When Courtney and Jason Smith moved to Las Vegas in 2005, they figured it would be a lark – a fun, two- or three-year adventure as they both launched their careers. Jason landed a clerkship in Las Vegas after graduating law school, while Courtney, an audiologist, also secured a job right away in the Entertainment Capital of the World where musicians, entertainers, DJs and those in the noisy nightclub industry needed help protecting their hearing.
Fast forward 15 years and the Smiths, who now number five with the addition of Carson, a seventh- grader at Faith Lutheran; Sam, a fifth-grader at Las Vegas Day School; and the newest member – family poodle Aaron, are still in Las Vegas, living their best lives in Summerlin.
In fact, Aaron enjoys daily walks at nearby Gardens Park, which the Smiths have lovingly dubbed “The Central Park of Summerlin.” According to Courtney, Jason, who is the best dog dad on the planet, has made fast friends of other doggy parents he sees on his daily walks.
Courtney, a gymnast who can still do a mean backflip, and Jason, a basketball player, who can still dunk with the best of them, both enjoyed collegiate athletic careers at the University of Iowa. With sports playing a central role in their lives, the family embraces the city’s growing evolution as home to professional sports. In fact, a return to Las Vegas Aviators and Vegas Golden Knights hockey games are at the top of the family’s post-COVID-19 wish list.
The Smith kids have participated in several summer sports camps at the Veterans Memorial Leisure Center next to Palo Verde High School; they have taken golf lessons and golfed with the family at Red Rock Country Club and Siena; and according to Courtney, the kids are enjoying the family’s new backyard pool to the point of exhaustion. “I literally have to drag them out at 10 pm every night,” she said.
In addition to sports, the family’s newest interest is musical theatre, thanks to their uber-talented son, Carson, who is bringing music and theatre into the home with his passion and penchant for the dramatic.
In Summerlin, the Smiths enjoy frequent bike rides with pit stops at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf; they walk often to La Strega for dinner; and Downtown Summerlin boasts Courtney’s favorite store – H&M, which she says is on her must-always-visit list. A family favorite dinner spot is Sushi Loca topped off with fro-yo from Menchie’s – again, both within walking distance of home.
A Smith family fun fact is their recent trip to Dubai, courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres. Last year, Courtney attended the Ellen Show with a friend in LA. The show just happened to be one of Ellen’s famous “Giveaway” shows, and everyone in the audience won a trip to Dubai!
“Taking the kids to Dubai was a global adventure we could only dream of,” said Courtney of the once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Jason and I just get the giggles when our kids say they can’t wait to go back. Yeah, right – not! Thanks, Ellen, for spoiling us and our kids!”