Tahoe Biltmore development could take years to complete
April 17, 2008
A $500 million resort development on Lake Tahoe’s north shore will take several years to complete and could wind up with a lower pricetag, the Nevada Gaming Commission was told today.
The Boulder Bay LLC development plan for the old Tahoe Biltmore Lodge at Crystal Bay was reviewed as the commission approved Heather Lynn Bacon to participate in Biltmore operations while regulators review her pending casino licensing application.
Bacon said the goal is to start construction in mid-2009 and complete work by about 2014, subject to requirements by agencies such as the bistate Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. She didn’t elaborate on possible lower costs for the project.
The goal is to create an upscale “escape to the lake” destination resort on the north shore that would be on a scale with the Hyatt hotel-casino at Incline Village rather than big hotel-casinos on Tahoe’s south shore, Bacon added.
Bacon, represented by attorney Scott Scherer, has an extensive business background but it doesn’t include gambling industry expertise. Scherer said the advance participation at the Biltmore will enable Bacon “to hit the ground running.”
Bacon, daughter of Boulder Bay owner Roger Wittenberg, also has applied for licensing as head of the company that will operate the gambling at the Biltmore site.
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Boulder Bay LLC wants to build an upscale destination resort on about 14 acres that would include 200 hotel rooms and nearly 180 fractional-ownership or whole-ownership condominiums. Also planned are a “village” area with restaurants and shops, a 10,000-square-foot casino, “pocket” parks, and family entertainment centers.
The proposed development has been described by Wittenberg as the kind of project that Tahoe planners have foreseen for years. Tourism officials have said the upgrade would benefit the entire north shore.
At a recent forum, people living in the Crystal Bay area expressed concern about the size of the venture, potential traffic problems that it might cause, and other impacts on the scenic community overlooking Lake Tahoe.
Bacon said she hopes such concerns will be resolved as area residents learn more about the quality of the project and environmentally sound construction plans.
Lake Tahoe-based Boulder Bay LLC purchased the Tahoe Biltmore and some adjacent properties, include the vacant site of the old Mariner Hotel, in 2007.
Boulder Bay is a partnership between Wittenberg’s International Supply Consortium, Shoreline Capital and Scott Cos.