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Photo: Mike Henle
It’s Saturday morning, and Jim Marsh is discussing business with his staff at Jim Marsh Automotive (a Kia-Mitsubishi-Suzuki dealership) in northwest Las Vegas. This is “game day” in the car business, when most sales are made.
You wouldn’t know it given his entrepreneurial success, but this is an atypical beginning to the weekend for Marsh, who refers to his age as “north of 70.” Instead, he is often bound for rural Nevada to relax and enjoy the history of the Silver State.
You’d have to look hard to find anyone who loves Nevada as much as Marsh, who has become a local star for his TV commercials (in one found on YouTube, Marsh loses a go-kart race to his grandson). “I am a huge fan of western history,” says Marsh, who moved to Las Vegas from Longview, Washington in 1971. “I have never found a state like this one.”
While Marsh’s intent was to enter the car dealership business when he first journeyed to Las Vegas, it’s his real-estate investments that illustrate his love of Nevada. His portfolio includes several bars and inns in rural towns such as Amargosa Valley (Longstreet Inn & Casino), Goldfield (Santa Fe Saloon & Motel), Manhattan (Manhattan Bar & Motel), Pioche (Bank Club), and Tonopah (Banc Club and Tonopah Station).
His favorite escape is the living ghost town of Belmont, located about 45 miles northeast of Tonopah. He even built a beautiful 48-seat nondenominational church on a plateau overlooking the old mining camp. “Belmont is my favorite spot,” says Marsh, whose rural retreats become more frequent during Southern Nevada’s warmer months.
Throw in the ownership of Skyline Restaurant & Casino in Henderson, and you would think that Marsh has enough on his Nevada plate. Not so. The fact that he owns a house on the northern edge of Goldfield adds more meaning to the story—especially after North Springs Resources Corporation announced its recent acquisition of Imperial Gold and Silver Property in Esmeralda County, of which Goldfield is the seat.
Marsh has good luck, for sure. His friends contend he never loses. “Oh, some of my dreams have turned into a nightmare,” Marsh says with a laugh. “I was one of the founders of Mineral Bank, and it went under back in the 1980s. It was the first bank to fail in Nevada in 50 years.”
All in all, though, his move to Nevada more than 40 years ago has paid off. “Nevada has been exceptionally good to me,” he says. “I came here because of the opportunity. I read an advertisement about an AMC dealership. Had it not been for that $3 ad, I would have gone somewhere else.”
JIM MARSH’S NEVADA HOLDINGS
• Banc Club, Tonopah
• Bank Club, Pioche
• Jim Marsh Automotive, Las Vegas
• Longstreet Inn & Casino, Amargosa Valley
• Manhattan Bar & Motel, Manhattan
• Santa Fe Saloon & Motel, Goldfield
• Skyline Restaurant & Casino, Henderson
• Tonopah Station, Tonopah