McKee Ranch & The Secret Garden

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Written by Nikki Artale

Photos by Nikki Artale

McKee Ranch

McKee Ranch is only a stones throw away from the Las Vegas strip but the ranch brings you back to the days of the old west. Max McKee and his wife Christi bought the 2.5 acre ranch in 1999 and it took over 2 years to finalize the plans and build the barns, buildings and arena. There are 50 different animals there which include 20 horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, pot belly pigs, llamas and a donkey. 


McKee Ranch, a private park, is free and open to the public every day during daylight hours. The children love to feed the animals crackers and carrots and play in the playgrounds. School groups are encouraged to bring the children to play and pony rides and hayrides are available. The ranch has recently joined up with KISMIF (Keep it simple, make it fun) an organization for challenged children and adults. They take them camping, fishing, skiing and have many other activities for them.

Mary with her horse Tilly

There are a lot of restored wagons on the property and some are used for the hayrides that Max takes out on the streets and gives the neighbor’s rides. Did you know that horses have the right of way on the streets in Nevada?  

Max has a 1907 restored chuck wagon that in the old days would travel 10 miles a day which was the average travel time.

Max has a special Sheep Herders Wagon he calls his Cowboy Condo that has a bed and a cooking stove inside.

Cowboy Condo

Special events are held during the year to raise money to help support the keep of the animals that are dropped off at the ranch. In October there is a pumpkin patch event and then Christmas time there are tree sales. McKee Ranch also has special events for private birthday parties.

This brings us to the next story of a beautiful and gentle Clydesdale horse called Sir Richard who goes to the Secret Garden and brings all the beautiful brides to the garden alter.  

The Secret Garden

Sitting on 10 beautiful acres is a private country club that specializes in weddings. It is called the Secret Garden because not too many people know about it. Christi McKee’s family has owned it since 1962. The gardens and patios are decorated with lights and flowers and it has a fantasy atmosphere. The Millers provide everything for a perfect wedding that lasts for five hours.

Breanna Cooper Mock

Max and Christi McKee prepare Sir Richard for the brides ride.  


Father of the bride Garrett Cooper places the veil over Breanna’s head.  


Here comes the bride.  


The flower girl was the picture of an angel in her wonderment of the ceremony. Brianna shared a story earlier with me that she was once a flower girl years ago at her sister Stacey wedding here in The Secret Garden. When the time came for her marriage she came back to The Secret Garden. I guess chances are that this little flower girl may do the same thing in 20 years.  


Officially now Mr. & Mrs. Michael Mock.


I was very impressed with The Secret Garden and the excellent care and preparation that the Miller family did on the wedding.

Nikki Artale

Nikki Artale, a woman of many professional backgrounds and experiences, is originally from a small town in North New Jersey. She moved here to Las Vegas back in 1995 to pursue the booming real estate market and has since been a contributing columnist for Vegas Community Online – interviewing the stars and entertainers for “Vegas Stars.” She has hosted a radio talk show, Celebrity News at All Talk Radio and has also been a part of a live internet webcast at “Live at the Studio.” Her numerous interviews with those responsible for the glamour behind Las Vegas can be found on her website

Nikki has also been active in the entertainment industry behind the camera – she belongs to the Screen Actors Guild and has been in numerous movies and has also judged screenplays for the Las Vegas Film Fest. Not only has she been behind the camera in the industry but also as a critic and has written many show reviews. You can usually find her at big entertainment events with her Nikon camera and smile, ready to review, interview, and capture the moments that make the night.

Aside from her lengthy experience in the entertainment industry she is also a successful Real Estate broker with 30 years of professional and dedicated services. She serves the greater Las Vegas area and has an in depth knowledge of the real estate housing market. She prides herself in giving excellent service to buyers and sellers with 100% of her time. You can contact her with the information below for any questions, comments or requests of services. 702-279-7001




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