KISS rocker Gene Simmons and South Point casino owner Michael Gaughan highlighted Las Vegas Valley luxury home sales in May, which also saw two new spec homes in Southern Highlands rank among the top five sales of the month.

Simmons paid $10.8 million for a modern-style home in the Henderson hillside luxury community of Ascaya and a separate lot adjacent to it. Gaughan paid $8 million for a Tuscan-style home in the exclusive Tournament Hills in Summerlin.

The No. 1 sale for May was a new home in Southern Highlands on the Multiple Listing Service that sold for $8.8 million.

There were 154 sales of $1 million and above on the MLS in May — the third-highest month in history but behind the record of 172.

There were 687 luxury sales through the first five months, and Las Vegas is on pace to break the all-time record of 825 by the end of June if the trend continues, according to statistics compiled for Forrest Barbee, corporate broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Arizona, California, Nevada Properties.

Gene Simmons in Ascaya

Simmons’ two-story, 10,871-square-foot, six-bedroom home with a basement went for $8.2 million after being listed for $8.49 million. The modern home was constructed in 2016 by owner Michael T. Austin, a commercial builder.

Clark County records show the buyer as Goodman Realty LLC, but Simmons’ agent, Mitch McClellan, president and broker with Southern Highlands Realty, confirmed that entity belongs to the rock star. Simmons also bought a 0.48-acre lot adjacent to the home for $2.6 million from Omar and Susan Cabahug, who paid $700,000 for the vacant lot in May 2020, according to county records.

Realtors said Simmons looked at other master plans, including The Ridges and MacDonald Highlands, before selecting Ascaya for its privacy. The purchase of the lot is intended to create even more privacy, they said.

The home was listed by Realtor Evangelini Petroni with the Ivan Sher Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Nevada.

Her description on the Las Vegas Realtors’ Multiple Listing Serving said that the home has more than 11,000 square feet of living space and that the “residence blends indoor and outdoor appeal into a seamless whole that is not only exciting, but masterfully executed.”

Her listing said people enter the home via an illusion of a floating pathway over a sculptural koi pond.

“Highlighted by glass walls and soaring geometrical spaces, the transitions between indoor and outdoor space are blurred by disappearing glass walls throughout,” Petroni said.

Petroni added that “the outdoor full-valley views are captivating, but the interior scene is equally impressive.

“Natural stone is blended with polished granite and unfinished concrete, creating a sensory experience with an artistic, sensual backdrop for colorful furnishings and art. With six bedrooms, six full baths and two half baths, the home can easily accommodate a large family or serve as a private retreat with abundant spaces for guests.”

County records show the property has a pool, 3,963 square feet on the first floor, 3,882 on the second floor, a finished basement of 3,026 square feet and basement garage of 2,284 square feet.

“This is one of the best-built houses I have ever seen,” Petroni said. “It’s industrial modern with commercial-grade appliances and an elevator. The architecture is unique.

“The master bedroom on the second floor suspends over the part of the yard. It feels like you’re floating. He built the house with an entertaining area below ground that’s designed for privacy and protection from the elements so they could entertain outside year-round.”

The home has a saltwater fish tank that takes up the majority of the space behind the bar, Petroni said.

Michael Gaughan in Summerlin

Gaughan paid $8 million for the Tournament Hills home overlooking the 15th fairway at TPC Summerlin after making a bid to purchase the Country Club Hills home of former gaming executive Barry Shier. The Shier French-style cottage on what’s known as Billionaires Row sold in April for $11.3 million to an e-commerce executive. Realtors said Gaughan made a higher offer, but the home was already under contract.

The Tournament Hills home was listed by Tim McGinnis, a Realtor with the Darin Marques Group at Huntington & Ellis. The firm said the $985 per square foot paid for the home is the highest amount ever paid in Tournament Hills, beating $542 per square foot in 2007. Tournament Hills has 130 homes.

Gaughan’s agent was Danielle Stonestreet with Six Star Realty.

The home has five bedrooms, seven baths and a four-car garage. McGinnis’ listing describes the home as having detailing and finishes that define a Tuscan-style home. He said the two-story property with 8,119 square feet features hand-chiseled hardwood floors, a spiral staircase, hand-painted ceilings, custom stonework and custom wood doors.

The grand entry leads into a two-story formal living area with a stone-encased fireplace. The chef’s kitchen features custom cabinetry, granite counters, a custom range hood, expansive central island, copper sink, professional appliances and a large pantry with built-ins, McGinnis said.

The master bedroom features wood-beamed ceilings and a spa-like bath with a copper freestanding soaking tub, dual vanities and walk-in shower. The exterior is lush and features a saltwater pool and spa, covered entertaining area with fireplace and island bar grill. Additional features include a game room with a pool table, wine cellar, elevator and executive office, McGinnis said.

The lot spans 24,000 square feet.

Marques said the Tournament Hills home burned down about six years ago and took four years to rebuild. The previous owners were the Irish Rover Bypass Trust and Baracker-Flynn Colette Trust.

“They tore it down to the dirt lot and rebuilt it,” Marques said. “The level of finishes and everything else they put into the property is fantastic. They had a guy spend a year and a half in the home painting. We got a buyer who recognized the quality in it and level of workmanship. It was a piece of art sitting there. It was an impressive property.”

The final price included $1.5 million in furniture in the home.

Southern Highlands spec homes

The most expensive home sold in May was for $8.8 million in the Enclaves neighborhood inside the Southern Highlands master-planned community. A new luxury home measuring 12,095 square feet built by Unique Custom Homes has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

Kamila Rendon, a Realtor with Simply Vegas, was the listing agent. Ivan Sher’s team member Nicole Tomlinson was the buyer’s agent. The buyer is BDJ Family Limited Partnership.

“It’s a gorgeous home,” Rendon said. “Every time I showed it, people said it looked like a luxury hotel lobby. The builder did a lot of high-end touches.”

The home has an open floor plan, a pool with a water feature, butler’s pantry, prep kitchen, refrigerated pantry, Fresco room and two DaVinci fireplaces.

Unique is building a $5 million spec home in The Ridges, Rendon said.

“The custom-home market is booming if they’re not looking for quick move-in time,” Rendon said. “That’s why spec homes are phenomenal and built with really luxurious finishes and quick move-in for them.”

Sher said it’s a gated community within a guard-gated area and built around an island. It’s an oval-shaped community, and some of the largest homes in Southern Highlands are in that neighborhood, he said.

Another new home in Southern Highlands sold for $7.75 million though it’s about three months away from being completed. That will allow the new owners to complete the property on their own. It was listed for $12 million fully completed with a pool and landscaping. The buyer is listed as Life is Amazing LLC.

The Mediterranean-style home described as a Beverly Hills-style mansion measures 18,210 square feet with nine bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. It sits on 1.33 acres.

Beverly Hills developer and investor the Attia Group built the home. Robbins Construction of Henderson was the builder.

Bob Barnhart, a Realtor with Luxurious Real Estate was the listing agent. Ivan Sher represented the buyer.

The home with a six-car garage has two main stories and a walk-out basement that has a poker room, hair salon, movie theater, lounge, day spa, workout room and two guest suites, Barnhart said.

The main floor has a secondary master bedroom, office, living room, family room, formal dining room, kitchen, chef’s kitchen and two other guest suites. The home has a detached guest casita in the front portion of the house.

The upstairs has three guest suites and a master bedroom. The home has a double staircase and fireplace in the center and looks dramatic when walking through the front door with a large skylight, Barnhart said.

The main kitchen opens to the family room. The home has a formal entrance that leads into the dining room. It has a walk-in wine cellar. There are a lot of windows and pocket doors across the back of the house, which overlooks the Southern Highlands’ golf course and the home’s two-level swimming pool. The home has a walk-through garden, Barhart said.

Sher said seven figures will be put into the home for its completion.

“They wanted to complete it the way they wanted it done,” Sher said. “It made sense at the price it was.”

The Ridges

A home in The Ridges sold for $7.2 million in May. William Quijada and Diane Gadbois were the buyers represented by John Johnson of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Sher’s agent Austin Sherwood represented the sellers, BAMM Nevada Trust.

The home measures 14,070 square feet and has four bedrooms and 7½ bathrooms on a three-quarter-acre lot.

It’s a three-story Mediterranean-style estate on the ninth hole of the Red Rock Country Club. It has a saltwater pool and spa, outdoor kitchen with a wood-fire pizza oven, a putting green, shuffleboard court and circular fire pit.

The home has an indoor basketball court, golf simulator, exercise room, home theater, plasma entertainment wall, upper-level observation deck, office, lounge areas, wine storage room and billiards room with a wet bar.

Other noteworthy sales

Realtor Mahsheed Barghisavar with Mahsheed Real Estate was the buyer’s agent for a Sunrise Manor home at 601 N. Hollywood Blvd. sold to the Oliver Fink Trust for $3.55 million. River Mountain LLC was the seller and represented by Sher.

The 5,613-square-foot estate sits on more than 14 acres and has a private tree-lined drive that leads to the home once owned by the late Las Vegas media mogul Don Reynolds.

The home has two fountains and a courtyard designed for entertaining. It has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.