Cal Neva ordered to fix fire alarm system
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. A north Lake Tahoe casino once owned by Frank Sinatra has been threatened with a shutdown unless it starts work on fixing a faulty fire alarm system by Saturday, fire officials said.The Cal Neva Lodge andamp; Casino’s system may or may not notify occupants of a fire because of its faulty, unreliable wiring, said Fire Marshal Tom Smith of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.Smith said he asked the resort straddling the California line to fix the problem in August and followed up with a letter last month after it went uncorrected.”Continued operation of the hotel and casino constitutes an immediate, clear and present danger to the occupants of the Cal Neva Lodge,” Smith wrote in the letter.John Harounian, an associate asset manager with the Cal Neva’s ownership group, said the resort plans to comply with the order.”We had every intention to comply. It was not necessary for this to become a public matter,” Harounian told the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.Smith said he had planned to post a sign on the Cal Neva’s front doors last week, warning a shutdown was on the way if changes were not made.He said he did not need to post the sign because management later notified him they were in the process of getting a bid on the system and would start work by Saturday.”This was a tactic I employed because I was not comfortable with the work they were doing on the system,” Smith said.Jerry Markling, chief of enforcement with the Nevada Gaming Commission, said his agency has contacted the Cal Neva about the situation.”We believe they have every intent of fixing the problem, but we will monitor the situation because we are concerned that our licensees abide by local codes,” Markling said.When it was owned by Sinatra from 1960 to 1963, the Cal Neva drew Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.Sinatra’s gambling license was stripped by the Nevada Gaming Control Board after Chicago mobster Sam Giancana showed up at the resort.
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