Beverly Hillbillies Casino Seems Dead in Douglas County

Here’s the latest news on Max Baer’s Beverly Hillbillies Casino project, and like most of the news that comes out of that project, it’s not good. A couple of years ago it had seemed like the project was finally a go to be built in Douglas County, near the corner of Hwy 395 and Topsy Lane. It would have been across from Best Buy. All the necessary approvals had been obtained from the county, his development company owned the land, and his neighbors in Douglas County, the Riverwood shopping center, were much more friendly than his neighbors in Carson City had been. The only thing standing in the way was a lawsuit from Big George, a housing developer who was building a subdivision nearby and didn’t appreciate Jethro’s hotel tower blocking the view. But even that seemed like it would be settled amicably, without killing the project.

But then came the downturn in the economy, which killed the Riverwood shopping center after they had already started clearing the site. That led to Jethro’s being stranded, since it was relying on Riverwood for building the necessary infrastructure like water, electricity, and roads. Already it seems like Jethro has been turning his back on Douglas County, since he’s announced intentions to buy the shuttered Silver Club in Sparks and convert that into the Beverly Hillbillies casino instead.

Now one of the last nails in Jethro’s presence in Douglas County is being driven. The land he owns near Riverwood is being auctioned off, apparently for non payment on the loan. Jethro seems resigned to the Douglas project being dead, saying it’s “in the hands of the attorneys now.” Maybe now he’ll descend on Sparks and put all his energy into developing that property.

Lots of people around Carson and Douglas are probably applauding this new development. The locals seems to have hated this project from the beginning, and even I thought it was too tacky and too “Vegas” for our area. But you can’t deny that it would have been exciting to watch it be built, and it probably would have brought a lot of people to the area, because something like a Beverly Hillbillies casino would have brought people here who had never heard of Carson City and would never come here otherwise. But at the same time, it’s been almost 40 years since the Beverly Hillbillies has gone off the air. Is it really that big of a pop culture phenomenon that it would bring in hordes of people? Probably not. In another 20 years the Beverly Hillbillies will be as relevant as the Katzenjammer Kids; still on the edges of pop culture awareness, but hardly enough to hang a multi-million dollar franchise off of.

4 comments

  1. This is how big names in small towns turn down financial success for their community. This concept had a built-in fan base. Those who wouldn’t show up for to gamble would have shown up for the novelty of the themes provided by the different shops, restaurants, entertainment provided. Adults would have remembered and re-experienced the fun uniqueness of The Beverly Hillbilly series, and introduced a new generation of children to the fun ‘Hillbilly meets Hollywood’. I honestly wonder how the much the local citizens appreciate the loss of job opportunity now that the economy nation’s is weak. Continued jobs for contractors, plumbers, waitresses and waiters, auto sales and service, shipping and delivery, managers, computer technicians, artists, landscapers, maintenance workers, etc. have all been lost by the local people.

    I grew up in a small Sierra Mountain town that constantly turned away new and especially big name business, while in the same breath complaining that there was no opportunity for the youth, who had to leave the area to make a living. McDonald’s owned the land and a phone number for 10 years before they were ‘allowed’ to build there. As time passed by the town fathers and small businesses fought over everything. The area’s old timers didn’t want to lose ‘the feel’ of the town that they had known for years, which eventually lead to the loss of those very same buildings and businesses they didn’t want to change. Instead of persisting through concerted effort and innovation, the character of the town disappeared in suddenly falls; a business closed here, a building condemned there. Weather, fire, accidents, life and death happened as days and years tick by.

    A community has to plan for continued success. Failing to do so only leads to eventual decay and degeneration, and steeper declines during harder times that appear in the economy, which occur with annoying regularity. Any park, business or corner can be turned into an unsafe eyesore by those who fail to take responsibility for them. In the end, it is never just someone else’s problem.

    Perceived tackiness can be cute and endearing when handled with care and purpose. It could have been up to the community to ensure that the standards and ideals that they wanted to uphold were carried on in the business and daily working of Max’s endeavor.

    Here is an extremely abbreviated list of touristy travels, destinations, and activities I have purposely chosen to enjoy, so far in my average Joe life: Disneyland, Euro-Disney, Disney World, Knott’s Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, (Disney Studios), San Francisco Warf, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge & Park, Playland at the Beach Fun House, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Haight & Ashbury, China Town, Ripley’s Believe It or Not & Wax Museums, Sam’s Town, Gold Bug Mine, La Brea Tar Pits, Ponderosa Ranch, Virginia City, Death Valley, Devil’s Golf Course, Yosemite, Mt Tamalpais & Lassen & Shasta & Diablo & Nebo, Napa & Sierra wineries, Wall Street, Waikiki Beach, Mauna Loa, Banyan Tree Park, Haleakala, Road to Hana, Neuschwanstein Castle, Shuri Castle, Palace of Versailles, Okinawa World, Pergamon Museum, Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Piton de la Fournaise, Booger Hollow Trading Post, Chocolate & Bread & Nut & Desert & Candy factories, Coffee & Fruit tree farms, Zoos & Museums and Aquariums in many states and countries, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, Liechtenstein, A.C.T. & Ashland Shakesperean theaters, Casinos. I’ve travelled by foot, horse, donkey, car, truck, bus, train, airplane, shuttle, cable-car, taxi, bike, boat, catamaran, moving sidewalk….

    Cute, entertaining, beautiful, fun, historical and even ‘cheesy’ tourism pays all over the world.

  2. i truly hate zoning and others that stand in the way of progress. it’s the personal greed of some people that keep the dreams of others from coming to light. just like the high rock international raceway project here in n.c.. what would it hurt to have it there. i was looking forward to going to it. now you pissed me off and you’ll never see my presents there in carson. which means i wont be there to spend money. i have been to cooters museum, from the dukes of hazard, owned by the man and former congressman that once played cooter.

  3. I remember Jethro talking about the casino idea in 1993. 20 years later and it still isnt done. Kind of retarded to keep focusing on one failed project. He was right when he said he has tunnel vision.

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