Max Baer Jr. is silent on whether he's looking for alternative property in Carson City or elsewhere to develop his Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino, but he's resolute about developing the casino in Northern Nevada.
"It may be the Wal-Mart site, it may be somewhere else," the former Hollywood star of "The Beverly Hillbillies," said Friday.
Last week Baer and his business partner, Roger Camras, were recommended to receive nonrestrictive gaming licenses by the Gaming Control Board. Max Baer Productions has a 10 percent stake in a North Las Vegas Casino that will use "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme until the two men are ready to open Jethro's.
When the time comes to open the Carson City casino, the gaming licensing process won't take as long or cost as much. A gaming license is needed for each casino location.
Baer's plan to build the $50 million Jethro's casino at the old Wal-Mart property on South Carson Street is opposed by the other two property owners within the Southgate Shopping Center, J.C. Penney and Glenbrook Co.
Baer has said he bought the property in August 2003 because he believed both property owners welcomed his casino. Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean, who heads Glenbrook, disputes that, saying she made it clear that the casino would not meet the shopping center rules. J.C. Penney limits its comments on this issue, only repeating that the corporation supports retail in that co-anchor spot.
Aldean said she supports his right to build - just not at Southgate. Aldean said she isn't aware of any other land available around the Wal-Mart where he could develop the massive project.
"He owns the old Wal-Mart and that's it," she said. "Unless he's acquired some property somewhere else."
But that's not something Baer is willing to disclose at this time. He's only saying the issue with Penney and Glenbrook will either be resolved by June 2006, or he'll be breaking ground somewhere else.
"I'm going to do it someplace here in Northern Nevada," he said Friday. "And I'm going to put a shovel in the ground by June of next year."
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.