top of page


(to see all available clips, view portfolio on a desktop computer)

An incredible Las Vegas property is a 2016 market highlight

June, 2016

When it comes to the world of real estate, jumping over obstacles and through flaming hoops isn’t far from the limits some realtors will go for the opportunity to land a multi-million-dollar property. In the case of one luxury property in Summerlin, for Rich Robledo and his team at Acclaim Real Estate, the process was much simpler. Prior to being put on the market in early 2016, the property had only two previous homeowners to date, the second being Nancy Nelson, a good friend of Robledo’s. “Nancy has been in the valley for quite some time, and knows several other agents,” says Robledo, founder of Acclaim Real Estate. “I was honored when she chose me to help her with the sale of the home.” So, what makes this $2.75 million property so extravagant? A combination of modern luxury, European elegance and a prime location. Located in the Tournament Hills community along the greens of TPC Summerlin, this five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home includes a Las Vegas Strip view and embodies everything that denotes luxury and sophistication. “The listing agents in Tournament Hills are all great. It’s an incredible opportunity to be selected to sell a property in the community and I am happy to be one of the listing agents in there now,” Robledo says. Built in 1998, this property sits on approximately 8,000 square feet and includes a myriad of refined features including custom ironwork, a laundry shoot, marble and stone flooring, and faux paintings and artwork on the walls throughout the house. In addition, the house also contains a variety of built-in features such as fireplaces, entertainment centers, and sound system, vacuum, security, saltwater and fertilizing systems. In 2009, when in the market for a new home, Nelson said the house was full of elements that caught her eye and sold her on the property upon her initial visit. The property itself was picturesque and the artistic details in the interior design and architecture created a unique look to the house. The quality of workmanship and the maturity of the yard added to the property’s splendor, not to mention the abundance of space. “Size was a factor,” says Nelson. “The three extra bedrooms allowed each of my grandchildren to have their own. I liked the very spacious and workable kitchen and eating area and formal dining room. I also liked the neighborhood. I like a guard gated community and the amenities of the golf course, tennis courts and park for children to play.” From the majestic fountain highlighting the grand entrance and the stately iron works leading up the main staircase and accenting some of the windows, to the archways, raised ceilings and iron balconies, this house is abundant in architectural and interior design embellishments. With a basis of European elegance, the ambiance of the property transports residents and their guests from the standard Las Vegas motif to the chic and splendid setting of Italy or France. The first floor is designated as the main living area, located on which are a great room with 30-foot ceilings and a built in fireplace, a spacious office and den, each with custom built-in cabinetry, and two bedrooms, including the master suite, which has a built in fireplace and entertainment center, large Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and two walk-in closets. And for the at-home chef, the spacious kitchen includes a large eating area, a six burner gas island stove, two ovens, an oversized refrigerator and freezer, two dishwashers, custom alder wood cabinets, a granite double sink and a pass-through to the formal dining room which contains its own unique feature—a built-in wine refrigerator. Located on the second level of the property are three more bedrooms and a family room with wet bar, refrigerator, dishwasher, fireplace and built in entertainment center. And when it comes to luxury, no estate is complete without regal lion statues and this home incorporates those as well, framing the sides of the backyard’s custom pebble technology and saltwater pool. Multiple French doors extend the entertaining space to the backyard which not only features the pool and spa, but also a large built-in barbecue with bar and seating, outdoor fans and misting system. It’s an entertainer’s delight. “When you walk in the door you’re happy to be there. It’s a great entertainment home,” says Nelson. “I've had as many as 150 guests and never did the home feel crowded.” While this property sits as a highlight in their 2016 property client list, this estate isn’t the only high-end luxury property Acclaim Real Estate and Robledo have in their wings for 2016. In addition to the Tournament Hills property, Acclaim is working on two additional properties located in the Mandarin and in the Ridges, each to be listed at over two million dollars. “At Acclaim, we are driven by passion for our client’s needs, putting our own ego aside to ensure all their needs are met and the real estate process is as pleasant as possible,” Robledo says.

TBEA's Next Architectural Chapter

March, 2016

After 42 years in the industry leading the architectural firm Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, Barry Thalden is stepping down from his partnership role for a life of retirement and handing the reins to his former partners and coworkers. Although the transition means that Rich Emery will take over leading the company, he’s no newbie to the industry or the company. “I feel great about Rich taking over,” Thalden said. “Rich started with the firm as a summer intern 32 years ago. He and I have run the firm for many years now and he has been in charge of the design of the projects. When it comes down to it, he’s the right guy to do this.” With two architectural degrees from the University of Kansas, Emery began with the firm straight out of college in 1982. Over the years, he worked his way up through the ranks filling nearly every job available in the firm until he became part owner and took over the position of director of design, providing the firm with one of its major transitions that continues to define the company today. “One of the things we are known for is our unique design. Originally the company was a service firm, and as that it was difficult for the firm to achieve notoriety for design. That was one of the things I insisted that if I was going to take over the role of director of design we had to focus on,” Emery said. “I was able to transform the office into a design firm, and we’ve been that ever since, while still maintaining the service side as well.” With a resume jam-packed with the firm’s projects, Emery continues his architectural journey by stepping up to lead the company. While the restructuring of Thalden Boyd Emery Architects means there will be a new face leading the company forward, it’s business as usual for everyone involved. “We don’t see this as that big of a transition. We will continue to provide the responsive service that we’re known for and continue to produce impactful and unique buildings,” Emery said. “One thing we’ve always been able to achieve and will continue to achieve is being able to make clients extremely successful and dominate in competitive situations.” Emery’s step-up in managing the company isn’t the only change for Thalden Boyd Emery Architects. In addition to Emery’s new visionary role, company Vice President Nick Schoenfeldt, who has been with the firm for 15 years, will be taking on a new role as a partner, while maintaining his position as vice president. It’s a new transition as key players switch, but for the firm it’s a new internal development process of transitioning visionary focus to an all-encompassing team effort and paving the way for more ambitious architects to have a space to grow, learn and flourish in the industry. “We’re going into the second generation of the company, and Rich, Chief and I are very vocal about making sure we lay the groundwork for a third, fourth and fifth generation for the company so that it’s not a onetime thing, but becomes a more fluid process for the long term,” Schoenfeldt said. The phrase “build it and they will come” may have applied in the past, but with new advancements in design, engineering and desires, it takes more than a few slabs of concrete to create a masterpiece. For decades, Thalden Boyd Emery Architects has continued to refine its customer service, responsiveness and the detail of design to provide customers with a truly unique presentation in order to efficiently produce the greatest return on investment. With offices in St. Louis, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., the company’s history includes work with more than 200 casinos and more than 400 hotels and resort projects, many of which were Native American hospitality- and gaming-focused. While design emphasis has been instilled in the company’s efforts, customer service remains at the top of its strengths. In recent years, Thalden Boyd Emery Architects was named The Most Responsive Architectural Firm in the Country in the PSMJ Client Satisfaction Awards among architects and engineers. In regard to its projects, many have been honored with top design awards for being the “best,” “most creative” or “sexiest.” Thalden Boyd Emery Architects has another strong point to its credit—the experience infused into the firm by partner Chief Boyd, one of the most well-known Native American architects in the industry. Boyd brings his Cherokee heritage, Native American passion and more than 40 years of industry experience to the firm and is the reason Thalden Boyd Emery Architects can call itself a Native American firm. “My Indian heritage became a major focus on my work, and although I’ve done other things, my passion has been working for Indian country,” Boyd said. “I see the company in the future servicing Indian country projects. I know we’ll do other things, but my main focus in the firm is the Native American undertakings.” Chief Boyd AIA – Partner (left), Barry Thalden AIA – Founder of Thalden Boyd Emery Architects (right)While Boyd and Vice President of Business Development Linda Roe continue developing relationships with the Native American gaming market, the firm has filled a business development position to focus on commercial business in hospitality and gaming markets. “It’s a market we have always seen and worked in but not a market we focused on,” said Schoenfeldt. “We’re trying to build a better base. Most of our work has always included hotels, restaurants, event centers and nightclubs, so it’s only logical that we move more into commercial-based gaming, as well as those other amenities that we consider amenities to a gaming facility, while still always being hospitality-focused all the time.” With hundreds of projects in its portfolio, including Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa; Buffalo Thunder Resort; Firekeepers Casino Hotel; Indigo Sky Casino; and the new Miami Valley Gaming facility, Thalden Boyd Emery Architects work to fill the void left from Thalden’s retirement and continue to move forward with innovative projects and designs. The firm’s current and upcoming projects include making significant changes and renovations to San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, Calif., creating new additions to the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes’ Sugar Creek Casino in Hinton, Okla., and designing a new look throughout the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill. “There really is no hesitation moving forward,” Emery said. “I’ve been with the company for 32 years, have been running the St. Louis office for 25 years and running the design department for most of that time, so for us, in house, it’s not a big transition. It’s just a minor change for how the company operates.” As with any company over time, changes will occur. With Thalden retiring, staff members said, a name change for the company may transpire down the road, but the company’s work won’t change. When it comes to the firm’s dedication to providing clients with unique and profitable projects, clients are assured they won’t see any falter in work productivity or project quality and the company that Thalden has built over decades will continue to flourish. “It feels like this is an opportunity to step back, overview it all and be in celebration of a great career,” Thalden said. “This is a company that went from zero to all that we are in 42 years so what could happen in the next decade or two could be amazing. Thalden Boyd Emery Architects has become a much bigger idea than one person’s imagination. It is a team of dedicated and creative people that continue to make magic happen. The firm has unlimited potential because all the key people that design the projects and manage the projects are still there and have the opportunity to really take off using their own wings. I see that as a tremendous potential for the future.” To learn more about upcoming projects and customization options from Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, visit

The things you ‘knee-d’ to know to get back in the swing of things

April 2013

From the surgical table to the golf course in a matter of six weeks: for some, this sounds like nothing more than a fantastical dream come true, for others it’s their reality. With new advancements in technology, implant prosthetics and more proactive physicians, the drawn out down time from knee and hip replacement surgeries is something of the past. “How quickly people get back up and walking and back in their normal routine is ultimately up to them. We establish a physical postop routine that gets them walking down the hall just two to three hours after their surgery, walking 1,000 feet the day of the operation and within two weeks about half of them can take a swing out at the golf course already,” says Dr. Michael Crovetti, orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine physician and founder of Crovetti Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Henderson, Nev. Patients’ quick recovery times are due to physical therapy. To prevent muscle atrophy, weakness and fatigue during recovery, Crovetti requires patients to make a physical therapy commitment of one hour a day for hip replacement and two hours a day, twice a day for knee replacements for the first four to six weeks after surgery. By requiring patients to return to a physical exercise program almost immediately, the body is not given the chance to become stiff and sore and thus patients are able to keep pain to a minimum and get back to their normal routine in a fraction of the recovery time with an increase in mobility and range of motion. Like the recovery time, surgery times are also shorted due to advancements in surgical instruments and techniques, including minimally invasive surgeries, which include three and four-inch incisions and no cutting of the muscles, and more durable, long-lasting plastic implants. In comparison to standard replacement surgeries, which take one to two hours, these modern replacement surgeries are now done in 45 minutes. Like all surgeries a physical toll is taken on the body through the recovery process, however the physical aspect is only half the battle. “There are so many people who are just not mentally ready for the procedure. Physically they can’t walk, they’re not playing golf, they’re in pain every day and are in pain with everything they do but mentally they’re not committed to have the procedure done because they don’t know what it is,” says Crovetti. “People always hear all the horror stories, but I can tell you of 100 people who play the exact same sport and tell them what the outcome is going to be to a very high degree of accuracy. This week, I have a 36-year-old coming up, a big wakeboarder and snowboarder who has completely trashed his knee. He can’t wakeboard, can’t snowboard, we’ll replace his knee and after he has his surgery he’ll be back snowboarding by this winter season. Like most people, he didn’t know what his results would be until he came in and got educated. Things like the Internet are great, but only if people are going to the right places.” Crovetti and his team are on the leading edge of the new surgical turn around. With the elimination of complications and safe and quick recovery processes, Crovetti sees that it is becoming the standard of care for post-op rehabilitation, and surgeons around the country and the world are beginning to gain steam toward this new process. While knee and hip replacement surgeries continue to help or the lack of them continues to hinder individual’s quality of life, when it comes to making a medical or surgical decision education is paramount. “If there’s a closing line of advice that I can give people with bad hips and bad knees it’s; ask questions and listen to the answers. Have the conversation, get educated and then make the decision, because I think most people will find it to be very, very enlightening and inspirational,” says Crovetti. “The surgeon doesn’t make the decision. We treat patients not x-rays. It’s a quality of life decision that the patient has to be mentally ready to make.”

William Lyon Homes: luxury living for all household styles

March, 2016

When it comes to experiencing the alluring lifestyle overlooking the greens of a golf course, a hefty household income isn’t necessarily a must-have. Nestled within the wide-open range of the Mountain Falls Golf Course, William Lyon Homes’ Mountain Falls community presents a range of new and affordable homes. As the only master planned community in Pahrump, Mountain Falls offers homebuyers two series of living spaces that incorporate a small-town feel while being only 40 minutes away from the Durango and Blue Diamond area within Las Vegas. “People think of us as the jewel of the desert and the jewel community of Pahrump,” says Deborah Davis, sales agent for Mountain Falls Series I and II. “Not only are we one of the only communities in Pahrump on city water and sewer rather than standard well and septic, we are affordable and offer amenities such as a private fitness and resident center, two pools, a Jacuzzi, a restaurant, and many mini parks.” With an 18-hole, par 72 course, running through the middle of the community, Mountain Falls’ homes are a reasonable series of single-story collections, starting at $154,000 for their Series I collection and $221,000 for their Series II collection. “Mountain Falls definitely fills a need in Vegas for families who couldn’t afford a nice golf-course lifestyle in the city,” says Davis. “We are an affordable way to live the golf course life. You get a lot of value for your money. While the developers of William Lyon Homes have successfully built an affordable, golf course community, their developments are far from stopping there. For those looking to settle closer to the Las Vegas area, William Lyons Homes offers an assortment of communities within the city as well. These include Tuscan Cliffs, Lago Vista, and their most popular developments at Sterling Ridge, all of which range in styles, locations and values for an array of homebuyers. Within Southern Highlands, the Tuscan Cliffs development offers Mediterranean inspired design styles, and, as an added perk for homebuyers, includes a social membership to the Southern Hills Golf Club. Each home of Tuscan Cliffs offers two-story layouts with over 4,000 square feet of living area in the low $700,000 range. In addition to the individual properties, the community itself caters to families of all sizes, with a multitude of parks and recreation outlets both family and pet-friendly. For more of an oasis feel, those looking to grab a lakeside property can do so in Lago Vista, which offers over 4,000 and 5,000 square foot properties with a resort-inspired oasis located in the newly renovated and expanding community of Lake Las Vegas. The Lake Las Vegas area, after previous closings, is reviving itself with new businesses and attractions, and for new home buyers it’s a chance to move in while the community continues to progress. These contemporary, two-story homes range from the high $800,000’s to low $900,000’s and are within the vicinity of dining and shops in Montelago Village, and private lake access. With two-story homes and predesigned layouts to choose from as well as an option for building one of their predesigns from the ground up, Lago Vista offers exquisite living in a move-in ready arrangement or a possibility for ultimate personalization opportunities. “Standing on the back deck overlooking the lake is just breathtaking,” says Kim Chitwood, director of marketing for William Lyon Homes. “It’s a destination unlike anything here in the valley.” Moving away from the water and back to the west side of town, another community offers an additional contemporary style home, and is one of William Lyon Homes’ most popular properties. The Grand and Premier Collections at Sterling Ridge, located near Bears Best Golf Course within The Ridges of Summerlin, is a collection of the developer’s most prestigious residences, beginning in the high $800,000’s and reaching over $1 million. These one and two-story designs range from approximately 3,546 to 4,871 square feet and include an abundance of luxury architectural sophistication. Whether it’s their affordable desert jewels located in Pahrump or their lavish residences on the outskirts of Las Vegas, William Lyon Homes seeks to build homes for every style and budget. “We look for unique land acquisitions, ones that range from affordable homes in the $100,000 and $200,000 range to more luxury estates that reach over $1 million,” says Chitwood. “We aren’t just a cookie cutter builder for only one demographic. We offer a variety of products for everybody.” In addition to company longevity of approximately 60 years, communities that expand across six states and a high level of quality and customer service, William Lyon Homes also offers peace of mind. The company also offers a three-year-warranty on all home purchases. From Pahrump to Lake Las Vegas, the William Lyon Homes developers have and continue to build developments that incorporate the lush and unique settings throughout Southern Nevada for any household to enjoy.

Art + Science = Innovative Design

August, 2014

Fulfilling a goal of creating fully integrated leisure design experiences, YWS Design and Architecture is doing more than just designing projects. With headquarters located in Las Vegas, the 14-year-old firm specializes in hospitality, gaming, retail, dining and entertainment—the core aspects that make up the customer experiences in Las Vegas and other destination resorts around the world. “The gaming component of the industry has shifted, and the reality is that it tells us that it isn’t just about gaming focus. It isn’t just about hospitality either; it is much more. It’s about the whole leisure experience and focusing on everything as a whole and understanding what the right mix is,” said Tom Wucherer, CEO and principal. Based out of Las Vegas, the firm was founded by the architects and designers responsible for Bellagio, Mirage and M Resort. With its most recently completed hotel and casino, Boyd Gaming’s Kansas Star, the firm continues the tradition of creating successful, profitable integrated resorts. After a run in Las Vegas, in 2009 YWS Design and Architecture expanded beyond the neon city, bringing its gaming and hospitality knowledge to destination resorts around the world. Now with additional offices located in Singapore and Macau, and a Native American services division in Tulsa, Okla., the firm is searching out the unfulfilled needs of project markets to give their clients unique designs and long-term success. While the basic market segments of hospitality—gaming, retail, dining and entertainment—were the firm’s original focus, in the past three years it has begun looking beyond these market segments to the activities themselves, realizing that all are encompassed into one category: leisure. Putting aside the concept of designing for isolated activities, YWS Design and Architecture focuses on generating fully integrated leisure experiences founded on the belief that successful design comes from proper research. As many can attest, most market research tells what demographic aspects a given market has, but it usually falls short in providing data related to psychographics and market white space. With the use of the firm’s research division, this research void is one of the many aspects that YWS Design and Architecture looks to fill for its clients. “It really is a blended approach, where art plus science equals integrated design,” said Global Director of Market Research Roberto Coppola. “Not to discount the art, architects are great artists and create great things, but we need to provide them with some science to help them create even better art.” Sprouting from its original mission to create customer-driven environments, the firm officially added the research division in 2011. Through the efforts of this division, the firm is able to provide pre- and post-design customer research to clients in order to provide a market-fit design that caters to the precise demographics and culture of the project area. Weaving the design aspect of their craft into a database-focused decision-making process, YWS Design and Architecture transforms its projects to fit the specific needs and wants of their client and that client’s customers. “Oftentimes, decision makers are very different from their own customers, so when they are relying on intuition and guessing what their consumers want it can be very dangerous if they guess wrong. Taking a step back and applying the customer-driving methodologies and the drivers of the market is becoming exponentially more important as the markets evolve in order to fully understand their customer,” said Coppola. “It’s not our direct clients that we need to know; it’s their customers that are ultimately our customer.” Using the example of a current project located in what the firm refers to as Australasia, YWS Design and Architecture note there is no template approach to the research it conducts, but rather it is tailored on a case-by-case basis. “We have a client who is faced with a challenge. They have a very successful business primarily consisting of two columns; they have their core gaming business, which is attracting a lower middle-class customer that is very profitable, and then they also have a restaurant component where they have several high-end celebrity chefs, which is also very profitable but is attracting an influential affluent type of customer, and those two customer bases are not mixing. More important, they are not getting those influential affluent customers to go over to the casino floor to gamble,” Coppola explained. “They want a truly integrated experience, and right now they don’t have that. By looking at what their perceptions are of their brand, looking at their loyalty program and, most importantly, speaking to customers within both of those columns in focus groups, direct talks with customers, surveys and making an analysis of the existing data, we are able to start putting together a hypothesis of some architectural improvements that we can make to help.” The research side of development doesn’t stop after the design is created; YWS continues the market research through the creation and completion of the project to ensure all aspects of the demographic market are met. In addition to pre-project research, the research team also provides customer research for existing properties to guide decisions on property remodels and additions, ensure that any new design work fits the market and caters to the precise demographics and culture of the project area. With its Kansas Star Casino located near Wichita, the design process was already underway when new research revealed an untapped market: a local residing Asian subgroup. Once finding this unaddressed demographic, the firm was able to adapt a direction of the design to embrace an area of the casino that specifically addressed the needs of the Asian market, thus increasing potential customer base and providing an outlet for their needs. Now, approximately two years after opening, according to local Wells Fargo research, the Kansas Star has been found to capture approximately 53 percent of the state’s gaming revenue. Beyond demographic and psychographic research, the division examines cultural backgrounds and beliefs and how they should be tied to the design process. When it comes to their Native American projects, a large segment of their research goes into learning about the specific tribes’ culture, stories and histories to properly portray the tribe’s unique culture, rather than a generalized tribal look. This cultural research is also crucial for international projects to break away from stereotyped design themes and structural components and accurately represent the specific geographical and cultural demographics. “I learned a long time ago that market-driven solutions versus ego-driven solutions will win customers’ hearts and owners’ wallets a lot quicker. So why would you not design something that is market driven?” Wucherer said. YWS Design and Architecture’s research approach is much more than a numbers-driven venture; it’s about taking the time to personally interact with existing and potential clients. After asking the necessary questions, collecting the relevant data and preparing reports, the client and the design team come together for visioning sessions where they expand upon previous assumptions and incorporate the hard data into a driving design. “We believe in the importance of research so much that it’s the mandatory beginning of our design process. Moving forward with a design without an understanding of the motivations and drivers of the market is like taking a road trip without a map. You may not reach your destination and if you do you probably took some wrong turns along the way,” said Meghan McLean, the firm’s global director of marketing. “The bottom line is this: People have a choice where they spend their gaming time and money and we want it to be at our client’s properties. Our research division offers an element of certainty to our designs. That’s what the research division is about.” For a complete look into innovation with YWS, visit

bottom of page