The Gaming Control Board voted this week to recommend Neva One, which is controlled by members of the Park family, take over the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino Lake Tahoe.
The board also recommended Warner Gaming be approved as the key employee to manage the casino.
Todd Abbott, vice president of regulatory compliance for Warner Gaming, said that opens the door to a $60 million renovation and upgrade of what was the old Horizon hotel-casino.
The Horizon closed its doors March 31. When it did so, Abbott said it had just 200 slots and no table games.
When it reopens, he said “In the interior everything customer sees will be new.”
That includes new carpet, wall coverings and lighting in the casino and remodeling of all 539 hotel rooms.
Abbott said when the resort opens as Hard Rock, it will have 500 slot machines and 24 table games as well as two or three poker tables.
And instead of the roughly 100 employees at the old Horizon, the resort will employ about 500 which Abbott said should help pump some life into the south shore’s economy.
Work has already begun on the south end of the resort along the highway. What was the canopy has been torn down. It will be replaced by a concept restaurant with a patio as well as inside dining.
The steak house will also undergo a complete renovation as will the resort’s bars and other amenities.
Despite the amount of work the project will require, Abbott said plans are to open in January.
“It’s a very fast-track project,” he said. “Actually, we’re accepting room reservations beginning Jan. 9 right now.”
The control board’s recommendations must be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission, scheduled to meet Oct. 23.
The Park family has a long history at south shore and in the area’s gaming market. John Park told the control board earlier this week his family has owned the land there since the 1800s. The Park family leases lands occupied by Harrahs, Harvey’s and Montbleu casinos to those resorts.