Baer spokesman Don Smit confirmed that the 71-year-old actor of “Beverly Hillbillies” TV show fame is considering the now-closed Silver Club as a place for his Hillbilly casino and possible 200-foot oil derrick sign. Baer is also considering three other existing facilities in northern Nevada, however Smit would not confirm which properties were being considered alongside the Silver Club.
According to Smit, representatives from Baer’s development group toured the facility a while ago to get a feel for the floor plan. However, they did not drop Baer’s name in the process and representatives have not entered into talks with Silver Club property owners. Baer has not personally toured the Silver Club, according to Smit.
“I have not entered into talks with Max Baer,” Hal Holder Jr., director of real estate for the Silver Club’s current owner Holder Hospitality Group, told the Sparks Tribune. “We don’t have any information regarding that (potential purchase).”
However, John Ascuaga’s Nugget officials have confirmed that Baer has spoken with Michonne Ascuaga, the Sparks casino’s chief financial officer. He has also pitched the idea to some Sparks City Council members and staff.
“We wanted to see if there was an appetite for it (the project) before he contacted the owner of the building,” Smit said. “He wanted to sit and discuss what his plans are see if they (the city and the Nugget) would be happy with him coming to Sparks.”
Baer owns about 23 acres near the corner of U.S. 395 and Topsy Lane in Carson City where he is planning to build the Beverly Hillbillies-themed casino.
However, the casino would be surrounded by about 70 acres of retail development and pushed back more than 1,000 feet from the freeway, according to Douglas County Assessor’s Office reports.
Although the retail center broke ground in October 2008, that project is on hold, according to Smit.
Representatives from Riverwood Redevelopment, LLC, the developer behind the retail project, did not return calls as of press time.
According to Smit, if Baer is going to have to continue to wait to develop in Douglas County, he may look elsewhere.
“He is not getting any younger,” Smit said.
The Silver Club is still for sale, according to Holder, and still holds its gaming license.
The Holder Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June. A company spokesman told the Tribune at the time that the hotel/casino’s only chance of permanently reopening is to be sold.
Businessman Hal Holder Sr. owns a total of six northern Nevada casinos, five of which are still open and all of which are for sale.
Smit confirmed that if the casino were to open in Sparks, the design would change to accommodate the facilities.
Currently, the project would be a large version of the mansion from the “Beverly Hillbillies” 1960s TV show.