Baer buys first parcel for Indian Hills casino |

Baer buys first parcel for Indian Hills casino

by Susie Vasquez

Max Baer Jr. purchased 2.5 acres at 3714 Lyla Lane in north Douglas County owned by the Metcalf family trust for $1.2 million this week. It’s the first of two parcels he will need for his proposed Jethro Bodine’s Beverly Hillbillies Casino & Mansion, he said.

“I’m putting my money where my mouth is and buying the property,” Baer said. “This purchase demonstrates a commitment to Douglas County. It shows the people here that the process is moving forward.

“It’s a small price to pay in the middle of this big development that will retain its value,” he said.

Baer purchased the property with funds from the recent sale of the old Wal-Mart building at 4209 S. Carson St. He won’t acquire the remaining 20.78 acres, owned by Carson City businessmen Michael Hohl and Dink Cryer, until he has received the needed zoning change and height variances, he said.

Variances will be required for a proposed 200-foot flameless oil derrick and readerboard. Two 12-story, 240-room hotel towers and convention space are scheduled for subsequent phases and will also need approval from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

A special use permit, major variance for height and zoning map amendment will be considered by the Douglas County planning commission June 12. The zoning map amendment will be considered by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners July 5, according to Harmon Zuckerman, principal planner for Douglas County.

The project, which will be part of a proposed 600,00-square-foot commercial complex in north Douglas County, is located just east of Highway 395 and Carson Valley Plaza.

A 40,000-square-foot gaming area with 800 slot machines and 16 gaming tables will be flanked by a variety of eateries, including California Cuisine Restaurant and Jethro’s All You Ken Et Buffet.

Plans for phase one of the project include a 2,100-seat cinema complex and a 240-room, five-story hotel.

Subsequent phases include convention space and the hotel towers.

If approved, the casino will be part of Riverwood, a larger project headed by developer Jay Timon. Kohl’s, a family department store, and Sportsman’s Warehouse are expected to join the casino in the complex, which will include about 600,000 square feet of commercial space.

Groundbreaking is expected this fall, a huge task that requires the removal of 1,750,000 cubic yards of dirt due to the slope of land. When combined with infrastructure needs like water, sewer, electric and LED lines, the cost would be prohibitive without help from the county, Baer said.

To supplement those costs, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved $24.7 million in redevelopment funding in December. The money from Douglas County’s Redevelopment agency would be paid incrementally over a 16-year period, the bulk in the last eight years. The funding would be paid only if developer Riverwood Redevelopment LLC meets the requirements of the owner participation agreement approved Thursday.

Timon must complete a 30,000-square-foot building on just five acres. The bulk of that property, or 25,000 square feet, must be leased.

In a previous interview, Timon said this was the only way to complete a project of this scope.

“This is the way to get the project done, with a public/private partnership,” he said.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at, 782-5121, ext. 211.