Max Baer fired the first salvo Monday in his battle to build the Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino in Carson City's Southgate Shopping Center by suing neighbors The Glenbrook Co. and J.C. Penney.
Standing in the way of Baer's plans are restrictions prohibiting the development of a theater, bowling alley, nightclub or other place of recreation or amusement at the mall.
J.C. Penney and Glenbrook Co. share the complex with Baer, and to date the three have not reached an agreement.
"The plaintiff (Baer Productions) has a legally protectable interest in the controversy, to wit: the right to develop its property as it sees fit, consistent with ordinances and legally binding encumbrances of record," states the petition filed in Carson City District Court. "The issue of interpretation of the covenants and restrictions is ripe for judicial determination."
Shelley Aldean, spokeswoman for Glenbrook, said a letter drafted to Baer was on her desk.
"We were hoping to resolve these issues outside the courtroom," she said. "That Baer has chosen to take this to the courts is regrettable."
Signed in 1993 between the three major property owners at the time - J.C. Penney Co., Glenbrook Corporation and Wal-Mart - the covenant restricts use of the property to commercial purposes "normally found in a retail shopping center."
The covenants were made at the behest of Wal-Mart and remained in place after the company's departure in July 2002.
Aldean said Baer doesn't have the right to develop a casino without the cooperation of his partners.
"Penney's and Glenbrook both have a substantial investment in the mall. This was always intended to be a cooperative venture among partners, both for development and for future development if a vacancy is created," she said. "He (Baer) just wants us to roll over and allow him to build his casino."
Plans for the casino include a 200-foot flaming oil derrick, 30,000-square-foot casino with 800 slot machines and 16 game tables, a 240-room hotel and restaurants - all wrapped around a "Beverly Hillbillies" theme.
At Granny's Shot Gun Wedding Chapel, the groom would be hauled in wearing a ball and chains while the pregnant bride waits at the altar. An arcade for the kids and a nine- or 10-theater movie complex would be included. Drysdale's Fancy Eatins would be available for an upscale dining experience.
The project would to be built in phases and could bring some much-needed sales tax revenue to Carson City.
Plans include convention and meeting spaces and once completed, the casino would employ between 500 and 600 people, according to figures supplied by Baer.
Contact Susie Vasquez at email@example.com or call 881-1212.