No buyers show up at Cal Neva auction

RENO " The lender who foreclosed on the Cal Neva Resort at Lake Tahoe has assumed ownership of the hotel-casino once owned by Frank Sinatra after no one offered to buy it at public auctions in California and Nevada.

The Los Angeles-based investment group Canyon Partners filed a notice of default against the Cal Neva in December after its owner, Namcal LLC, defaulted on a $26.8 million debt.

Canyon set the opening bid at $15 million for the Nevada portion of the property during an auction Wednesday on the steps of the Washoe County courthouse.

A separate auction was held in Roseville, Calif., because the property straddles the state line on the north shore of Lake Tahoe at Crystal Bay, but there were no takers there either.

Canyon Partners is assessing the property and its future, but has no intention of closing the hotel-casino, said Steve Sugerman, head of Sugerman Communications Group, a public relations firm hired by Canyon Partners.

"Canyon initiated the foreclosure last year and this is the next step in that process," he said. "Canyon is going to keep the property open, which we know is important to a lot of people."

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