No bids for Gardnerville landmark Sharkey’s was good news for Carson Valley Inn owner Mike Pegram on Thursday afternoon.
An auction at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Building drew a handful of bystanders, but no bids for either the land or contents of the casino, which closed on Nov. 15.
That means Sharkey’s now belongs to Pegram, who said after the auction that while plans are being formulated for the property, it will definitely reopen.
“It will reopen, and it will reopen as Sharkey’s,” he said. Sharkey’s is an icon. We’re just going to put some polish on it.”
Auctioneers Trenton Rowley and Michael Pagni asked if there was anyone interested in bidding on the casino, but no one sought to qualify, and therefore could not enter a bid.
The starting bid for the real property was $500,000 while the starting bid for the contents was $100,000.
On Monday, Nevada State Bank sold its part of Sharkey’s debt to a company managed by Pegram, according to a filing with the Douglas County Recorder’s Office. The company, G Peg I, was listed by the auctioneers as being owed $1.721 million.
Pegram’s company, See Horse I, bought out Umpqua Bank’s portion of the $3.836 million debt. Work has already begun on the property.
Most of the work inside the casino has been to clear the casinos and kitchen equipment so far.
Up for auction on Thursday were seven separate parcels, including the casino, everything in it, the former Pyranees Hotel south of the casino and Jane Rosenbrock’s home and salon across Gilman from the casino.
Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire said that plans are in the works for a minor design review for refinishing the casino’s exterior. There are also plans to rework the parking lot across Gilman from the casino and demolishing the Rosenbrock house.
Sharkey’s opened Jan. 1, 1971, after owner Milos ‘Sharkey’ Begovich purchased the former Golden Bubble in 1970. It was the first modern casino in Carson Valley, and hosted events like Cow Pasture boxing and the annual Serbian Christmas.
It also housed a collection of 1,650 items that was estimated by an auctioneer to be worth at least $2.5 million.
Holder said he purchased Sharkey’s from Begovich on a handshake in January 2002 for $5 million.
The purchase of Sharkey’s was the beginning of an expansion of Holder Hospitality in the early part of the century. Holder purchased Carson City’s KPTL radio station in March 2002. In 2003, the company announced plans to build an Indian casino on land belonging to the Washoe Tribe near Sunridge. In March 2004, when Holder sold KPTL to Genoa resident Jerry Evans, he owned seven casinos including Sharkey’s.
According to the Douglas County Recorder’s Office, Holder obtained a loan for up to $2.2 million secured by the property from Northern Nevada Bank recorded on May 18, 2004. The next month, on June 3, the Mineral County Independent News reported the company received approval from gaming regulators to buy four more casinos in northeastern Nevada, including the Stockmen and the Commercial in Elko, the Scoreboard in Spring Creek and the Red Garter in Wendover. Documents filed with the Recorder’s Office show Holder continued to raise the stakes, increasing the limit on the loan to $2.7 million in January 2005, to $3 million in August 2005 and to $4 million in March 2006.
In May 2007, Holder announced he was putting the entire company up for sale for $200 million. Banks started calling in notes in August 2008, and six months later the company closed the Silver Club in Sparks. In July 2009, six Holder casinos sought bankruptcy protection, though Sharkey’s was not among them.
Sharkey’s filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2013 to avoid a sale that spring. Holder personally announced the casino had emerged from Chapter 11 after the Federal Bankruptcy Court in December 2013 accepted the company’s plan.