New Lake Tahoe casino opening this summer

June 20, 2024 10:00 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
June 20, 2024 10:00 PM

The Nevada Gaming Commission has granted a license to revive a casino in Lake Tahoe that’s expected to open by early August.

Story continues below

The license was awarded to the Lake Tahoe Gaming Corp., doing business as the Tahoe Nugget, on U.S. Highway 50 in Stateline. Northern Nevada gaming operator David Tate is the 100% shareholder as well as president and general manager.

The building on the site was constructed in 1965 and throughout its history housed nonrestricted gaming with supporting uses. The casinos on the site over the years operated under the names Tahoe Nugget, Ed’s Tahoe Nugget, and John’s Tahoe Nugget. Lately, the two-story building primarily housed restaurants, retail, office, and other nongaming entities. One restaurant remains and will continue to operate.

Tate said the idea for pursuing a casino on the property came at the start of the pandemic, when he saw that the building was for sale and considered it as a real estate opportunity.

“We’d like to bring a bit of local flavor to it,” Tate said. “We wear our personalities on our sleeves. We care about our people. We don’t have stockholders. We want to take a long-term approach to the business.”

In making a recommendation to the Gaming Commission to approve the license, Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick said he’s excited about the opportunity for Tate to create more jobs in the region.

Hendrick noted that Tate and his gaming trust have had a collection of restricted and non-restricted gaming locations in communities throughout Nevada and he worried only about Tate spreading himself too thin.

Tate admitted that he operates 17 locations and that he’s actively involved. The property will have 140 games and a kiosk sportsbook to start, which he said is similar to the nearby Dotty’s between Bally’s and Harrah’s. “It’s not very sexy, but it is clean and safe.”

The parking lot is currently being resurfaced and Tate said they’ve made a lot of progress on the inside with a plan to install games next week.

The casino will have about 20 employees. Tate said his company has a drug-testing program and admits he’s been pushed hard on the issue, especially in that market. Tate has 285 employees in his overall operation and is using social media to reach out to help with hiring, in addition to hosting a job fair in July.

“Hiring is going to be very challenging in this environment,” Tate said. “We’re blessed to have a strong team in northern Nevada. It’s not a heavily staffed facility, but it’s going to be a neighborhood establishment that cares about the people who work there and patronize it. It’s a little old school, but that’s what we’re comfortable with and believe in our ability to do that.”

Commissioner Brian Krolicki called it a good location, with office and health centers across the road bringing more patrons to the area. The health center is the former site of the Lakeside Inn and Casino that closed in 2020

“Everyone keeps asking me when it’s going to open,” Krolicki said. “You have the buzz of the town.”

Commissioner George Markantonis said it was inspiring to hear Tate’s presentation to the Gaming Control Board and his references to taking care of his employees. “You’re exactly the type of person we need in our industry in this state.”

Commission Chairman Jennifer Togliatti said what makes Nevada great is it has “the new and old school and the old school is what people in our state, especially those who have been here a long time, and many transplants also like to see.

“We appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit that you bring to Nevada and you personify that spirit that makes Nevada great and this country great,” said Gaming Control Board member George Assad.