Tahoe Biltmore to Cease Operations, Demolition Planned to Make Way for Luxury Resort

Posted on: March 19, 2022, 12:48h. 

Last updated on: March 18, 2022, 03:59h.

The Tahoe Biltmore’s days are numbered after a 76-year run.

Tahoe Biltmore casino resort Nevada gaming
The Tahoe Biltmore in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The storied Crystal Bay resort is slated for demolition later this year. (Image: Wikimedia)

California-based real estate group EKN Development acquired the historic Lake Tahoe casino and resort last September for $56.8 million. The 15-acre property purchase is for EKN to make way for a luxury resort and residential complex overlooking Crystal Bay.

The new owners announced this week that its development plans remain on track. And step one of the rebuild includes a graduated shutdown — as required under regulations imposed by the Nevada Gaming Commission — that will begin on April 23. Come 5 am on April 30, the Tahoe Biltmore will forever close its doors.

Developers say demolition of the aging and deteriorating hotel and casino will then occur. EKN plans to build a luxury resort and “branded residences” in its place.

The project has the working name of Lake Tahoe Luxury Resort and Residences.

“Nestled into the lush wilderness of North Tahoe, EKN’s 15-acre Lake Tahoe Luxury Resort is bringing luxury and sophistication to the iconic mountain town. Designed to accentuate Lake Tahoe’s unparalleled natural locale and modernize traditional mountain architecture in the region, our alpine resort will welcome visitors and locals alike to experience all Lake Tahoe has to offer,” EKN says on its website.

Developer Pledges Commitment

EKN is betting big on the north shore. Along with its purchase of the Tahoe Biltmore, the group in late December agreed to purchase Beesley Cottages for $18 million. The acquisition comes with 10 rundown old cabins on 2.25 acres of land. EKN says the cottages will be demolished in favor of a new high-end lakefront beach club.

The Crystal Bay community is skeptical of EKN’s grand plans after several other developers have failed to deliver on their promises over the past decade-plus. But EKN wants to assure locals that it’s investing for the long term.

With all its projects, EKN is committed to transparency and active communication with all stakeholders. We’re builders and operators. We build our projects to hold and intend to be a part of the community for a long time,” Ebbie K. Nakhjavani, founder and CEO of EKN, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Details Scant, But Gaming to Return

EKN isn’t publicly declaring the fiscal scope of its Lake Tahoe endeavors, nor details on how many rooms and what sort of amenities the luxury resort might entail.

The Tahoe Biltmore project, however, has been approved for 334 units, inclusive of guestrooms, cottages, and residencies. The Tahoe Biltmore currently has 113 total occupancies, which includes 18 cottages.

EKN did say that it expects the demolition, and then planning and building of the luxury resort and residencies, to take roughly three-and-a-half years to complete. The company is targeting an opening in the third quarter of 2025.

Gaming is currently planned to return at the forthcoming resort by way of “an upscale and intimate casino.” EKN has no history operating casino gambling, according to its online portfolio.