Iconic commercial developer dies

Robert Adrian “Tim” Snow epitomized old school while serving as a driving force in the modern Las Vegas commercial development world.

The former president and chief development officer of Thomas &Mack Co. had a penchant for drafting budgets and million-dollar contracts simply using a wooden pencil on a yellow legal pad he carried with him. When the industry standard was more lawyers and legal paperwork, Snow would rather look at someone in the eye and seal the deal with a handshake, according to family and colleagues.

The man who left his footprint with the development of 3.2 million square feet in 78 office, retail, industrial and hotel projects in the 1990s and 2000s died Sept. 11 at age 79 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

Snow’s achievement received recognition from the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) in which he served as president in 1997. The development group gave Snow, who also recruited many members to join the organization, its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

“His business persona was as hard-working, hard-charging and relentless, and in my mind that tenacity forced everybody to up their game because if you didn’t, Tim would get the deal,” said Rod Martin, senior vice president of Majestic Realty Co.

Snow worked in Chicago, Dallas and extensively in Los Angeles before taking a role with Thomas &Mack in 1994. He’s credited at bringing national experience and an intricate knowledge to Southern Nevada at a time commercial development was in its infancy, Martin said. That helped steer and guide that development and make Las Vegas one of the best commercial real estate markets in the country, Martin said.

Rick Myers, president of Thomas &Mack took over for Snow when he stepped down in 2007. Many who work in real estate have their strengths whether it be on the construction or transaction side of the business, Myers said.

One of the real attributes of Snow was his depth of knowledge over the entire development spectrum, starting with feasibility of what the market is doing and what’s the right product type and when the time to go forward was, Myers said.

“He also had complete command of the entitlement side of the business with permits, complete command of the transaction side of the business, and complete command of the marketing side of the business,” Myers said. “He knew the detailed level of the cost per liner foot of a certain size of plastic conduit. He was the breadth and depth of his knowledge was very impressive and deep and absolute tireless worker in anything he did.”

Myers said Snow did that while battling prostate cancer for nearly two decades and “never said one word of woe is me or never slowed down.” Snow is one of those people you smile about when you think about him, he said.

As president of Thomas &Mack Development Group, Snow directed the development of 1,100 acres of land including the McCarran Center, Las Vegas Digital Exchange Campus, Las Vegas Tech Center II and Northern Beltway Industrial Center. After leaving Thomas &Mack in 2007, he opened his own consultancy and became a development advisor to UNLV, Kemper Insurance/Unitrin, city of Henderson, Delta Pacific Land Co. and the Las Vegas Art Museum. With UNLV, he was involved with the development of the Harry Reid Research and Technology Center.

Martin, who worked with Snow on projects such as the Las Vegas Digital Exchange Campus, said he was amazed at how hard Snow worked. He said he would leave a meeting at the end of day exhausted and when he met Snow the following morning, he would have five to six pages of notes he worked on during the night.

“It was impressive how hard he worked,” said Martin, who added that people should know he was caring and fun-loving as well. “That’s truly the Tim Snow that his wife, family and friends know. He was just as good at those aspects (as) the tenacity he had as a real estate developer.”

Snow was born March, 5, 1937 in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1959.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jane M. Snow, of Las Vegas, and their daughter, Elizabeth V. Snow, of Brooklyn, New York; two daughters from a previous marriage, Katherine “Kitty” Curran of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Jennifer Snow of Brooklyn; two son-in-laws, Joel Curran and Stephen Para; and two granddaughters, Kelsey Curran and Addison Curran. He is also survived by his sister, Jill Cassidy; a niece, Keely Cassidy Valdma; and great-niece, Kyrii Valdma, all of Orange County, California.

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