In 1952, Howard Hughes acquired 25,000 acres of land west of Las Vegas. In the early 1980s, Summa Corporation (predecessor to The Howard Hughes Corporation) realized the development potential of the land. The community was named Summerlin for Hughes’ paternal grandmother, Jean Amelia Summerlin.
In 1988, HHC initiated a land exchange with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), turning over more than 5,000 acres of sensitive land adjacent to Red Rock Canyon in exchange for 3,400 acres inside the valley – protecting the Canyon’s scenic loop road experience from visible development. This critical exchange was made possible by The Nature Conservancy, and created a buffer zone that continues to protect Red Rock Canyon to this day, serving as a gateway into the National Conservation Area. In 2001, HHC donated $30,000 to the BLM for new trail marker signage throughout the Conservation Area.
In 2002, HHC initiated a second exchange with the BLM, with more than 1,000 acres along Summerlin’s western border being added to the adjacent Red Rock area. This exchange set aside more than 1,200 acres of pristine BLM ridgeline for a future county trails park.