Bodine’s to CBS: name not changing |

Bodine’s to CBS: name not changing

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

A co-owner of Bodine’s casino says his business doesn’t have “any reason in the world” to grant CBS Corp.’s recent request that the casino change its name.

Earlier this month, CBS sent a letter to co-owner Mike Pegram saying the casino, now under construction, shouldn’t use the name “Bodine” because the corporation owns the rights to that name. “Bodine” was also the last name of Max Baer Jr.’s character, Jethro, in the popular 1960s CBS television show, “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

A representative for CBS confirmed the corporation sent the letter but declined to comment further.

But the casino will not change its name, Pegram said, because the name is taken from a former restaurant at the same South Carson Street site and is not connected to the CBS show. He said the restaurant, started in 1985, was named after a partner in that business and the current owners have bought the rights to that name.

“We feel there’s value in the name Bodine’s,” Pegram said. “People in Carson City like Bodine’s, they’re glad that we’re coming back and we’re going to do the right thing on this thing and we like our position.”

Representatives for Bodine’s have responded to CBS saying the casino won’t change its name, according to Pegram.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,'” he said. “(Bodine’s) success in Carson City for those years had nothing to do with ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ It was because they ran a good operation.”

Pegram operates Bodine’s with the Carano family under Silver Bullet of Nevada LLC. The Carano family owns the Eldorado Reno Hotel Casino and is partners in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno. Pegram himself owns McDonald’s restaurant franchises in Phoenix, along with several racing horses including Real Quiet, the 1998 Kentucky Derby winner.

The partners bought Bodine’s property, near the intersection of South Carson Street and Clear Creek Road, in February. They plan to open the $20 million, 26,000-square-foot casino in late February.

But Max Baer Jr., who is planning to build the Beverly Hillbillies Casino just south of the city and played Jethro Bodine in the 1960s television show, said people think of his casino when they think of the name Bodine. He said anyone using that name is doing so unfairly.

“Since 1962, I have been known as Jethro Bodine,” he said. “People come up to me all the time and call me Jethro or call me Bodine. I have been indoctrinated with that name so much so that it stopped my career as an actor. I couldn’t get jobs as an actor because people thought I was Jethro Bodine. I don’t know how much more familiar you could get with that name.”

Earlier this month, Baer got approval from Douglas County to build his hotel-casino. Baer considered building a casino in a former Wal-Mart building in South Carson City but sold the building in May after he and the shopping center owners couldn’t reach an agreement.

“In my opinion,” Baer said, “Bodine’s casino is attempting to take advantage of the popularity and fame of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and of the 10 years plus that I have been developing Jethro Bodine’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino in Northern Nevada.”

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.