McWhinney buys historic Cal Neva Resort

CRYSTAL BAY, Nevada — McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc., with offices in Loveland and Denver, has purchased the Cal Neva Resort on Lake Tahoe at Crystal Bay, Nevada.

The historic resort, which closed in 2013, was built in 1926 and redeveloped by Frank Sinatra in 1960. It was a hangout for the rich and powerful for years with Marilyn Monroe and President John F. Kennedy among its guests during the 1960s.

The transaction was recorded in Washoe County of Nevada on April 4. Purchase price was $54.5 million. Seller was CN Hotel Holdings LLC of Walnut Creek, California, which bought it out of bankruptcy in 2018. Buyer was MH Tahoe Propco LLC, which listed McWhinney’s Denver address.

McWhinney has joined with the Kor Group of Santa Monica, California, to plan a renovation that it described as a facility with “indoor/outdoor amenities with entertainment, gaming, and chef-driven concepts.” The hotel tower will be modernized; historic elements will be maintained, the company said.

The Kor Group, founded by Brad Korzen, is the group behind the Viceroy and Proper hotel brands, companies that have been spun off from the Kor Group.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to craft the next iteration of this one-of-a-kind resort. The acquisition of Cal Neva is a perfect complement to our existing award-winning hospitality lifestyle portfolio,” Chad McWhinney, co-founder, chairman and CEO at McWhinney, said in a press statement. “Our vision is to reimagine and revitalize this iconic resort with deep historic roots into an exceptional experience for guests and the local community to enjoy for years to come.”

Hayes Barnard, described as a pioneer in the solar and sustainability business, will be the lead investor in the project. “We’ve enjoyed being a leading investor in multiple McWhinney hospitality projects, including the Austin (Texas) Proper Hotel, and believe strongly in its expertise and ability to transform the Cal Neva back to the iconic property it was in the 1920s,” Barnard said. Barnard, who owns a home in Crystal Bay, said the project has special significance to him. “Our family has created lasting memories at Lake Tahoe for more than 20 years, and we are excited to play a meaningful role in restoring the Cal Neva Resort.”

McWhinney plans to reposition Cal Neva as a Proper-branded hotel as it begins the initial visioning and design for the 13-acre site.

“We believe the approach Proper Hospitality takes with each of our distinctive projects is the perfect fit for such a rare property. We strive to create an experience that is anchored to its location and creates long term lasting value that supports the local community” Korzen said.

Source: BizWest

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