their first projects in Lake Las Vegas. High-end builder Toll Brothers also has laid out plans to revive a boom-era townhouse project that stalled when the economy tanked, leaving some lots undeveloped.