RPN works to rejuvenate Southern Clark County

Laughlin Aerial View

Aerial view of Laughlin, Nevada

The blog post below describes the community that the Southern Clark County Community Network serves.

By RPN Staff

Southern Clark County Community Network is in Clark County, Nevada. The network is made up of three towns ranging in distances of 50 to 90 miles south of Hoover Dam. The towns of Searchlight, Cal-Nev-Ari, and Laughlin all have access to both the Lake Mead Recreational Area and the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. The total population of the towns combined is approximately 8,530 residents, with Laughlin accounting for 8,000 residents alone. 

Each town in the network has its own history. Searchlight began as a mining camp when gold was discovered in 1897 and eventually became known as the home of former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidLaughlin is known for its casinos and outdoor recreation. The town has a very active Casino Drive but is also well known for the year-round water recreation as it sits along the banks of the Colorado river.

The town of Cal-Nev-Ari was created in the mid-1960s by Nancy and Everette "Slim" Kidwell, who acquired a 640-acre section of land with an abandoned Army runway from the U.S. government. They were both pilots and spotted the land while flying home to California. They dreamed of developing an airport-based community an hour drive from Las VegasThe Kidwells made an offer, the land deal was completed, and Cal-Nev-Ari was born. 

Each of these towns is primarily a retirement community. Life is a bit slower paced than most areas but neither place was immune to the adverse effects of the pandemic. Businesses and local casinos closed in the smaller towns, and unemployment rose across the entire network. But most concerning is the lack of medical services in the area. Only Laughlin has a small health clinic and senior housing is in demand across the network. Like many Nevada communities, the Southern Clark County Community Network depends on tourism to support the local economies. Tourism over the past few years decreased to alarming levels. The result was devastating to smaller towns, and still alarming to more populated areas. 

The goal of this Community Network is to work to rebuild the local economies, support systems, and to match the community with available federal support. Serving as matchmakers between the Community Network and up to as many as 24 federal agencies, the network is hopeful that Southern Clark County will regain its economic independence and become a destination for tourists once more. 

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