I-Team: Homeless camp discovered on local golf course

I-Team Special Reports

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One Las Vegas man contacted 8 News Now about what he discovered on a golf course: a homeless camp. 

The Las Vegas National Golf Course is minutes from The Strip. 

“I mean it’s peaceful and quiet,” said Herbert Beshar. 

Beshar says he’s a caretaker at a home on Ottawa Street. 

“It’s just a great environment to be around nature here,” Beshar said. 

But what he also found… 

“I was absolutely shocked at what I saw, absolutely shocked,” Beshar said. 

Trash, blankets, and during our visit, someone who appeared to be sleeping in a tent. 

“This is somebody’s home complete with an outdoor BBQ grill and a hose,” Beshar said.  

The golf course is surrounded by a fence. Beshar tells us he’s seen individuals on Spencer Street use a bookcase to step on and hop over. But during our visit, we see one gate wide open. 

“This is not the sanctuary for homeless people,” Beshar said. 

The I-Team reached out to the Las Vegas National Golf Course. 

General Manager Coy Wood told 8 News Now over the phone, the golf course just doesn’t have the resources to keep up with the issue. 

In an email, he wrote: 

Thank you for inquiring about the creek (Flamingo Wash) that runs from West Las Vegas, to Las Vegas National Golf Course and onto lake Mead.  The trash in the creek is an ongoing problem that we have been trying to get the county to help control for the past six to seven years, with no help.  The Flamingo Wash is controlled into concrete culverts west of the city and runs under the Flamingo Hotel and the Link Hotel, and onto Las Vegas National.  Our owners prefer to keep the creek as a natural wild life preserve rather than cementing in the wash.  It is amazing how much waterfowl, fish, turtles, and other marine life is in the creek. 

I hope you are aware that hundreds of homeless people live in the culverts from west Las Vegas to Spencer Street, which then turns into the wild life preserve at Las Vegas National.  As you know we have not had any major rain in Las Vegas until this last Friday (3/12), can you imaging, we had about 20 truck loads of trash come down the culverts and dump into our wild life preserve.  Homeless people are also a problem, as they come down the culverts, there is not a fence or gate to keep them out of the golf course area.  We continually teardown their tent areas, and ask the police to help us keep them out.  The police will help us, but only if the homeless person threatens our workers, and there is a threat to the safety of the workers. 

In the past, we have been able to get some help from Cassa Grande (inmate work release program).  Generally two to four inmates for two day a week, but with COVID, all inmates have been restricted the facility for over a year now.  March is our busiest month of the year, and the time when we profitable.  In 2020 we were closed for the month of March,  and business evaporated for the year.  I am hoping we can make up the losses of 2020 in the next two years, as our resort business is just starting to come back. 

Your help in addressing the problem and in trying to help us get volunteers from the community to (1) clean the creek and (2) keep it clean would be a greatly appreciated.  Our requests from county commissioners has fallen on deaf ears, so any help we can get from the community would be greatly appreciated. 

Las Vegas National Golf Course General Manager Coy Wood

In regards to the homeless, police will help try to remove them only if there is a threat to workers. 

“It’s certainly an issue and it’s not going to go away,” Beshar said. 

The I-Team also contacted Clark County. 

Spokesman Dan Kulin says this is private property and responsibility falls on the golf course. He also tells the I-Team the county is responsible for this fence and after we told him it was open, the county would check on it. 

While there is a disagreement on who should clean this up, the general manager says any help from the public would be greatly appreciated. 

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