Town in Rural Southern Nevada up for Sale for $8 Million

March 28, 2016 Updated: March 28, 2016
FONT BFONT SText size

CAL-NEV-ARI, Nev.—Buying your own town is as easy as buying 500 acres of vacant land located just 70 miles south of Las Vegas from the founder of a place called Cal-Nev-Ari.

Nancy Kidwell is offering the entirety of her town for just $8 million. She tried to sell the property in 2010 for $17 million but couldn’t find any buyers. Now the 78-year-old has dropped the price and is including Cal-Nev-Ari’s casino, diner, convenience store, 10-room motel, RV park and mile-long dirt airstrip in the deal.

The only things not for sale are the residents themselves, some privately owned homes, the small community center and a volunteer fire station built by Clark County

Kidwell and her husband, Slim, founded the town in 1965 when it was just an empty swath of land along U.S. 95. Now it is home to about 350 people, but Kidwell said she can’t sustain it. Slim died in 1983 and her second husband died in 2011, leaving the bulk of maintaining the town to her.

“It’s time for someone else to do something with it,” the 78-year-old said. “Fifty-one years is long enough.”

Cal-Nev-Ari, Nev. (Screenshot of Google Earth)
Cal-Nev-Ari, Nev. (Screenshot of Google Earth)

Listing broker Fred Marik said the main value of the property is land and that the businesses are “just breaking even.” He said he is advertising the town as a blank canvas. It doesn’t have paved roads, but it does have deep-water wells, a sewer system and a utility company.

When real estate was a hot commodity, investors bought land in rural towns outside Las Vegas—Kidwell said she once had two people get into a bidding war for the town — but when the economy crashed interest died down.

Related Coverage
Town in Rural Southern Nevada up for Sale for $8 MillionDetails About Area 6, Nevada Government Facility, Revealed by Local Newspaper

Marik said he has received a few inquiries so far, with prospective buyers considering the land for a retirement community, a renewable energy project, a motorsports park, a dude ranch, a survival school, a shooting range or a “marijuana resort,” if that were to become legal.

“You’re basically buying the land and the opportunity to grow something on it,” Marik said.

The Piute Valley with Cal-Nev-Ari town in the eastern Mojave Desert on Oct. 8, 2006. (Stan Shebs/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Piute Valley with Cal-Nev-Ari town in the eastern Mojave Desert on Oct. 8, 2006. (Stan Shebs/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Resident Kate Colton, who has lived in Cal-Nev-Ari for about 20 years, said she’s happy that Kidwell is trying to move forward with her life. She said a marijuana business would be “a little scary,” but that new investors are probably a good thing for the community.

“The economy here could use a boost,” she said.