LAS VEGAS – After sustaining major flood damage Aug. 25, the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort has worked diligently to reopen its three dynamic Pete Dye designs. Snow Mountain welcomed tee times again Oct. 1, a testament to the hard work of the staff at one of the Southwest’s best golf destinations. Sun Mountain will open Nov. 1 with the Wolf scheduled to reopen no later than Jan. 1.
'We’ve learned a lot from this,' Paiute General Manager Chad Gunier said. 'We had an opportunity to improve some drainage. Snow Mountain has been packed since it opened, and we’re getting great feedback (from customers).'
A flash flood caused by four inches of rain in two hour’s time drowned Paiute in rock, mud and silt carried down from desert stripped of vegetation by a major forest fire. The water ruined two of the course’s three pump stations, damaged irrigation lines, ruined one of the facility’s two large practice areas and washed out the road to the clubhouse, which is located a half-hour drive from The Strip in the shadow of the Sheep and Spring Mountain ranges.
Gunier said one hole on property was buried under four feet of debris.
'We were fortunate not to lose any greens,' he added, noting the island green on the Wolf was undergoing heavy maintenance.
The decision was made early on to leave Dye’s designs intact. That meant repairs without heavy equipment. 'Once you bring bulldozers in, everything changes,' Gunier said.
During the cleanup, damaged sod was hand-cut and removed. The sandy base was re-graded before new sod was laid.
The new sod on the Sun Mountain course will have had three weeks of grow-in before any public play. Five acres of new sod was planted on The Wolf Oct. 14.
Gunthier said 95 percent of Paiute’s bunkers have been redone (you can view more images of the damage and cleanup effort on Paiute's Facebook page).
'Our biggest focus over these six weeks is to improve turf while we are in the growing season,' Gunier said. 'Whatever is not planted (soon) will not grow. We are focused heavily to get playing conditions to what people expect, so they will not be impacting next year at all.'
Paiute will certainly be ready by The Duel in the Desert, a successful Golf Channel Am Tour event scheduled for Super Bowl weekend, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2014.
'Everybody will be playing on something that is better than ever,' Gunier promised.