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Economy

Is billionaire John Paulson predicting another Vegas boom?

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Is Lake Las Vegas on its way back to prosperity?
Photo: Sam Morris

Most Las Vegas communities were hit hard by the economy over the last five years, but perhaps none more high-profile than Lake Las Vegas. This master-planned community a few miles east of Henderson was once a sparkling gem, home to notable celebrities, immaculate golf courses, a Ritz-Carlton and a 320-acre man-made lake. Well, the Ritz is gone, two of the three 18-hole courses have been shut down, and the community’s recent history has included bankruptcy and ugly lawsuits over who owes whom money. But Lake Las Vegas finally got a dose of much-needed good news recently, and it’s good news for the entire Valley. Paulson & Co., helmed by billionaire John Paulson, just purchased 875 acres of the Henderson community. Sure, land is being snatched up all over the Valley, but what makes this $17 million purchase noteworthy is Paulson’s track record. This is the guy who struck it rich by betting against our country’s subprime mortgage market. When everyone was going one direction, he went another. Paulson sees what others don’t, and for him to take a special interest in one of our Valley’s most profound financial failures ... well, that’s an action that speaks far louder than any words we could come up with. But we’ll give it a try: Las Vegas will likely be just fine.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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