The Simpsons Folder
September 22, 1997 © Las Vegas Sun, Inc. By Karen Zekan
Someone, somewhere awoke today the proud owner of an orange and yellow house in Henderson complete with a purple car in the driveway, a treehouse in the back and a spray-painted portrait of Bart Simpson on the garage. Just who is that lucky devil?
It’s only a matter of time before home builder Kaufman and Broad can bring an end to the promotional frenzy launched so many weeks ago when the multicolored $125,000 replica of “The Simpsons” syndicated cartoon family’s home went up for grabs.
One thing’s certain: No one in the crowd at Sunday night’s celebratory “Premiere Party” at the home at 712 Springfield in Henderson’s South Valley Ranch won the prized door keys.
And, event organizers conceded, it may be days before they know who’s moving in.
Somewhere across America — possibly in a trash can? — is a Pepsi product with the magic numbers imprinted on the back of a specially marked label bearing at least one of the Simpsons — Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie, Bart, or any combination of the primary-colored cast.
The winning number is 9786065.
The number appeared on television screens across America for a few seconds late in Sunday’s 8 p.m. season premiere. Almost 90 percent of the 200 partygoers, however, had their eyes on everything but the four mounted monitors a stone’s throw from the two-story treasure’s front door.
Some were on Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Cher look-a-likes in the crowd, or the Motown Cafe Moments each disguised in blue beehives as Marge look-a-likes on a night off from their regular singing gig at the New York-New York hotel casino.
Others were checking out the possible future U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Gov. Bob Miller, who after touring the 2,200-square-foot house was surprised that he could clear the doorways with his tall frame “even though the Simpsons aren’t big people.”
“It was great,” Miller said of the interior detailing that includes three mouse holes in the floor boards and even the mystery closet fans would demand. “They even provided food. There was a partially eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich I thought about eating, but I didn’t.”
Nearly 35,000 people have toured the house in the past five weeks. Kaufman and Broad’s Jeff Charney said traffic has jumped 31 percent and sales throughout their Southwest developments by 35 percent.
Asked if his feelings would be hurt by a new owner who might consider remodeling, lead architect Manny Gonzalez said he doubted “any Simpsons fan would not want to keep at least some of this original.”
“This has been a really fun part of my life, and I’m happy to have done it,” he said. “I saved some of the floor tiles from the project and some of the leftover pieces. I brought my 4-year-old out here and he said it was just like being in the cartoon.”