Cal Neva reopening at Tahoe pushed to summer 2015

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — This season’s putrid snowfall is already having impacts on plans two summers from now.

The grand reopening of the Cal Neva has been pushed back to June 2015, Robert Radovan, co-owner of resort controlling partner Criswell-Radovan, told the Bonanza this week.

“Right now there is a snow rift … Considering that, the odds of opening a hotel and having it sit at very low occupancy because of a bad snow season can really put you behind for the first half of the year,” Radovan said Wednesday. “For us, gambling on the snow season next year, that could really dramatically hurt us.”

Built in 1926, the famed Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino was once owned by Frank Sinatra and frequented by the likes of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and members of the Kennedy family.

The property, which has struggled with bankruptcy and foreclosure issues since 2007, closed last September to begin a multimillion-dollar renovation to reinvent itself.

A December 2014 reopening was originally eyed to coincide with what would have been Sinatra’s 99th birthday on Dec. 12.

When the resort closed, 60 employees were laid off. According to previous reports, however, Criswell-Radovan will look to hire three times as many people to run the property, which straddles the North Tahoe California/Nevada state line.

Radovan — whose company took over the resort in spring 2013 — said a soft opening in May 2015 is likely to get employees accustomed to the new digs, with a grand reopening set for Memorial Weekend 2015, or shortly afterward.

The project includes a complete overhaul of the Cal Neva’s interior — from the famous Circle Bar to the casino floor to the hotel’s rooms — a relocation of its outdoor pool and several exterior upgrades to comply with environmental laws.

“When you open a hotel, you really want to have a strong building, and if we put this off, it just gives us a much more comfortable timeline,” Radovan said.


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