In Nevada, the billionaire businessman behind computer technologies giant Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison (pictured), has reportedly spent $35.8 million in order to purchase the shuttered Cal Neva Resort and Casino on Lake Tahoe.
According to a report from The Sacramento Bee newspaper, New York-born Ellison has an estimated fortune of around $40 billion and had his acquisition of the historic venue once owned by legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra approved by a federal bankruptcy judge on October 16.
Opened in 1926 and located along the border between California and Nevada, the Cal Neva Resort and Casino was reportedly once the playground of celebrities including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Marilyn Monroe but struggled to turn a profit after Sinatra disposed of his interest in 1968.
The newspaper reported that the property, which includes a ten-story hotel tower along with a small casino, changed hands several times after the late-1960s before being purchased by Criswell Radovan in 2013. The California developer had intended to spend $49 million in order to renovate the venue but halted work three years later before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Ellison is no stranger to Lake Tahoe. In 2014, he reportedly sold a mansion in the nearby Snug Harbor area for $20.3 million and is currently constructing an 18,000 sq ft home only a few miles away that is to feature a private island. The 73-year-old purportedly also controls a property portfolio that includes Hawaii’s Lanai Island, which he purchased for approximately $500 million in 2012, while he paid $42.9 million the previous year to acquire the 249-acre Porcupine Creek Ranch outside of Rancho Mirage, California.
As for what Ellison now intends to do with the Cal Neva Resort and Casino, the newspaper reported that local officials and community leaders remain in the dark and have yet to be contacted by the tech billionaire or any of his representatives. Tom Lotshaw from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency purportedly declared that the regulator would be ‘happy and willing and able to work with them to keep a good project going’ while court records indicate that the new owner has already severed ties with Strategic Gaming Management, which had been lined up to handle the re-opened property’s casino operations.
“They’ve been radio silent,” Eric Dale, Regional Operations Director for Strategic Gaming Management, reportedly told The Sacramento Bee. “I sat through many a court date and I’m not exactly sure what the intention is for the property at this point.”