The news of Sharkey’s financial woes revealed last week shouldn’t have been too big a surprise, given the fact the casino has been for sale for several years.
Looking back through the record, it was pretty clear that during the heyday, just before the beginning of the Great Recession, that Sharkey’s owner Hal Holder was expanding his business and that Sharkey’s was, in part, collateral for that expansion.
According to the Assessor’s Office, Sharkey’s was never worth the more than $3 million that’s owed on it. Had gaming continued to grow, Holder’s was the smart bet.
Last fall we wrote about something similar with Genoa Lakes and owner Mario Antoci. The timing for Antoci’s purchase of the northern Genoa Lakes course was pretty close to when Holder was borrowing off Sharkey’s to purchase four Elko County casinos.
Both Genoa Lakes courses are currently operating under a receivership. A trustee sale for Sharkey’s on May 1 was averted by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
The only thing unusual in these two instances are the size and familiarity of the properties. People from all walks of life and all over Carson Valley had similar experiences on a smaller scale during the recession.
There are people still living in homes worth less than they paid for them, hoping that the market will improve to the point where they can get their money back.
We’ve seen some signs that the housing market is improving, that taxable sales and gaming are up a bit. Hopefully, that will translate into increased prosperity and help all who invested just before the big crash.