“Forgotten Hollywood”- Former Rat Pack Casino Gets Facelift

Posted on September 9, 2013 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

rat pack   A Lake Tahoe resort once owned by Frank Sinatra, and frequented by his Rat Pack buddies, is about to undergo a major makeover. The Cal Neva hotel-casino straddling the California-Nevada border will close for more than a year beginning Monday to allow for the multi-million-dollar renovation project. The 219-room, 10-story hotel, and 6,000-square-foot casino will be upgraded in an effort to revitalize the property. A Napa Valley-based development company acquired the Cal Neva in April.

   During its heyday from 1960-1963, the resort was owned by Sinatra, and fellow Rat Pack clan members Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford often stayed at the locale. They made a number of movies together, including Oceans 11, Sergeants 3, 4 for Texas, and Robin and the 7 Hoods. Stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Juliet Prowse also vacationed there. In fact, Monroe spent her final weekend at the Cal Neva before she died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles in August, 1962.   RAT PACK (w/ Lucy Ball & Danny Thomas)

    The Cal Neva is one of Nevada’s first legal casinos. The present resort was built in 1937, when a fire destroyed the original lodge that opened in 1926. Sinatra renovated the villa, adding the celebrity showroom and a helicopter pad on the roof. He used tunnels to shuffle mobsters and celebrities beneath the resort so they wouldn’t be seen by the general public. The tunnels were built in the late 1920s so liquor could be smuggled in during Prohibition. Sinatra’s gambling license was stripped in 1963 by Nevada gambling regulators after Chicago mobster Sam Giancana was spotted on the premises.

   Owners plan to make the hotel a 4-star resort by upgrading rooms with modern amenities, larger bathrooms, and bigger windows offering Lake Tahoe views. Plans call for the redesigned casino to include blackjack and other table games. Public tours of the cabins and tunnels will resume after the project is completed. They hope to reopen the Cal Neva on December 12th, 2014, which would have been Frank Sinatra’s 99th birthday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 at 12:29 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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