1954 : Seven families join together to form the Clark County Association for Retarded Children (CCARC)

1956 : Dessie Bailey and other founding parents establish a school for children with disabilities.

1962 : The Thrift Store opens to help pay teacher salaries

1964 : CCARC establishes its first Employment Training Center at 918 South Fourth Street

1969 : Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, contracts with CCARC to sew Elvis’ signature scarves

1975 : Congress passes Public Law 94-142 making public education mandatory for children with disabilities. Opportunity Village turns its attention to vocational training and employment opportunities

1976 : The first “Concert of Love” fundraiser is organized by Glenn Smith. The popular event would continue for the next 29 years.

1984 : Opportunity Village produces 250,000 buttons for the Reagan/Bush presidential campaign

1988 : After a long political struggle, Opportunity Village is given six acres of land near the intersection of Oakey and Torrey Pines

1991 : The West Oakey Campus of Opportunity Village opens. Fundraiser Linda Smith hosts a small holiday thank you event for donors. The event grows to become The Magical Forest, an annual tradition and major fundraiser

1998 : Project Enable is created as a program for adults with severe intellectual disabilities

1999 : Project PRIDE is established to provide therapeutic respite services for people with profound disabilities

2000 : Opportunity Village opens the doors to its second campus – the Walters Family Campus in Henderson

2002 : The Job Discovery Program launches in partnership with the Clark County School District in order to give special education high school students the chance to learn job skills before graduation

2005 : Opportunity Village hosts the first Las Vegas Great Santa Run. The event now attracts over 12,000 participants each year


2009 : The Thomas and Mack Employment Resource Center opens at the new Ralph and Betty Engelstad Campus

2010 : The Kitty Rodman Center at the Engelstad Campus opens as a home for the fine and performing arts program, as well as a commercial bakery where thousands of cookies are produced each day

2012 : Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller, brings international recognition to Opportunity Village as he finishes as the runner up on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice again competing on behalf of OV

2013 : Opportunity Village opens a fourth campus at a temporary location in the Northwest part of the valley

2014 : Opportunity Village celebrates 60 years in the community and looks toward the future by planning to build a permanent fourth campus as well as residential communities for individuals with intellectual disabilities

Opportunity Village is a not-for profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.60years-learn-more-btn

We’re building the future of serving Southern Nevada for the
next sixty years and beyond.


We promise you an informative tour
that is both eye-opening
and heartwarming.