Mayor John Lee has been working tirelessly to bring businesses into North Las Vegas, but there is one business he and many others will be relieved to see go.
Owned by Clark County native Bob Combs, R.C. Farms was known for two things: feeding hogs on leftover casino buffet scraps, and the unpleasant odors that it generated in the area. Now, the 154 acres consisting of R.C. Farms and the vacant land adjacent to it will change hands.
The $23 million sale of the property 10 miles north of the Las Vegas Stripto developer Guy Inzalaco will allow mixed use development to be built on the land. Development proposals are being drafted, but they are anticipated to include housing along with retail.
Nearby residents will likely see an increase in property values as the foul funk fades into the desert winds for good.
Combs Developed Business Chops Recycling Casino Food
While most are relieved that the sights and smells of R.C. Farms will be a distant memory, the hog farm’s ingenious business model does represent a slice of Las Vegas history.
Bob Combs launched his hog-feeding business in the 1960s, purchasing low-cost food waste from several casinos in order to fatten his pigs before slaughter. Among his earliest food-sourcing clientele were the Golden Nugget, El Cortez, Fremont, Jerry’s Nugget and the Nellis Air Force Base.
Decades later in 2006, Combs’ operation was 3,500 pigs strong and relied on waste from 22 casino resorts. The irony of yesterday’s glamorous grub turning into tomorrow’s bacon fodder was not lost on residents, but the legacy of R.C. Farms had less to do with charm and more with frustration as modern development sprouted up around the decidedly muddy tract.
Now, neighbors can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they could soon be at the epicentre of exciting development and strengthening property values.
As for Combs, he and his family are sticking around for the foreseeable future. The property transfer deal included setting aside a 4.3-acre parcel for Bob Combs and his wife, Janet, to remain “life tenants.”
Las Vegas’ chefs will continue to have a place to send their second-hand scraps, as well, as the family business will change hands to Bob Combs’ son, Clinton Combs. Clinton and his brother Hank will be opening another pig farm on a 50-acre parcel at the landfill adjacent to the Apex Industrial Park. Like their fathers’, their 5,000 hogs will be fattened to market weight on Casino leftovers.
As Apex is the future site of cutting-edge businesses like Faraday Future and Hyperloop Technologies, a time-honored Las Vegas tradition of not wasting food will sit alongside some of the most advanced manufacturing on the planet.