Pahrump Correspondence – February 2018


Snowbirds are not an endangered species in this desert town

RVs at Preferred RV fill all the spaces in the resort. Pickings are slim at all the RV parks in Pahrump during the winter. Preferred RV is just one of many RV parks in town that offers amenities like free WiFi, a pool, laundry facilities, and much more to attract visitors.

The Pahrump Valley surely has a lot to offer as a tourist destination. There are a lot of things to do for a small town. But let’s talk about something else that Pahrump Valley is known for and that is as a destination for “snowbirds.”

Of course, we’re not talking about some great exotic breed of bird, but about people. They are called snowbirds because when winter comes they hop in their recreational vehicles and head to the Southern regions of the United States to avoid the cold weather in the Northern Latitudes.

James Horton, manager of Preferred RV Resort, stands besides the only indoor swimming pool in an RV resort. James says that snowbirds take up to 1,000 of the 1,300 spaces available every year in the valley.

Quick facts

James Horton, manager of Prefered RV in Pahrump, says close to 1,000 recreational vehicle owners make the trek to Pahrump and fill the RV Parks during the winter.

Pahrump has about 1,300 spaces in this town of about 40,000.  Not all the snowbirds come to Pahrump in an RV; they buy a house here to spend there in winters in.

So how do snowbirds find out about Pahrump Valley? Talk to any Snowbird and they will say it’s word of mouth, and once they get here they see all the great deals to be had.

Brief history

One of the major builders of homes in Pahrump was Preferred Equities and how they attracted people to come here to Pahrump was by building a golf course and RV park.  That was all it took.

The first snowbirds started coming to Pahrump in the 1980s, according to Bob McCracken, a local historian. He said that there were about 150 RV spots back then and about 300 snowbirds were coming to Pahrump. The town at that time had a population of about 8,000.

Today’s cost

Today the snowbirds swell the town each year. Even the local power company and newspaper is used to having them. The newspaper is used to stopping service and so is the local power company, Valley Electric Association.

“The average price for a month is about $450 to $500,” James said. “For some parks that  includes power but some make you pay for the power. Other amenities could include free WiFi, TV, laundry facilities and showers.”

When you look at the prices in California where some parks are charging over $1,000 to $2,000 to stay a month, Pahrump is a steal.

What they say about this desert town

Ermo Cercone, a regular snowbirder of Pahrump, is from Buffalo, New York.

“We travel across the country every winter and stop along the way in different states,” Ermo said. “It’s a great way of seeing the country.”

He said it was an accident that he heard about Pahrump.

“I have a heart condition,” he said. “I needed a dry climate. Pahrump has everything you need close by. There is a lot to do for the price.”

Why come here?

Ermo said doctors were close by within an hour if you don’t find one in Pahrump. He said Pahrump has a lot of big stores in town like Walmart, Home Depot and there are supermarkets too.

And for those that enjoy a good came of chance there are the casinos too. Pahrump will also be getting a new shopping complex, Silverton Casino and hotel and a movie theater, according to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump. Spring Mountain said that project has already broken ground.

“If I get bored, I am within an hour of Las Vegas and Death Valley,” Ermo said. “I tried living in other places out in the middle of nowhere, but I need a doctor close by. I like the convenience Pahrump has to offer. I like it here so much I have talked to others to come here too.”

He added that he was surprised that more people didn’t know about this place.

Some of the major RV resorts in the valley include Best Western Pahrump Station, Lakeside Casino and RV Resort, Nevada Treasure RV, Preferred RV, RV Ranch Resort, Saddle West Hotel Casino and RV Park, and Wine Ridge RV Resort.

— Vernon Hee