Lorenzi Park

Lorenzi Park
Lorenzi Park
Twin Lakes Lodge
Lorenzi Park
Lorenzi Park
Aerial photograph of Lorenzi Park, 1965. Ken Jones (Single Item Accessions Photo Collection). UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

"Lorenzi Lake, the dream of pioneer David G. Lorenzi, opened as a private resort in 1926, became the Twin Lakes Lodge in the 1940s, and a public park in 1966.

Arriving in southern Nevada in 1911, Lorenzi began building his park on 80 acres of raw land two miles northwest of downtown Las Vegas in the early 1920s. The "park" was mostly a grassy area with a swimming hole until the commercial opening in 1926. Lorenzi built two lakes and two islands, one with a band shell and the other a clubhouse. Rowboats, a dance pavilion, swimming pools, horse-back riding and picnic tables were all available for the 10-cent admission fee. Las Vegans flocked to Lorenzi Lake to enjoy music, dancing, spectacular special celebrations and relief from the heat in "Nevada's largest sanitary swimming pool." Celebrities and politicians staged events here, where the powerful rubbed shoulders with ordinary people.

Californian Thomas Sharp bought the property in 1937 and improved its water supply but let the resort run down. He later leased it to Las Vegan Lloyd St. John who renamed it Twin Lakes Lodge, restored the park, and added a motel. Throughout the 1950s, the motel buildings served as part of a dude ranch, a temporary home for divorce seekers required by state law to live in Nevada for at least six weeks. The city acquired the Twin Lakes Lodge property in 1966, later combined the lakes, filled the swimming pool to create the Sammy Davis, Jr. Festival Plaza and donated the land for the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society. In 2005, some of the old motel buildings still exist at the northwest corner of the park."

(Las Vegas Pioneer Trail Marker 2)

"Trusting in the growth of the new community of Las Vegas, David G. Lorenzi purchased 80 acres two miles northwest of town. An energetic entrepreneur, Lorenzi cleared the land, dug wells and planted a variety of crops. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, he developed the land as a resort and provided Las Vegans with a swimming pool, concert venue, dance hall, July 4th celebrations, horse races, rodeos and twin lakes for boating and fishing. In 1947, new owners Lloyd St. John and son Richard built eight motel buildings in the northwest section of the park, which included ties from the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad. In the 1950s, Twin Lakes Lodge was a complete dude ranch for the thriving marriage and divorce business of Las Vegas. It was a temporary home to many movie stars, as well as scientists during the building of the Nevada Test Site. In 1965, the City of Las Vegas purchased the 80 acres for $750,000 for park and recreational purposes."

(Las Vegas Centennial Commission)

"The three buildings on the site were constructed in 1949 as a part of Twin Lakes Lodge, a dude ranch surrounded by stables, a lake, rodeo grounds and a natural springs.

The buildings are on a portion of the 80 acre Lorenzi Resort originally developed in 1922 as a complete recreational area.

The City of Las Vegas has designated these buildings as historically significant and emblematic of old Las Vegas."

(City of Las Vegas Diamond Jubilee)

Listed on the City of Las Vegas Historic Property Register in 2009.

Listed on the Nevada State Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Located at 3343 West Washington Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada.