Originally known as Stage Field, this was an outlying airfield of Camp Ibis, one of the eleven camps established within the Desert Training Center, California-Arizonan Maneuver Area during World War II. Developed by General George S. Patton, Jr., the vast area was used from 1942 to 1945 to train troops for duty overseas.
With the closure of the training area, much of the land reverted to the control of the Bureau of Land Management. Slim Kidwell, who had been operating the Torrance Airport, located the field while flying over the area. He saw promise in the area, and decided to build a new community in southern Nevada. Using the Pittman Act, Slim and his wife Nancy filed on 640 areas in 1965.
Naming the area Cal-Nev-Ari for its location near the three states, the Kidwells began building. Originally without a well, they hauled water from the Colorado River. Once water was assured, the couple built a fly-in community which today boasts over 300 residents.