Barton Health has purchased the former Lakeside Inn & Casino for $13.3 million. The deal for the Stateline casino — which closed at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak last spring — was recorded on May 4, according to the Douglas County Recorder’s Office. Based in South Lake Tahoe on the California side of the lake, Barton Health operates an urgent care across U.S. Highway 50 in Nevada adjacent from the former casino near Kingsbury Grade. The hospital said in a statement it purchased the property to “further its long-term goals of expanding access to medical care and widening an integrated, bi-state health system presence in the region.” Expanding the medical campus in Nevada allows Barton to offer more services, including lower-cost outpatient care due to the lessened regulatory environment offered by the state of Nevada, the statement said. “Our Community Health Needs Assessments continue to identify access to care as a top priority for our community,” said Barton Health President and CEO Dr. Clint Purvance in the statement. “As we outgrow our South Lake Tahoe campus, expanding services at Stateline not only meets our strategic growth goals, but allows us to increase access to patients on the East Shore.” The sale will offer community and environmental benefits including the removal of an aging structure and an environmental remediation of the site. Barton, in partnership with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other local agencies, will maximize environmental remediation efforts due to the property’s size and proximity to the lake. Barton said demolition and restoration of the site is slated for this year. The 35-year-old casino property announced April 14, 2020, it would not reopen less than a month after the St. Patrick’s Day lockdown mandated for casinos and most businesses by Gov. Steve Sisolak due to COVID-19. The casino’s 218 employees were left without jobs. More than $7 million in the casino’s assets went up for auction on March 4-6. The casino opened as the Lakeside on May 24, 1985, after investors purchased the former Harvey’s Inn.
Harvey’s sold the property, saying it was necessary so they could focus on an expansion project. Before the purchase, Harvey’s had invested $800,000 in the property, Record-Courier Publisher Tom Wixon reported at the time. The casino opened as the Caesars Inn in 1968 before it was purchased by Harvey Gross in 1972. The property was once home to the first airport in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Tahoe Sky Harbor. The airport opened May 30, 1946, with an air show, the paper reported on May 17, 1946. The airport was located just north of the casino near Kahle Drive and opened with a 4,200-foot-long turf runway. It didn’t last long and was closed sometime in the first years of the 1950s.