Nevada State Museum prepares for a Nevada Day opening

Nevada State Museum prepares for a Nevada Day opening

The 70,000-square-foot Nevada State Museum at the Springs Preserve is double the size of the former museum at Lorenzi Park and boasts permanent and temporary exhibit space, a research library and educational labs. The opening coincides with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s declaration of October as Nevada History Month.

“Museums play a key role in society — they engage people with their heritage and they stand as a place of learning and education,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “I’m pleased that this important cultural resource is opening, for both Nevadans and visitors to enjoy.”

Highlights at the new museum include the first dinosaur fossils documented in Nevada, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s 1946 Flamingo stock certificate, mineral specimens from Nevada mines, preserved Nevada wildlife and Las Vegas showgirl costumes. Through interactive exhibits, video presentations and other displays, visitors will learn about Nevada’s people, geography and history.

The $51.5 million museum is at the Springs Preserve, the 180-acre cultural institution with museums, exhibits, gardens, interpretive trails, event space and more. Built on the site of artesian springs that once nourished desert life, the Springs Preserve is owned by the Las Vegas Valley Water District and showcases water conservation. Visitors to the Nevada State Museum at the Springs Preserve will pay one fee that allows entry into the preserve as well as the museum.

“This new museum is a great asset to Nevada, both for visitors and residents,” Peter Barton, administrator for the Nevada Division of Museums and History, said. “It tells a multi-faceted story of our state, and provides a place for researchers and students to learn more about Nevada.”

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The Nevada State Museum at the Springs Preserve, funded by a 2001 bond issue, was completed in 2009, but state budget issues kept the doors closed until earlier this year, when lawmakers approved funding to complete the exhibits and hire staff. The Springs Preserve also is helping by providing marketing and staff support, as well as a portion of admissions revenue. The new museum will be open four days a week, Friday through Monday.

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