Hillbillies casino back before Douglas commission | NevadaAppeal.com

Hillbillies casino back before Douglas commission

by Susie Vasquez
Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN – A shorter oil derrick and less expansive reader board are in the works for Jethro Bodine’s “Beverly Hillbillies” Mansion & Casino, whose proponents are appearing before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

The $120 million project, planned for the northern side of Indian Hills in Douglas County, is up for its final zoning approval.

Original plans for the casino included a 200-foot oil derrick and 2,600-square foot reader board, but reductions in both are likely, said project spokesman Don Smit.

“It’s still a derrick, but it isn’t 200 feet tall. We’ve reduced the height and the sign area,” he said. “We’re working on the renderings and we’re making significant changes.”

In addition to the sign, the casino project includes a 40,000-square-foot gaming area with about 800 slots and 16 tables, a showroom, cinema complex and a five-story, 240-room hotel in almost 300,000 square feet.

County commissioners approved the zoning changes in August, but the action requires a second reading. Since that time, casino representatives have focused on working with developer Big George, Smit said.

Big George is proposing a residential development directly east of the casino project and the challenge is creating a project that is conducive to both.

Located east of Highway 395 between Sunridge Drive and Topsy Lane, the casino could shore up Douglas County’s sagging revenues through increased gaming and room tax revenues.

Projected revenues are higher than previous estimates, but with a different mix with respect to sources, according to County Manager Dan Holler.

While converting the property from retail to gaming would result in less sales tax revenue, it would result in more room taxes and gaming fees.

For example, sales would be $12.8 million less annually than those derived from 130,000 square feet of big box stores, reducing collected taxes by almost $36,000 annually. However, Douglas County’s sagging room tax fund could receive an estimated $250,000, assuming an occupancy rate of 80 percent to 85 percent.

Douglas County’s general fund could also receive an estimated $182,400 annually in gaming fees, Holler said.

Increases in the number tourists and the workforce are expected, but no increase in the population.

The demand for law enforcement would entail less than 200 calls a year, a one-half percent increase.

Emergency medical calls should total about 40 a year and one to two fire calls should be expected, Holler said in a letter to county commissioners.

In other business:

• Big George Ventures is appealing the commission’s decision to approve zoning for the Hillbilly casino on the grounds that it was arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence.

• Commissioners will review Douglas County’s first ordinance outlining standards and requirements for septic systems that remove nitrates from residential wastewater. These specially-designed systems are used in more sensitive areas where the seepage of nitrates is common where standard septics could affect the water table.

• Commissioners will discuss an appeal by Soar Minden, whose operations were suspended for three weeks by airport officials following a fuel truck accident that injured one employee and damaged three aircraft in June.

• Contact reporter Susie Vasquez at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.

If you go

What: Jethro Bodine’s “Beverly Hillbillies” Mansion & Casino at the Douglas County board of commissioners meeting

When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St. in Minden.