Las Vegas' Own Chocolate Factory

 
 

If you haven't stumbled upon it yet, Las Vegas has its own chocolate factory!

History 
Forrest Mars had retired from Mars Chocolate and decided to move to Las Vegas. While enjoying retirement, he needed something to do. So in 1981 he founded Ethel M Chocolates, which produces gourmet chocolates under the Mars chocolate portfolio. Ethel Mars taught her son Forrest how to make gourmet chocolate candy in her kitchen and he continued to perfect it over many years. 

The Factory
Ethel M is intended to remain small so the quality is never compromised so if you visit the factory, this is it. You'll see the store where you can buy chocolate, as well as the factory where it is made. It is a great experience for both children and adults to see how the chocolate is made. The best part, this is all free! 

Tasting Events
Last year they also started chocolate tasting events. Now they have them everyday and every hour from 10am-7pm. You can reserve a seat or walk in. You can find more information here.  They also share how chocolate is made, which is very interesting. The class lasts 30-45 minutes. You also can pick the tasting menu as well. 

Cactus Garden 
Forrest Mars Sr. intertwined his two passions, chocolate and gardening, when creating the factory. Cacti gardening was a natural extension of his interests resulting in the Botanical Cactus Garden. "The cactus garden is Nevada's largest and one of the world's largest collections of its kind", according to the website. They decorate it for various season so in the winter make sure to check out the garden with all of the lights! 

Chocolate
Last but not least, the chocolate! While it is a great place to visit, you also will enjoy the chocolate. They have an area set up where you can taste a few samples before purchasing them. Once you've tasted Ethel M chocolate, other chocolate will never be the same. They also make great gifts! 

So if you haven't stopped by the chocolate factory yet, make sure to add it to your list! 

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
shawn@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0855 Shawn
kyle@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0840 Kyle
Source: Ethel M Chocolate

You're Guide to the Hoover Dam

 
hoover-dam
 

With the upcoming holiday weekend, you might looking for something different to do. If you haven't already, make sure you check out the Hoover Dam. It's a great place to visit for all ages. 

Getting There
Hoover Dam is about a 30 min drive from Las Vegas depending on which part of town you're leaving from. From the northwest, it can take closer to an hour, so make sure to look up the drive time before planning your trip. 

Advice: It's best to plan your trip to arrive when they first open, if not before. Getting there early makes it easier if you plan to go on the tours, especially the Hoover Dam tour that requires you to buy a ticket when you get there. It's first come, first serve. Parking is also easier. 

Parking
There is a parking garage so it's easy to park. There is a $10 fee so be ready to pay when you enter the garage. The garage opens at 8am. 

Tours
You are able to enter the Visitor Center only for $10 per person with children under 3 being free. This gives you access to historical information and to be able to see the outside. 

The PowerPlant tour is a 30 min guided tour that gives you admission to the PowerPlant and Visitor Center. This can be purchased ahead of time. Click here to see the ticket store. Children 0-3 are free, 4-12 are $12, US military members are $12, Seniors (62+) are $12, and Adults are $15. 

The Hoover Dam tour is a 1 hour guided tour that gives you admission to the Visitor Center, PowerPlant, and Dam Passageways. There is limited space on the tour (only 20 people) and fewer tours per day. It is also first come, first serve. If you plan to go on this tour, I would recommend planning to arrive at 8:30am because the line forms early, and get your tickets when they open at 9am. Hopefully you'll be able to get on the first tour at 9:30am, but you can easily end up on the second tour. This tour is $30 per person and children under 8 years old are not permitted. 

When starting both the PowerPlant tour and Hoover Dam tour, you'll watch a short video about the history of the dam and then follow a tour guide down the elevator. Both groups will do the first part of the tour together and then the Hoover Dam tour will continue past the PowerPlant portion. 

Additional Notes
There is a restroom near the theater area where you wait for your tour. I would recommend going to the restroom before leaving, because you won't have a chance until after the tour. 

There is also a gift shop and concession service near the parking garage you can visit. 

You can take a water bottle on the tour and if you plan to go during the summer, it is highly recommended. 

Depending on how much you plan on doing, you can easily spend half a day at the Hoover Dam. So make sure to plan plenty of time so you don't have to rush. 

Enjoy! 

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
shawn@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0855 Shawn
kyle@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0840 Kyle
Source: USBR.gov

Stay Cool This Summer

 
 

Summer has truly made its appearance in Las Vegas over the last several days. As a reminder, remember to drink water and stay out of the sun on extremely hot days. 

If you're looking for places to cool off, make sure to check out some of the local water parks and neighborhood pools!

Cambridge Water Park
3930 Cambridge St.
(702) 735-1664
More Information >>

Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility
8275 Spring Mountain Rd.
(702) 455-7716
More Information >>

Hollywood Aquatic Center
1550 S. Hollywood
(702) 455-8508
More Information >>

Indian Springs Neighborhood Pool
400 Sky Lane
(702) 879-3023
More Information >>

Laughlin Aquatic Center
3790 S. James Bilbray
(702) 299-9955
More Information >>

Logandale Neighborhood Pool
3280 N. Moapa Valley Blvd.
(702) 398-3126
More Information >> 

Overton Neighborhood Pool
375 W. Thomas
(702) 397-2684
More Information >>

Paradise Water Park
4775 McLeod
(702) 455-8541
More Information >>

Parkdale Water Park
3200 Ferndale St.
(702) 455-7523
More Information >>

Sunrise Neighborhood Pool
2240 Linn Ln.
(702) 455-7610
More Information >>

Walnut Water Park
3075 N. Walnut
(702) 455-8422
More Information >>

Whitney Neighborhood Pool
5712 E. Missouri
(702) 455-8529
More Information >>

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
shawn@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0855 Shawn
kyle@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0840 Kyle
Source: Clark County

Why You Want to Buy or Sell Right Now

 
 

If you're thinking about buying a home, you'll want to make sure you're actually committed to buying a home right now. What I mean by that is, you'll want to get pre-approved by a lender and be prepared to make an offer on a house the day you look at it. If you're not ready, most likely, the house will be off the market before you put in your offer. Due to the low inventory, houses are selling quickly, sometimes within hours of being listed. Houses are receiving multiple offers and without a pre-approval letter, chances are they won't consider your offer because they don't believe you're serious. 

The Las Vegas market has been hovering around 2 months of inventory, which means if all the current listings were sold at the current rate, all of the homes would be gone within 2 months. A balanced market is typically 4-6 months. 

This is good news if you are wanting to sell your home since they are in such high demand, so you should be able to sell it quickly if priced correctly. While not impossible for buyers, they will have to be on their A-game and ready to go when they find the perfect home. A positive for buyers is the market encourages homeowners to sell if they've been thinking about it, which gives a buyer more to look at, they just have to be ready to submit an offer. 

 
Las Vegas Housing Inventory May 2017 Final-page-001.jpg
 

The chart above shows only Single Family Homes for the last 6 months. The yellow/gold bars represent the "Active" listings meaning they are on the market and accepting offers. The purple bars represent the "Pending" listings, which means they haven't closed yet, but an offer has been accepted and they are in the process. 

If you're thinking about buying, feel free to call either of us and we'd be happy to help you! We can put you in touch with our lender to get you pre-approved, but you are welcome to use any lender of your choice. If you're ready to get started now, you can complete the pre-approval form here. We provide free consultations to give you an overview of our process and what to expect. We set our expectations up front to provide the best experience possible. 

If you're thinking about selling, feel free to call either of us and we'd be happy to help you! If you aren't sure, we can provide a comparable market analysis to give you an idea of our suggested list price. We offer a free consultation to explain our listing process. You can also click here to see everything that goes into listing your property. 

If you have any real estate questions, you are also welcome to contact either of us. We love sharing our knowledge and insights to help you make the best decision! 

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
shawn@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0855 Shawn
kyle@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0840 Kyle

Summer Activities in the Valley

 
 

While summer can mean vacations and outdoor activities, it can also create challenges for parents who now have to keep them occupied during the day. According to a recent story by Fox 5 news, many of the camps have been books for months, but there are still some options available if you are looking for activities for your kids. For example, the City of Henderson has spots open in their Summer Kids Zone camp for ages 5-12. It is $112/week or $27/day. 

"Another thing people can do to keep their kids busy is have them volunteer. There are a lot of volunteer organizations that kids can help out in. Goodness Gracious Ministries serves the homeless food all throughout the week. Kids 11 and up can help in the food truck while younger kids can help outside handing out waters and playing games.

Bounce U is a creative way to get the kids out of your hair. They have a camp Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm for $100 per week or $39 per day. Anyone who mentions FOX5 can get a week for $99. On Saturdays, they offer Parents Night Out from 6:00 p.m. -10 p.m. Anyone who signs up by the Thursday before it’s just $20 for the 1st child and $15 for every child after that."

Here is a list of opportunities available: 

Camp Invention

Etiquette Camp

Rock the Tea Girl Camps (Princess Camp, Rock Star Camp, Spa Camp)

Henderson Day Camp

Clark County Day Camp

Bounce U Camp

Goodness Gracious Ministries

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
shawn@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0855 Shawn
kyle@cgvegas.com | 702-823-0840 Kyle
Source: Fox 5 News