100 Miles Southwest of Las Vegas on I-15 is the oddly named Zzyzx Road. Curtis Howe Springer named the area Zzyzx to insure it would be the last listing in any directory.
Home to the former Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa, it is now the site of CSU's Desert Studies Center, the few people stationed there help to maintain the grounds while conducting their research. The ponds there are a protected habitat for a small endangered fish, the Mohave Tui Chub.
Before Springer claimed the land for his hotel, it was used by the Native Americans and Spanish explorers for water, then the US Army created an outpost in the 1860s, miners harvested the land for minerals, and then came the railroad.
Springer and the name Zzyzx came about in 1944, the hotel now frozen in time, empty and waiting for visitors that will never come. Trash cans are lined with trash bags but they are void of any litter. A fountain still spouts water fed by the natural spring beneath it. A small boat once used is slowly consumed by palm trees. A swing set left unused for years is left to rust and rot in the hot desert sun. Maybe one day this place will be turned back into a thriving hotel full of laughter and relaxation, but that day is far beyond the horizon.