Cal Neva reopening at Tahoe on track for summer 2015, owner says |

Cal Neva reopening at Tahoe on track for summer 2015, owner says

Kevin MacMillan

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — While a firm date is still in the works, a newly remodeled Cal Neva resort remains on track for a summer opening in 2015.

Robert Radovan, co-owner of resort controlling partner Criswell-Radovan, said the company has “secured all the financing” to finish the multi-million-dollar renovation, and residents can expect “a lot of activity” in the coming weeks at the property that straddles the California/Nevada state line on Tahoe’s North Shore.

“We’re looking forward to opening during the third quarter of next year,” Radovan said Wednesday on his drive to Tahoe from Napa Valley. “Everything is going really well.”

Built in 1926, the famed Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino was once owned by Frank Sinatra and frequented by the likes of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and members of the Kennedy family.

The property, which struggled with bankruptcy and foreclosure issues since 2007, closed last September to begin the renovation.

Radovan — whose company took over the resort in spring 2013 — previously said a December 2014 reopening was originally eyed to coincide with what would have been Sinatra’s 99th birthday on Dec. 12.

However, the company decided in January to delay into at least June 2015 to play things safe, considering “gambling on the snow season next year, that could really dramatically hurt us,” Radovan said in a Jan. 29 Bonanza story.

A projected opening date could be known in the coming months, said Radovan, who added that a top focus heading into fall is ensuring all the resort’s furniture and other items are delivered on time, so larger-scale renovations can begin.

Las Vegas-based Penta Building Group — which has a Reno office and recently performed millions of dollars in upgrades at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe — is the Cal Neva project’s main contractor.

“They have current knowledge of the area and of a project of the same size, which is very fortunate,” Radovan said.

When asked to reveal an estimated price tag for the Cal Neva project, Radovan declined, only saying residents “will be seeing a lot in the coming year.”

The project includes a complete overhaul of the Cal Neva’s interior — from the famous Circle Bar to the casino floor to the hotel’s rooms — a relocation of its outdoor pool and several exterior upgrades to comply with environmental laws.

“There’s so much character to it, and some amazing history … it has great authenticity, something you seldom get the opportunity to work on,” Radovan said. “At the end of day, it was the first thing built on the lake where its spot was, that little peninsula on the North Shore … it’s one of the things that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the North Shore, and it deserves to be brought back as the icon of Lake Tahoe.”

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