Bryan vows to save Dreyfus mansion |

Bryan vows to save Dreyfus mansion

by Sheila Gardner

“Common sense will prevail,” and Nevada’s congressional delegation will stop the U.S. Forest Service from tearing down the $3 million Dreyfus mansion on the shore of Lake Tahoe at Zephyr Cove, Sen. Richard Bryan said Tuesday.

“It’s just simply not going to happen,” Bryan said of reports that the Forest Service would order the nine-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot mansion torn down instead of allowing Park Cattle Co. to operate the former residence as a convention center.

Bryan, a Democrat, said he spoke with Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and they agreed to send a letter to the Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture inquiring about the report and requesting a halt to any further discussion of razing the buildings.

“We’ve heard the reports, but I don’t know that there has been a specific proposal,” Bryan said. “This (tearing down the structure) is just a complete overreaction to the Inspector General’s report and investigation.”

In fairness to the Forest Service, Bryan said he is not “getting the sense that they are sounding the drumbeat” to demolish the buildings.

“I think the Forest Service will listen to the (congressional) delegation on this,” Bryan said. “Clearly, they can reach some kind of solution. This is an issue that cries out for some common sense.

“I just don’t think any thoughtful person is going to suggest that the rational approach is to tear down the structure,” he said. “It just defies logic and would be the height of folly.”

The mansion has been the focal point of a debate over the $38 million land transfer between the Forest Service and Olympic Group, an Arizona-based group of investors. The Olympic Group sold the buildings to the Minden-based Park Cattle Co. at the conclusion of the land transfer.

After the transaction between Park and the Olympic Group, the Forest Service refused to give Park a special use permit to operate the businesses. Park representatives said they had been advised that the Forest Service would tear down the buildings because the Park proposal is not in the best interest of the public.

The principals in the deal were the subject of a criminal investigation by the federal Office of the Inspector General which found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Park Cattle Co. officials say they have been told by the Forest Service that the15-year-old buildings are coming down. The Forest Service declined to discuss the allegation, citing an agreement they reached with Park attorneys not to talk about the buildings publicly.