Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has listed his studio g ARCHITECTURE designed home in the Henderson, Nevada suburb of Las Vegas. Michael Gardner, principal and lead architect at studio g ARCHITECTURE, was the original architect on the home, which was the first house to be built in the mountainside luxury community Ascaya in 2015.
“We wanted to maximize the expansive views of the Las Vegas valley that Ascaya provides,” Gardner said about the home when it was first introduced to the public in July 2015. “The home sites are integrated into the mountain, so we designed this home to complement the mountain sides, views and geographical plant life.”
Simmons purchased the home in May 2021, along with the adjacent lot in which he made into a private garden with walking trails. Read the entire Wall Street Journal featured story on the listing below.
This spring, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons rolled the dice on Las Vegas.
With his longtime Los Angeles estate on the market, the rock star paid $10.8 million in cash for a “thoroughly modern” mansion in the tony Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. The only problem? His wife, model Shannon Tweed, and their two adult children never wanted to spend time there, preferring to stay at the family’s other homes.
“They’re not fans of 115-degree weather,” said Mr. Simmons, 72, who co-founded Kiss in the 1970s, gaining fame for wearing black-and-white makeup and spitting fake blood on stage. The roughly 11,000-square-foot home ended up sitting empty, so he decided to sell. The house is now listed for $14.95 million, less than a year after Mr. Simmons bought it.
Mr. Simmons, who was born in Israel and moved to New York as a child, said he has no regrets about selling the property so soon after the purchase, adding: “How many houses do you need anyway?”
Set on roughly an acre, the Las Vegas home has a private courtyard with a floating walkway over a Koi pond. In the great room, a two-story glass wall overlooks the Las Vegas Strip. Built in 2016, the house has an 11-seat theater and bar area with a 1,200-gallon saltwater aquarium. There are six bedrooms, including two on the upper floor that have glass walls and cantilever over the patio below.
Mr. Simmons said he made improvements after buying the house, such as installing all new floors and ripping up wall-to-wall carpeting in some of the rooms. The previous owners “had three dogs and three or four children,” he said. “The carpets were full of pee.”
In addition to purchasing the main residence, Mr. Simmons bought an adjacent, vacant lot—what he called a half acre of “bare earth”—and spent about $1 million on landscaping. He hired a local nursery to plant approximately 130 elm, ash, myrtle and tipu trees in the span of two days; in exchange, he agreed to appear in a promotional video for the business. “They brought in 40 people, planted 60 trees in one day and the rest the next day,” he said. The result is a “private oasis” with a full canopy of trees that are watered individually by a computer-controlled irrigation system.
In the end, however, Mr. Simmons said he never spent more than a few weeks total in Las Vegas because of his touring schedule and business travel. Over the summer, the Kiss “End of the Road” tour resumed after being postponed during Covid. In addition to performing and hawking Kiss-branded merchandise, Mr. Simmons has become a prolific pitchman for companies that sell everything from insurance and software to soda and cannabis. “I am a ping-pong ball, really,” said Mr. Simmons. “I get tossed around to here, there.”
The decision to sell the Nevada home is part of a broader real estate shake-up for the Simmonses, who own an extensive portfolio of homes on the West Coast.
A few years ago, they finished building a modern lake house in Whistler, British Columbia. Mr. Simmons said the house, which cost about $4 million to build, is his wife’s “dream house.” He said he also owns land in Colorado.
In October 2020, the Simmonses listed their longtime mansion in Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles, with Mr. Simmons wanting to move out of California to escape the state’s heavy tax burden. “I’m blessed to make a good living,” he said, but the downside of his wealth is that it puts him in a higher tax bracket. “Because I grew up poor, I don’t like that. You can stretch a rubber band, but at some point it snaps.”
Because he felt badly about listing the family home, Mr. Simmons said, he bought his wife a home in Malibu in March 2021, paying around $5.8 million for a modern house on a hilltop so high it’s in “God’s country.” And when the Benedict Canyon house sold for $16 million, he signed a contract to buy a smaller house a few miles away for $10.5 million. The Simmons kids—Nick and Sophie—live next door to each other in L.A. houses their father bought for them.
Mr. Simmons said he doesn’t think about buying real estate as an investment, rather as a way to show love and gratitude to his family. “I bought the houses for my family because I love them,” he said.
Out-of-state buyers are flooding the Las Vegas market in search of more favorable tax laws, according to Evangelina Duke-Petroni of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, who is co-listing the property with colleague Ivan Sher. After a brief pause during Covid, she said, the market “started snowballing and it has not stopped since.”
“Five years ago, it wasn’t common to have a house listed for over $5 million,” she said. This past summer, a spec house in Henderson traded for $25 million, and another home in the city is listing for $32 million. “That has become the new standard of luxury.”