By Andrea Bennett
Few people have experienced the evolution of Las Vegas like veteran event planner and Vegas native Dawn Hume. Her mother, Eleanor Roth Grasso, who arrived in Las Vegas to help executive Jack Entratter open and manage The Sands in 1952, became the entertainment industry’s gatekeeper. “When Spencer Tracy wanted to go see a show or Cary Grant wanted to drink shots Downtown, she’d go with them,” Hume says.
When the master-planned community of Summerlin began building in 1990 on land west of the Strip first purchased by Howard Hughes (another Eleanor friend), Hume and husband Christopher were early arrivals. The community, which sits at the base of the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and now contains over 300 parks in its 22,500 acres, “was a little higher up, cooler, and felt like a neighborhood,” Hume recalls. Now she and her family love hiking and biking the trails in their community, and walking to restaurants in Downtown Summerlin, a rare luxury in this car-friendly city.
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Downtown Summerlin, a lively and growing open-air pedestrian center in the heart of Summerlin, is the new home of the Las Vegas Ballpark and City National Arena, the practice rink for the NHL Vegas Golden Knights. However, it’s far more than a mecca for sports fans: Downtown Summerlin hosts a wide variety of events, from a Saturday Farmers Market at The Pavilion and fitness classes on The Lawn to an annual Summerlin Festival of Arts showcasing works by more than 100 artists. “You can really find everything in Downtown Summerlin,” Hume says.
With dozens of restaurants, dining choices are plentiful, but Hume’s favorite is Harlø Steakhouse & Bar (1720 Festival Plaza Dr., 702.333.0402), one of the most exclusive new restaurants in Summerlin. An elite, local crowd flocks here to enjoy tasty wood- fired steaks, seafood, and an impressive caviar menu.
In the northwest corner of Downtown Summerlin, you’ll find Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa (11011 W. Charleston Blvd.), named for its location as the gateway to Red Rock Canyon. The dining scene here is enjoying a renaissance, notes Hume, who recommends brunch at Osteria Fiorella (702.797.7777), the Las Vegas outpost of Philadelphia superstar chef Marc Vetri. He’s famous for handmade filled pastas (a summer corn caramelle with pickled blueberries and basil has become legendary), but Hume goes for the Giant Cinnamon Bun. “It’s amazing and worth the whole trip to brunch,” she says. Another must-stop at Red Rock is T-Bones Chophouse (702.797.7595). “Sit at the bar and have a martini and crabcakes,” Hume advises. Before leaving, book an appointment at Red Rock Spa by Well & Being (702.797.7878). “Their hot stone massage is fabulous, and they give great locals’ discounts,” Hume says.
More than 200 miles of trails connect Summerlin’s neighborhoods and parks, all with beautiful views of Red Rock National Conservation Area. “I love to park my car at Paseos Park (12122 Desert Moon Rd.) and use that as a base for a great, long walk,” Hume says. She also enjoys walking in Mesa Park (5401 Mesa Park Dr.).
“Summerlin feels so far away from the Strip and so livable, even though it’s only 20 minutes away. I love our accessibility to everything.”