Joseph: This one is real easy, folks. Just draw a horizontal line through where it says Paradise on Google Maps of Las Vegas, and you get a handsome medium sized temple district (with room to grow along with this western population hotspot) of 12 stakes serving the south and southeastern suburbs of Sin City that stretches to include a couple of outpost stakes in Arizona.
Last year, Clark County saw the second largest population increase in the nation. But as the Las Vegas Journal Review reported last April, “Clark County’s growth from 2010-18 also marked the nation’s fourth-largest population increase. It added some 279,000 people in that time.”
So it stands to reason that since the Las Vegas temple was dedicated all the back in 1989, the population of the area has, well, exploded, really. Of course that’s not to say that the population of Latter-day Saints followed a similar trajectory, but it’s safe to assume that the stakes in this temple district have significantly expanded their reach.
This is a good pick, and if not this conference, I think we’ll see a second temple servicing the greater metro area of Clark County, Nevada in the near future. That said, Clark County is a large county. Instead of Henderson, they could announce a temple in Searchlight, perhaps as a signal to that Clark County town’s native son, former Democratic Senator and member of the Church, Harry Reid, who I’m sure is greatly missed these days.
Geoff: Well that got political quickly! Harry, we love you because you are a son of God and not because of any political leanings.
I’m mixed on this. Yes, Clark County has seen steady population growth, even in the wake of the housing implosion from 10 years ago that disproportionately adversely affected the area compared to other parts of the country. You mention actual church growth, which is a different indicator. Henderson proper has seen one new stake in the past ten years, and the southern part of the valley has only seen two. Plus, there’s already that casino in Henderson that looks vaguely like the Manti Utah Temple.
Regardless, the corner of Mission Dr. and College Dr., right off the Las Vegas Expressway, and next to a meetinghouse, looks like a prime location.
Moreover, the four stakes closest to the temple, that would presumably remain in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple district, all predate the temple itself, so it’s not as if there’s growth outside of the core support realm to justify cutting out some adjacent stakes.
The other issue is geography. While the Las Vegas area might very well deserve a second temple, and 26 stakes occupy the area, the current temple is near the eastern hills of the valley, situated roughly in the middle, longitudinally. Basically, would a temple in Henderson, with seven or eight stakes in the immediate vicinity and others farther out, simply be too close to the Las Vegas Temple? Would it be best to put a temple somewhere new and sexy, like Summerlin?
At least I can tell you an unlikely location: Enterprise. Also, Primm. But Primm will be forever cursed until Buffalo Bill’s rehabs the Desperado roller coaster.