Frank Sinatra’s old Tahoe casino to reopen in a year |

Frank Sinatra’s old Tahoe casino to reopen in a year

Kevin MacMillan
This rendering shows the view of Lake Tahoe from one of the Cal Neva's balconies, where one of three new restaurants was expected to open as part of the new-look property.
Courtesy / Glodow Nead Communications |

A famed North Lake Tahoe hotel-casino once owned by Frank Sinatra will reopen to the public on December 12 of next year — on what would have been Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 100th birthday.

Crews under the direction of Penta Construction are renovating the 10-story, 191-key Cal Neva Resort that straddles the California-Nevada state line at Crystal Bay. The work features a full interior and exterior property renovation, according to a statement from the resort’s controlling partner, Criswell-Radovan LLC. The company is headquartered at Napa Valley.

The Cal Neva will offer a refurbished non-smoking casino with table games and slot machines. The resort’s theater — The Showroom, originally imagined and built by Sinatra and known for years as the Frank Sinatra Ballroom —will be restored and upgraded, the development company said.

Built in 1926, the Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino was owned by Sinatra from 1960-63, and frequented by the likes of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and members of the Kennedy family, among others.

According to Criswell-Radovan, the company that took over the resort in spring 2013 and closed it in September of that year, the refurbished Cal Neva will include a fine dining restaurant with an exhibition kitchen; a casual three-meal restaurant adjacent to the pool, which will also serve a daily breakfast buffet; and a third outpost with a retail component that will transition from a morning bakery and café to a gourmet pizza and wine kitchen in the afternoon.

Company co-owner Robert Radovan previously planned a Dec. 12, 2014, reopening to coincide with what would have been Sinatra’s 99th birthday.

However, financing and construction issues delayed the reopening.

In November, Texas-based Hall Structured Finance announced the company recently closed a $29 million loan to provide funding for the hotel/casino overhaul.

According to media reports, on top of the $29 million loan, Criswell-Radovan also has lined $20 million in equity, for a total financial package of $49 million.

Work resumed at the property in late October, with Las Vegas-based Penta continuing to lead the project.

Roughly 300 jobs will be created upon the resort’s reopening, many of which will be filled by local employees.

Additional details are expected to be released in early 2015, officials said.


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