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.