The struggles that the casino gaming industry experienced in 2020 are still affecting many in 2021. The latest reports show that a longstanding casino in Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada had to close their doors permanently. Many had hoped that the Lakeside Inn and Casino would be revived and hopefully open its doors once again. However, the property has been recently acquired by a Health Care Group looking to expand its property which is situated across the road from the Lakeside Inn and Casino.
It has been a year since the Lakeside inn and Casino announced that it would have to shut down all operations on the site. The news came merely a month after the governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak ordered a temporary shutdown of all casinos in the state due to health and safety regulations. Furthermore, the Lakeside ownership group stated that the business was denied assistance from the federal government as part of the Paycheck Protection Plan.
After a while, the Small Business Association and Congress decided to amend the regulations for the Paycheck Protection Plan which happened in June 2020 when it was decided that gaming operators would also be allowed to participate. However, the decision came too late for Lakeside Inn and Casino along with its 218 employees. Before the amendment was made, Lakeside Inn and Casino held an auction whereby approximately 7 million USD worth of goods were sold. The items on sale included table games, office and kitchen equipment, memorabilia, vehicles and slot machines. All done to supplement revenue due to the ordered closure of the establishment.
An announcement from the Douglas County Recorder’s Office stated that the land and the property has been sold for 13 million USD to Barton Heath. The acquisition includes the hotel and resort structure as well as the land located on the corner of Highway 50 and Kahle Drive, which spans eight acres. The buyer, Barton Health, is currently running its urgent care facility in the same area, directly across from the Lakeside Inn and Casino. It is a healthcare network that provides its services to the greater South Lake Tahoe region.
In light of the recent acquisition, the president and chief executive officer of Barton Health, Doctor Clint Purvance said that the network’s Community Health Needs Assessments has found that access to healthcare is a top priority identified in the community. The doctor added that as the current operation outgrows the South Lake Tahoe campus, expanding the network’s services in Stateline meets its strategic growth plans and also allows them to improve ease of access for patients on the East Shore.
Hope is not officially lost for residents who had hoped that the property would be sold to a new casino operator that would keep a casino resort running in the area. According to plans shared by Barton Health, the healthcare group plans to demolish the structure and carry out environmental remediation of the land before starting construction of its new health care facility. Barton Health explained that the acquisition of Lakeside Inn and Casino will help expand its urgent care unit significantly. It will allow the health care network to expand on the health care services offered and provide outpatient services at a lower cost.
The Lakeside Inn and Casino has had a long history in the area dating back to the 1960s. At first, the property was called the Caesars Inn and was just a small gaming Hall owned by Herbert Fisher and Grover Rowland. The original casino was outfitted with a handful of games, a few gaming tables along with about 100 slot machines for patrons to enjoy.
The property was subsequently sold in 1972 by Harvey Gross. He was the owner and operator of Harvey’s Resort Hotel situated about a mile away in Stateline. The Caesars Inn was then rebranded as Harvey’s Inn. The inn changed hands for the last time in 1985 after the death of Harvey Gross. It was made available for sale and was finally sold to a group of local investors that then changed the name to Lakeside Inn and Casino. The gaming property has struggled for years, as its 123 guestrooms became outdated and had a hard time attracting tourists. In recent years the casino relied heavily on locals to make use of its restaurant and gaming business to remain afloat. Even after surviving years of adversity, such as the great recession, surviving through the leadership of six presidents and the location had a close-up view of the raging Gondola Fire in 2002 but 2020 dealt the final blow for the casino.