Walley’s gets new owner, new name | RecordCourier.com

Walley’s gets new owner, new name

by Linda Hiller

Walley’s has changed hands again.

In June, Walley’s Hot Springs was sold to Quintus Resorts, an

offshoot of The Ridge Tahoe and Resorts West, for $4.5 million.

The new name will be David Walley’s Resort, Hot Springs and Spa,

replacing Walley’s Hot Springs, Walley Hot Springs and a variety

of names.

“We want to emphasize the history of Walley’s, so we wanted to

get David’s name in there,” said Linda Gilson, executive director

of marketing for Quintus.

The new owners have a vision of Walley’s which will include something

never before planned for the historic site – 150 timeshare units

north of current buildings. Plans for the resort still show a

reverence for the unique spot.

“We want to enhance what is already here, what is Walley’s,” said

general manager since June 9, Lance Akisada. “We do not want to

destroy anything.”

Akisada, 47, was born and raised in Hawaii and has an extensive

background in the hotel industry, working the past two years at

The Ridge Tahoe. He and his wife Allyson have two children, Erin,

24, and Gavin, 21.

With a trained and experienced eye, Akisada could see the need

for repairs when he first laid eyes on the 125-year-old resort.

“It was just Walley’s,” he said. “Beautiful, but needing work.”

Akisada said the $250,000 remodeling job on the spa, rolling for

only a few months, has needed to be far more extensive than anyone

anticipated.

“Once we got into it, we kept excavating and excavating – finding

it necessary to go right down to the pipes,” he said. “We decided

not to stop, even though it put us over budget. We want to do

this job right.”

Some old, some new. The remodeled spa will resemble the old one, with separate entrances

for men and women, nine treatment rooms, saunas and steamrooms

– facilities complying with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements

so wheelchair patients can use the spa and come in for other treatments.

Services for clients will expand, with nail care, massages, an

aesthetician services, a personal trainer, classes and body wrapping

offered. Akisada said Quintus has already spent $45,000 on 15

pieces of exercise equipment for the exercise room.

Quintus received an OK to go ahead with their planning development

overlay at the last Douglas County Planning Commission meeting,

so the green light is on for construction of the first phase of

timeshare units, a 21-unit building, to begin in October. The

project will take several years over a many-phased schedule to

complete.

“It will literally take years,” she said. “One of the things we

want to be sure and do is to take advantage of the natural resources

at Walley’s. We’d like to develop the pathway and perhaps eventually

build a boardwalk into the marsh.”

Sensitive habitat. Gilson is compiling a list of birding experts and individuals

familiar with the unique wildlife environment at Walley’s to help

guide developers in disturbing key habitat as little as possible.

A pond which is home to several frog species and the delicate

Western Pond Turtle will not get in the way of construction, said

Akisada.

“We will build around it,” he said. “We don’t want to disturb

anything that is here.

“We want this to be a first class facility. We would never think

of going into the wetlands.”

The architectural theme for the timeshares will be similar to

Walley’s current design lines.

Walley’s will still be open to the general public. Carson Valley

residents will be able to buy a membership or pay a day rate to

“have a soak.”

In addition to the 150 timeshare units, Akisada said future plans

for Walley’s will include an increase in banquet business offerings

and off-site catering.

A golf course, mentioned in the past by other owners, is not what

Quintus sees as the best idea for the land adjacent to Walley’s.

“Why should we build a golf course here? The ambiance of Walley’s

is the open land – this is what gives it its unique relaxing charm,”

Akisada said.

“In fact, we hate to have early morning meetings at Walley’s,”

Gilson said.

“Everyone gets so relaxed that no one wants to go to work afterwards.”

More on Walley’s Hot Springs history