Say it ain't so: Harry Reid's hometown being sold

Verlie Doing, the 88-year-old matriarch of Searchlight, is selling her holdings in the town where Harry Reid was born.

Asking price: $4.9 million.

"Now you can own your own historic town," reads the pitch.

Fred Marik, the agent for Doing, has sent out a solicitation on the property (pasted below) and a description (attached here). The 41 acres encapsulate much of the city's center, and she is also selling the mineral rights.

Marik said Doing is moving to Missouri and liquidating her assets. I facetiously asked him if Reid might buy his hometown, and Marik told me Reid called Doing and said, "Are you really doing this, Verlie?"

One of the great Searchlight stories is that the two are friends but, as Marik put it, "she disagrees with his politics. She is a very conservative woman."

But, senator, won't you save your hometown for posterity and pony up the $5 mil?

The Sun has the story here.

-----The pitch----




            Ever imagined owning your own piece of land, or a commercial property? How about a Nevada casino? Well, why not go all the way and own your own town, Searchlight, Nevada. This historic little city, located just 45 minutes south of Las Vegas, and 10 miles from Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, is a world away from neon signs and mega resorts. It is filled with the history of Nevada’s Old West and Gold Rush days and now the majority of Searchlight is offered for sale by longtime owners, the Doing family.


             The sale includes the Searchlight Nugget Casino, a 3250 square foot building, built in 1979, that has a ‘non-restricted’ gaming license with 91 slot machines and several gaming tables and also features a full bar, and a 92-seat, full service restaurant. Also included in the sale are the 21- room El Rey Motel and a variety of commercial properties and residential lots that represent the majority of the city’s center. The total land area is approximately 41.13 acres and includes all mineral rights.


            The town was most recently expanded and developed by Warren and Verlie Doing, who relocated from Northern Nevada (where they had owned several casinos) to Searchlight in 1967.  In the 1970’s the Doings operated Sandy’s Casino in Searchlight.  The couple then built the Searchlight Nugget Casino in 1979 at an estimated cost of over $1,000,000. The property has continued to be the largest and most dominant business in the town. Through the years, the Doings continued to purchase commercial and residential properties making them one of the largest land owners in the area, as well as, admired business leaders. 


            Anyone traveling from California or Nevada to Laughlin or Lake Mojave must travel through Searchlight, located at the intersection of State Routes 95 and 164, to reach their destination. The Nevada Highway Patrol estimates over 9,000 vehicles pass through Searchlight each day adding to the city’s economy. It is at once a step back in time, and a future promise, with almost unlimited potential and opportunities.


            The town has a rich and storied history fueled by the discovery of mineral deposits, primarily gold, in 1897 that lead to a vibrant mining industry. The first major mine was the Duplex Mine which ultimately produced almost half of the gold mined in the area. In 1902, a narrow-gage railroad was completed connecting the burgeoning community of Searchlight to the Colorado River 16 miles to the west. By 1919, trains were operating on a regular schedule from Searchlight to Needles, California, and Searchlight had evolved into a busy mining town with an estimated population of 1500 people. At that time, Searchlight had a larger population than Las Vegas. As the Gold Rush dissipated, the population dwindled to less than 100 people by 1927. Today, Searchlight is home to approximately 1,000 citizens.


Mining continues to offer potential to the area. With new technology now available, Nevada Mining and Milling LLC is currently in the process of zoning variance approvals to begin mining anew this month at the Coyote Mine, about 1.5 miles north of the Searchlight Nugget Casino. The company expects to sift and winnow from 6,000 to 10,000 ounces of gold annually from the mine.