Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Tahoe Village

I always thought the photos of the Tahoe Village were cool. The building had a number of names, from its inception in 1945 as the original Tahoe Village with Mickey Wood financing. Bert Riddick was one of the casino owners, along with Skoff in 1946 and 1947, Elkins in 1948, and then Babe Arata and Walter Parman took a shot.

The club had a small motel next door for its visitors and the casino itself was circular, affording nice views of the lake across the street. Parman (as mentioned in The Roots of Reno) was busy with Reno clubs, so he gave up his interest as casino manager to Lou Watters, who changed the name to Casino de Paris and brought Parisian entertanment with beautiful cancan girls to small nightclub.

Frank Sinatra appeared at the request of Sammy Sellette, but his performance was flat and he was heckled from the crowd. He was so incensed that he never appeared at the lake again until purchasing an interest in the Cal-Neva Lodge six years later.

In 1955, Oliver M. Kahle and his partner, Ben Jaffe, bought the club and changed the name to Oliver's. Kahle upgraded the motel next door, adding a large pool that also had views of the lake. He tried unsuccessfully to rebuild the casino, which was making money, but there was a fire in 1963 that destroyed much of the building. Unable to rebuild, he sold the land to Douglas County and moved back to Las Vegas where he operated The Castaway's until Howard Hughes purchased the property.

Thanks for reading - Al W Moe


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