Jethro in the Spotlight

FOX Business Now

Tue Apr 1, 11:54 AM ET

Max Baer Jr., actor on "The Beverly Hillbillies,"

discusses the show and his career after.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS & PICTURE

OF APPROVED OIL DERRICK SIGN:  http://www.jethroscasino.com/SIGNAGE/index.htm
 

Baer back in court over casino land

 

July, 21 2012
Record-Courier Staff Reports

 

“Beverly Hillbillies” star Max Baer Jr. has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was de­frauded out of $7 million by two Carson City car dealers, Riverwood developer Jay Timon and Douglas County.

In September 2007, Baer agreed to pay $7.5 million for property he hoped to develop into a casino, cashing in on his fame as Jethro in the 1960s television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

The casino, Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino, has never been built, and the property remains in litigation on several fronts.

The 16-acre property sits 1,100 feet from Highway 395 opposite Carson Valley Plaza near the Douglas County-Carson City line.

According to the complaint, filed Thursday, River­wood entered a 10-year de­velopment agreement with Douglas County without informing the county that Baer owned some of the property or telling Baer about the agreement, which placed encumbran­ces on his ability to de­velop.

Hohl and Cryer are listed as co-owners and partners with Ti­mon in River­wood.

The com­plaint al­leges they agreed to provide personal guarantees sufficient to ob­tain loans to finance River­wood's development including construction of utilities and infrastructure to Baer's property line and to assist Baer with financing.

In the lawsuit, Baer says he had no previous commercial development experience and was relying on River­wood's promise to develop the utilities and other infrastructure.

Encumbered by the terms and length of the development agreement, Baer claims he is unable to borrow against the property, which has been substantially devalued.

Baer, 74, alleges the 10-year development schedule set by the agreement is “too protracted” for someone of his age, making it impossible or difficult to obtain a building permit.

Baer said that if he had known about the development agreement, he never would have purchased the property or proceeded with related expenditures, agreements and transactions.

Conversely, had the county known of the specific terms of Baer's agreement with Riverwood, it never would have approved the development agreement.

Douglas County sued Riverwood two years ago, claiming the company failed to disclose that it sold property to Baer between the time the development agreement was approved and when it went into effect.

The complaint was filed by Reno lawyer Sean Brohawn on behalf of Max Baer Productions Ltd. of Los Angeles.

 

LINK TO ARTICLE: http://www.nevadaappeal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120721/NEWS/120729971/0/

 

 

County approves ‘Hillbillies’ sign

 

by Sheila Gardner
Staff Writer, record courier

December 5, 2008

“Beverly Hillbillies” star Max Baer Jr. celebrated his 71st birthday on a high note.

 

After 18 months, Douglas County commissioners approved a sign with modifications to advertise the casino Baer plans fashioned after the popular television show of the 1960s.


Commissioners voted 4-1 Thursday to approve the sign southeast of the intersection of Topsy Lane and Highway 395.


“I’m getting older by the minute,” Baer said after a commissioner wished him a happy birthday.


Commissioners passed 4-1 a motion introduced by Nancy McDermid that kept the height at 90 feet, but reduced the sign area portion by about 30 percent.
The 534-square foot readerboard was limited to 375 square feet, about 70 percent of the original request, and the rest of the signage was limited proportionally.


The rest of the signage, 344 square feet, when reduced by the same percentage, is limited to 242 square feet. The total sign area is 617 square feet. Baer had requested 878 square feet.


Commissioners took up the sign issue about 9 p.m. with few spectators in the audience.


The only opposition came from Jim Markwardt, representing Shepherd of the Sierra church on the other side of the highway.


“As part of our project, we intend to have a cross. Our new building is 30 feet high and the cross is 30 feet. Is it more important to have signs prominently displayed for casinos and shopping centers than schools, churches and so forth?


“If you allow the variance, we’ll be the first down here, hat in hand, asking for a 90-foot cross,” he said.


Before the vote was taken, Commisisoner Doug Johnson urged a compromise.
“I still have problems with the readerboard. Try a compromise to get this done. I am tired of doing this over and over. I am absolutely against negotiating things at these meetings,” Johnson said.


Commissioners granted the variance, finding that the sign was 220 feet off the highway and 1,000 feet from the proposed casino.


Commissioner Kelly Kite thanked project director Don Smits for taking him to the site so he could see the grading issues behind the request for the height variance.


“Thank you for taking me up there and showing me the hole,” Kite said. “Until you see the pile of dirt, you have no idea what you’re dealing with.”

l

In 2007, planning commissioners approved a zoning change for the multi-million dollar, 270,000-square-foot hotel/casino in north Douglas County; but with their approval came the denial of a variance for a 200-foot oil derrick with three sign faces and two animated reader boards.


That denial was appealed to the county commission, who rejected a 143-foot version of the oil derrick in January.


The second round involved a 109-foot tulip-shaped sign reminiscent of the Beverly Hills signs in Los Angeles. Planning commissioners nixed that sign in May, and the county commission upheld their decision in July.


The third proposal returned to the oil derrick design, a 90-foot version of the structure with two sign faces instead of three.


Conditions of the approval include obtaining approval from design review before applying for building permit from community development; the readerboard must list three tenants; any proposed modifications are subject to review by community development.


Sign construction cannot begin before a building permit has been issued for the Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino.


Commissioners voted 4-1 with Dave Brady dissenting.

 

 

Max Baer reflects on his fight to open Hillbillies casino
 



Click to Enlarge

 

Max Baer Jr. talks Tuesday about his plans to bring a Beverly Hillbillies-themed casino to Douglas County. The area behind Baer, just southeast of the Topsy Lane and Highway 395 intersection, is where he plans to build his $125 million Jethro Bodine's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino.
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal


By Dave Frank
June 1, 2008

Max Baer Jr. flings a pile of dog feces off his patio with a shovel and looks out across Lake Tahoe.

The former actor on the 1960s television sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies" says the view from the perch on the hill is what brought him to the Zephyr Cove home 30 years ago, but the small-town feel of the area is what keeps him.

Inside the house, pictures of the Hillbillies' cast and framed magazine features about his proposed casino hang on the walls. There is also a large picture of his father, heavyweight boxer Max Baer Sr., posing in a fighting stance.

In his living room, he shows how his coffee table can unhinge and turn into a giant TV tray. There are gardening and adult magazines on the top.

Baer, 70, is wearing a track suit, leather fanny pack and gold medallion necklace. He picks up a sketch of him drawn in the late 1990s while he was trying to open a casino in Reno. It is one of several places during the last 20 years he's tried to open a Hillbillies-themed casino.

"I look like Howard Hughes," he says pointing at the picture. "I look like a freaking eccentric idiot."

But the actor and entrepreneur, who hopes to finish the first phase of the $125 million Jethro Bodine's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino in two years, said he doesn't care what people think. He said he was disappointed when plans to open a casino in Stateline, Verdi, Las Vegas, Sparks, Reno and Carson City all fell through, but he was never discouraged.

The idea of being close to 80 years old when the proposed Douglas County casino is scheduled to be finished doesn't bother him, either, he said.

"If you think about it, is it the ultimate outcome that is the most important, or is it the trip?" Baer said during an interview in late May. "Is it getting married, or is it the courting?"

When it comes to building a casino, it's a courtship that Baer plans to pursue until he gets what he wants.

Baer, who has also earned millions of dollars off two movies he's produced, is marketing the Hillbillies brand in the meantime through a Hillbillies-themed line of slot machines and foods.

Bill Wortman, a friend of Baer's and the former owner of the Cannery casino in Las Vegas, said Baer is a "very, very interesting fellow" who won't change a plan once he's got one.

It's uncommon for someone to take this long to open a casino, he said, but it's also uncommon for someone to have the desire Baer does.

"There's something about Max," he said. "He wants to do it on his terms, and he wants to do it his way."

Baer, who has not gotten county approval for everything he wants for the casino, keeps a set of plans for the project at his house. He works from his dining room table and keeps boxes of files around him.

One box is devoted to evidence he said he's building against Bodines casino in Carson City. CBS and Baer, both who have rights to Beverly Hillbillies name, have told the owners of Bodines they should change the casino's name.

Baer is protective of the rights, but he said his casino project is not meant to be his legacy. He has no children and four dogs. His girlfriend, Chere Rhodes, committed suicide in January.

His casino project, which will not have the 200-foot-flame-shooting oil derrick he lobbied for, is about dedication and character, Baer said. He compares himself as a boxer, fighter, runner and quarterback when he talks about the work he's done.

"There's nothing wrong in getting knocked down," he said, "but there's something drastically wrong if you don't have the balls to get back up."

Baer has a deep announcer's voice. He talks openly about things like his girlfriend's suicide and his heart problems he said might have been complicated by it.

He goes to the doctor regularly for tests.

Gene Munnings, a friend and owner of Evergreen Gene's in Carson City, called Baer a loud, good, uncompromising and, at times, self-conscious man.

Baer is afraid of flying, Munnings said. He is too proud to wear a hearing aid. He dyes his hair black, and is thinking about letting it grow out.

But Baer still can get angry about not being able to open his casino at a former Wal-Mart in Carson City, Munnings said. Baer negotiated for years with shopping center property owners during the first half of the decade to let him open his casino there.

State Archivist Guy Rocha said if he had to compare Baer to another Nevada casino owner, it would be Frank Sinatra, once an owner of the Lake Tahoe Cal-Neva.

They are both smart, driven and sometimes charming, said Rocha, a friend of Baer's.

Whether Baer's strong personality has hurt his chances at opening a casino or what Baer would do if he never gets to open the casino, Rocha said he doesn't know.

"I mean, he's obsessed with this," Rocha said. "He really is."



• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

 

Come set a spell with 'Beverly Hillbillies' star Max Baer Jr.
 

 

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Then and now: Max Baer Jr., 70, starred as Jethro Bodine in the Beverly Hillbillies series. (Stretch played bloodhoud Duke.)

 

Click to Enlarge

By Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
 

 

By William Keck, USA TODAY

Max Baer Jr. can still channel Jethro Bodine, the much younger and far more dimwitted character he played on The Beverly Hillbillies from 1962-71.

"Hoootttt dawgg!" he proclaims, several octaves above his normal speaking voice. "I can actually carry on a conversation as Jethro if I have to. I do it better in the afternoon than I do in the morning."

But it is important to Baer, 70, that his fans realize he is no fool like Jethro, who gets his very own April Fools' Day marathon of episodes tonight on TV Land (9 ET/PT). The episodes showcase Jethro pursuing a delayed education from the fifth grade all the way through secretarial college.

Baer had a hard time graduating out of his character once CBS canceled Hillbillies. "I didn't get jobs not only because I was Jethro, but because I'd come into auditions with these young people interviewing and they'd say, 'What have you done?' I'd say, "Excuse me? I was only on television for nine years in the most successful sitcom in the history of television!" he says, exaggerating a tad.

Plans for casino, theme park

Retired from acting, Baer has spent the past two decades struggling to build his dream project on 24 acres of land he owns in Carson Valley, Nev., a Hillbillies-themed casino and theme park not far from his Lake Tahoe home.

Architectural concept drawings of the Clampett mansion casino exterior, "cement pond" pool, Jethro Bodine's All You Can Et Buffet and Granny's White Lightnin' Bar can be seen on his website, jethroscasino.com. (Fans can buy different sauces bearing the images of the show's principals.) More than 200 rooms, 1,000 slot machines and animatronic figures of the cast are planned, and that's "just to start."

"Either it will happen or I will die; there's no stopping me," insists Baer, pledging to break ground next year for a summer 2010 opening — 22 years after he first conceptualized the project. "The fact that it has taken me a long time is disheartening because I figure I'll have a lot less of my life to spend enjoying it if I get it done … when I get it done. But it was my concept, so either it's going to be the way I visualize it or it isn't going to be at all."

A few years back he launched a series of Beverly Hillbillies slot machines that he says "have been very successful, but I don't want to talk too much about that because Uncle Sam could be listening."

Getting personal

Baer lives with his four dogs and has no children "that I know of" to inherit his legacy. He was married only once, from 1966 to 1971, and hasn't seen ex-wife Joanna Hill in 30 years, though they speak occasionally. Since then, he has romanced many. "It seems four years is my limit," he acknowledges.

This past January, 30-year-old love interest Chere Rhodes shot herself in Baer's Lake Tahoe home. A suicide note was left for him. "There was blood everywhere," he says, speaking about the incident for the first time. "She'd shot herself in the chest."

Baer, who had known Rhodes for three years, says she was still alive when the police arrived. A paraffin test was performed on him, he says, "to make sure that I didn't shoot her." Three days later, Rhodes died in a Reno hospital. The stress of the incident landed Baer in the hospital after his heart rate spiked.

Baer can sympathize with emotional turmoil. He has had his own stability problems throughout the years, beginning during his time on the sitcom.

"I tore up the set four or five times," he recalls. "I tipped over the camera cart and went through walls. I was all screwed up mentally. I was drinking too much, staying up too late and trying to get too many ladies."

Ironically, he credits booze with landing him the role. Irene Ryan (Granny) got him plastered on double martinis before his audition. "I was so off balance I hit the doorjamb with my shoulder and turned to the door and said, 'Scuse me.' " According to Baer, Buddy Ebsen (Uncle Jed) said, "That's Jethro!"

Farewell to 'Hillbillies'

Over the years, Baer has had to say goodbye to most all his Hillbillies family. Ebsen's death in 2003 at age 95 struck Baer the hardest. When Ebsen's wife, Dorothy, phoned Baer to say the end was near, he called up his TV cousin, Donna Douglas (Elly May), and the two rushed to his hospital bed. "I tiptoed in," Baer says. "Buddy was lying there with his eyes shut and a catheter in him. I put my hand on his head and he says, 'Jethro.' It was so sweet."

That was the last time he saw Ebsen, who died a few days later, or Douglas, now 74, who lives in Baton Rouge with her many animals. "She's very religious and goes around to tent services in communities," he says.

As for his character, Baer suspects Jethro also would be having a fun time at age 70. "He's probably the owner of the best little whorehouse in Texas, having figured out by now that there's something more to girls than just cooking and cleaning."

Weeeell, doggies!
 


Tuesday, April 1, 2008   - TV GUIDE

The Beverly Hillbillies' Max Baer Jr. on Being Jethro

by Tim Williams

 Max Baer Jr, The Beverly Hillbillies

 

The Beverly Hillbillies' Jethro Bodine would fall somewhere between Barney Fife and Kramer on any list of great TV sidekicks. Part buffoon and part beautiful dreamer, Jethro was a childlike mind plopped into the body of a backwoods Hercules. These days, the man who played the slack-jawed Jethro, Max Baer Jr, is pleased people still love the Hillbillies and that TV Land is running an all-you-can-watch Jethro marathon on, appropriately, April Fools' Day. Baer, however, is not a foolish man — he made millions with his own brand of country-fried entertainment in the '70s (Macon County Line and Ode to Billy Joe), and is currently working on a dream project: a hotel and casino based on The Beverly Hillbillies that he hopes to open in Nevada in 2010. We chatted with him about his famous character and the latest on his new venture.

TVGuide.com: I understand in the past you weren't thrilled talking about Jethro.
Max Baer Jr:
I hated it. I wanted to distance myself from it. When the series went off the air in 1971, nobody wanted to cast me on TV because as soon as I came on the screen, people would say, "Hey, there's Jethro!" I was also going through a divorce at the same time, and I ended up with absolutely nothing. The only thing worse than being a has-been is being a has-been with no money. It wasn't until I produced and wrote Macon County Line that I made a lot of money.

TVGuide.com: I know you're putting a lot of money and time into a new Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino. What can fans expect?
Baer:
We're going to have The Beverly Hillbillies truck in the lobby, and there's going to be animatronics where Granny, Jed, Jethro, Elly and Duke the dog all interact and do scenes. We'll also have Granny's White Lightnin' Bar with fog, rain and lightning. We also have Granny's Shotgun Weddin' Chapel with Granny as almost a Don Rickles type, cracking jokes, and it'll all be videotaped for you to take home. Oh, and we have Elly May's Buns and Jethro's All-You-Can-Et Buffet. There will be a cement pond, and a Drysdale's Fancy Eatins restaurant, where you can eat on billiard tables just like we did on the show.

TVG.com: How long have you wanted to do this?
Baer:
I got the idea in 1989 and got the rights from CBS in 1991. I've been working on this for that long a period of time, and I will not do it unless I can do it the way I want. I'm a stubborn jackass. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Do you like it when people call you Jethro?
Baer:
It's a compliment if someone comes up to me and thinks I still look anything like I did 30 years ago. The thing I can't take is when someone comes up to me and says, "I thought you were dead!" That doesn't fly well with me.

TVGuide.com:  The portrayal of your father, Max Baer Sr, in the movie Cinderella Man didn't fly well with you, either.
Baer:
That's the hottest I've ever been about anything. Ronnie Howard had to make my dad the villain — he didn't have enough smarts to make that movie without crucifying Max Baer. Ronnie didn't want to talk to me, and I was absolutely shocked that he didn't call to ask if we could meet so he could get some background information. Every sportswriter from Bob Costas to Bert Sugar will tell you that my dad was a loudmouth like Muhammad Ali, but he was a good person and a likable guy.

TVGuide.com: I've heard that you were a wild guy during your Hillbillies days.
Baer: I was crazy in many ways, mostly because of drinking and drugs. I would blow my stack and turn over camera carts and break up sets. It was all the success, money, fame, youth and stupidity. Other than that I was fine! I don't even remember half of it. I'd pick up an airline stewardess at night and have some other girl meet me in my dressing room the next day. I was out of my mind.

TVGuide.com: Was it fun?
Baer:
Are you crazy? Having two or three girls a day? That's not fun to you? [Laughs] I should have done more than I did — I just didn't have the time.

TVGuide.com: Of all the jobs Jethro had over the years, was there one that you really enjoyed?
Baer:
I did so many of those jobs in real life that Jethro did on the show. I was a producer, a director and even a fry cook. I haven't been a brain surgeon, but I'm working on it.


County rejects Beverly Hillbillies casino derrick
by Susie Vasquez
January 6, 2008


It's back to the drawing board for Max Baer Jr. and his proposed signature oil derrick after commissioners denied a variance Thursday, saying the developers did not meet the needed criteria.

The proposed 143-foot oil derrick was pared down from its original 200-foot height and the readerboard decreased to 2,364 from 2,600 square feet. County code allows a maximum sign height of 30 feet and sign area of 115 square feet.

The proposal for the Jethro Bodine's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino did not meet the basic criteria for a variance, according to some commissioners.

"It will cause material damage to other properties in the area," said Commission Chairman Doug Johnson. "The circumstances and conditions for this sign do not apply to surrounding properties."

The decision was 4-1, with commissioners Johnson, David Brady, Jim Baushke and Nancy McDermid voting to deny Baer's appeal. Commissioner Kelly Kite cast the opposition vote.

"Anything higher than the building is a deal-breaker for me, but now that height is lower," Kite said. "It's not going to be readily visible from Carson Valley and we'll be getting space for emergency responders and increased communications. It will attract visitors to the site. That's what we want."

Don Smit, spokesman for the casino project, said they aren't giving up. Their staff will be working very hard to find a solution seen as good for both Douglas County and the casino.

"We'll be working on this every day," Smit said. "But we can't minimize the importance of this monument, nor the need for appropriate signage for this type of structure."

Commissioners approved zoning and variances for the casino in north Douglas County last fall. Part of the larger Riverwood commercial complex, the casino will be located on about 23 acres opposite Carson Valley Plaza.

Phase one of Baer's project includes a 40,000 square foot gaming area with 800 slots and 16 tables, a showroom, cinema complex and a five story, 240 room hotel.
 


Hillbilly casino backers to reveal derrick plans
 

by Susie Vasquez
December 14, 2007



Oil derrick plans for Jethro Bodine's Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino will be unveiled at two public meetings, slated for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Indian Hills General meeting room and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

Plans for the casino and spa originally included a 200-foot oil derrick, but the Douglas County Board of Comissioners objected to the height and 2,600-square-foot size of the integrated readerboard. Plans have been revised and right now, developers are proposing a 143-foot height substantially below the placement of the hotel, project spokesman Don Smit said.

"We've been working hard on this," he said. "The intent has always been to make the derrick an attraction and it's been evolving throughout the entire design process.

"We have to give a reason for the derrick and now, the drawings are done. We like the concept and we're in the process of refining it," he said.

The proposal includes a tie to Riverwood retail center with an interpretive trail, Smit said.

Next week's meetings have not been sanctioned by Douglas County officials, but developer Max Baer and other members of the group want the community to see the derrick before a decision is made at the upcoming Jan. 3 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

"The presentation will last about an hour and we will take comments," Smit said. "But if residents have an objection, the time to voice that will be with the commission. We want them to go to that meeting with some knowledge of our proposal."

Located on 23 acres between Topsy Lane and Sunridge Drive in the Indian Hills area, the proposed $120 million casino and spa require height variances well over the 45-foot limit.

The project received approval for the zoning change and a gaming-use permit, but got tangled up concerning the variance approvals for two 143-foot, 12-story towers, 200-foot oil derrick and 2,600-square-foot readerboard.

The 143-foot hotel towers were approved by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners Aug. 2, but the derrick has been the subject of revisions for months.

Plans for a revised oil derrick were pulled off the commission agenda in December, but will be heard during their regular January 3 meeting, Smit said.



Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.



What: Plans for Beverly Hillbillies oil derrick unveiled

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday or Thursday

Where: Tuesday's meeting at the Indian Hills General Improvement District meeting room, 3394 James Lee Park Rd. Thursday's meeting will be held at the CVIC Hall in downtown Minden, 1602 Esmeralda Ave.
 


Hillbillies casino zoning granted
 

 

by Susie Vasquez
October 14, 2007


Jethro Bodine's "Beverly Hillbillies" Mansion & Casino came one step closer to reality Thursday, when a zoning map amendment and gaming district overlay were approved by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

The vote was 3-2, with commissioners Doug Johnson and David Brady casting the two dissenting votes.

"If it were just a casino I wouldn't be for it, but it's so much more than that," said Commissioner Jim Baushke. "If it comes to fruition, it will include a conference center, hotel and retail space. If he (developer Max Baer) can fill those conference rooms, it will mean a lot of revenue for a lot of people.

"We can argue the numbers all day long but the basic thing, if it's built as proposed, it will be better for Douglas County than pure retail space," he said.

Johnson said he has never disagreed more with the board than he does now. There are numerous unrestricted gaming overlays in Douglas County where casinos have never been developed, but once approved, the zoning is permanent.

"If the casino does succeed, we don't know what it will do for us financially," he said. "If it's a huge success, get ready for more."

Plans for the casino project include a 40,000-square-foot gaming area with 800 slot machines and 16 tables, a showroom, restaurants, cinema complex and two five-story, 240-room hotel towers.

Baer still needs a variance for his proposed oil derrick and readerboard.

Commissioner Kelly Kite said the project was not his first choice, but the zoning was planned eight years ago.

"I see no reason to make a change," he said.

Lyla Lane resident Jerry Vaccaro said the project was pushed through too quickly and there are a lot of unanswered questions. He said it doesn't enhance the quality of life for Douglas County residents.

"They can say they will be successful, but there's no guarantee," he said. "We've already given Riverwood (developers) $24.7 million in redevelopment funds because they say a lot of dirt needs to be moved and the site doesn't accomodate what they are proposing.

"We gave $24.7 million in redevelopment funds because they have to move tons of dirt."

Discussions concerning an appeal over a proposed 200-foot oil derrick, sign area and the number of sign faces agendized for the proposed casino were continued to Dec. 6.

 


With oil derrick out of way, Beverly Hillbillies casino strikes gold
 

 

by Kurt Hildebrand
August 6, 2007

 

With no 200-foot oil derrick to tie them down, proponents of the Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino were able to win approval of their project in northern Douglas County.


Commissioners voted 3-2 on five issues related to the project with Kelly Kite, Jim Baushke and Nancy McDermid voting in favor and Doug Johnson and David Brady voting against throughout the seven-hour hearing, which ended at 1 a.m. Friday.


Beverly Hillbillies star Max Baer Jr. asked commissioners to separate the sign from the rest of the issue.
Casino spokesman Don Smit told commissioners they were in negotiations with staff over the sign, which was unanimously panned by planning commissioners last month.


However, Smit said a request for a variance on the height of two towers was required for the project to go forward.


The height variance was denied by the Douglas County Planning Commission at their July 10 meeting. The first issue before county commissioners on Thursday was an appeal of the planning commission decision by casino proponents.


Public comment tended to be split on the issue, with principal planner Harmon Zuckerman saying letters received by the county commission were divided evenly.


“Nothing bad can come from this,” resident David Schuman said. “It is in the urban interface area and isn’t visible from the Valley.”


Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jenney Sartin told commissioners that a survey of members revealed overwhelming support for the casino.  She said a third of the members replied to the survey and that 80 percent backed the project.

 

Sunridge resident Gary Wheeler opposed the casino.  “I don’t want a casino in my neighborhood,” he said. “You can’t drive around a casino and say ‘I sure want to live here.”


Gardnerville resident Jack Van Dien said he supported the project, but thought commissioners should not approve it without knowing what impact it would have on Douglas County’s budget.


The biggest opponent of the casino was its neighbor, Big George Ventures, which asked commissioners to delay approval so they could work out their differences.


Big George spokesman Robbe Lehmann told the board he didn’t oppose casinos, but that the towers would rise above Georgetown affecting their property value.


During his presentation on the towers, Smit showed commissioners views of the casino from a variety of locations.


In those views, the casino sign and towers were not visible from Carson Valley.  Smit said the towers were similar in height to the Ormsby House.  “You couldn’t put a Stations casino there,” Smit said. “They would be asking for the same thing we are.”


Baer read two letters from other developers into the record in support of the project. 

 

Big George Ventures owner Raymond Sidney told commissioners that he was in favor of a casino in the right place.  “Maybe they need this variance because they are trying to put it in the wrong place,” he said.


Kite said the project isn’t what he would prefer to have on the site, but that he couldn’t turn down something that would raise money for the county at the same time commissioners are seeking tax increases from residents.

 

McDermid said that while she opposed the derrick height, she had no problem with approving the variance for the casino towers because of the topography.  “I want to put you guys in a room until you work this out and come out with a project that really makes us say ‘aha,’” she said.


Baushke said the issue came down to two things. “Do we want a destination resort?” he asked. “I think the public opinion is weighted on the ‘yes’ side. Is where it is proposed the best location in the county? It is,” he said.


Brady opposed the height variance saying he felt the applicant had failed to bring forward any new information and he saw no reason to overturn the planning commission decision.  “I think most people didn’t move here for a mini-Vegas or mini-Reno,” he said.


Johnson said he believed it would be difficult for commissioners to deny future projects seeking similar heights.


After approving the appeal of the height variance, commissioners denied Big George’s appeal of the casino’s special use permit and approved a zone change and gaming district overlay and the first reading of an ordinance that will allow the casino to go forward.

“The key question is how does it benefit Douglas County,” Brady said during debate on the ordinance. “I don’t think it does. We are pursuing more gaming when Indian gaming is up.”


In a concession to Big George, casino proponents agreed to delay second reading of the ordinance until Oct. 11. A second reading of the ordinance permitting Big George to go forward was also delayed until that date in an effort to give the neighboring projects time to work out a unified plan.


Lehmann also agreed to a delay of a request by Big George Ventures to increase the density of the project by 200 units.


Smit said casino proponents would support higher density on the Big George project, but said he would not promise that the two property owners would be able to work out their differences.

 

 


 

 

 

Derrick's departure lets dominoes fall
 



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Shannon Litz/R-C photos People listen during public comment at the Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, while others line the wall waiting their turn to speak about Max Baer Jr.'s proposed casino. Top, Baer laughs during public comment at the meeting when someone said that people would assume the casino is in Carson City.

 


by Kurt Hildebrand
August 5, 2007



With no 200-foot oil derrick to tie them down, proponents of the Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino were able to win approval of their project in northern Douglas County.

Commissioners voted 3-2 on five issues related to the project with Kelly Kite, Jim Baushke and Nancy McDermid voting in favor and Doug Johnson and David Brady voting against throughout the seven-hour hearing, which ended at 1 a.m. Friday.

"Beverly Hillbillies" star Max Baer Jr. asked commissioners to separate the sign from the rest of the issue.

Casino spokesman Don Smit told commissioners they were in negotiations with staff over the sign, which was unanimously panned by planning commissioners last month.

However, Smit said a request for a variance on the height of two towers was required for the project to go forward.

The height variance was denied by the Douglas County Planning Commission at their July 10 meeting. The first issue before county commissioners on Thursday was an appeal of the planning commission decision by casino proponents.


 


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Shannon Litz/The R-C Max Baer Jr. laughs during public comment at the Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting when someone says that people will assume the casino is in Carson City.

 

Public comment tended to be split on the issue, with principal planner Harmon Zuckerman saying letters received by the county commission were divided evenly.

"Nothing bad can come from this," resident David Schuman said. "It is in the urban interface area and isn't visible from the Valley."

Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jenney Sartin told commissioners that a survey of members revealed overwhelming support for the casino.

She said a third of the members replied to the survey and that 80 percent backed the project.

Sunridge resident Gary Wheeler opposed the casino.

"I don't want a casino in my neighborhood," he said. "You can't drive around a casino and say 'I sure want to live here.'"

Gardnerville resident Jack Van Dien said he supported the project, but thought commissioners should not approve it without knowing what impact it would have on Douglas County's budget.

The biggest opponent of the casino was its neighbor, Big George Ventures, which asked commissioners to delay approval so they could work out their differences.

Big George spokesman Robbe Lehmann told the board he didn't oppose casinos, but that the towers would rise above Georgetown affecting their property value.

During his presentation on the towers, Smit showed commissioners views of the casino from a variety of locations.

In those views, the casino sign and towers were not visible from Carson Valley.

Smit said the towers were similar in height to the Ormsby House.

"You couldn't put a Stations casino there," Smit said. "They would be asking for the same thing we are."

Baer read two letters from other developers into the record in support of the project.

Big George Ventures owner Raymond Sidney told commissioners that he was in favor of a casino in the right place.

"Maybe they need this variance because they are trying to put it in the wrong place," he said.

Kite said the project isn't what he would prefer to have on the site, but that he couldn't turn down something that would raise money for the county at the same time commissioners are seeking tax increases from residents.

McDermid said while she opposed the derrick height, she had no problem with approving the variance for the casino towers because of the topography.

"I want to put you guys in a room until you work this out and come out with a project that really makes us say 'aha,'" she said.

Baushke said the issue came down to two things.

"Do we want a destination resort?" he asked. "I think the public opinion is weighted on the 'yes' side. Is where it is proposed the best location in the county? It is," he said.

Brady opposed the height variance saying he felt the applicant had failed to bring forward any new information and he saw no reason to overturn the planning commission decision.

"I think most people didn't move here for a mini-Vegas or mini-Reno," he said.

Johnson said he believed it would be difficult for commissioners to deny future projects seeking similar heights.

After approving the appeal of the height variance, commissioners denied Big George's appeal of the casino's special use permit and approved a zone change and gaming district overlay and the first reading of an ordinance that will allow the casino to go forward.

"The key question is how does it benefit Douglas County," Brady said during debate on the ordinance. "I don't think it does. We are pursuing more gaming when Indian gaming is up."

In a concession to Big George, casino proponents agreed to delay second reading of the ordinance until Oct. 11. A second reading of the ordinance permitting Big George to go forward was also delayed until that date in an effort to give the neighboring projects time to work out a unified plan.

Lehmann also agreed to a delay of a request by Big George Ventures to increase the density of the project by 200 units.

Smit said casino proponents would support higher density on the Big George project, but said he would not promise that the two property owners would be able to work out their differences.
 


 

Douglas commissioners OK Hillbilly casino
 

 

Associated Press
August 4, 2007

MINDEN - Douglas County commissioners early Friday gave narrow approval to allow Max Baer Jr. to build a hotel-casino in northern Douglas County that includes two 143-foot hotel towers.

But commissioners postponed a decision on variances to allow a 200-foot oil derrick and huge reader board that Baer says is needed to draw visitors to his proposed Beverly Hillbillies resort.

Baer played the dimwitted Jethro Bodine on the 1960s television sitcom.

A public hearing on the project ran well into the night, with the 3-2 vote coming around 1 a.m. Friday.

Approval of the twin towers overruled a nonbinding vote of the Douglas Planning Commission, which denied Baer's request for the towers.

Baer wants to build his project on a 23-acre site near the Carson City line.

The zoning changes approved early Friday must also pass a second reading before commissioners. Issues surrounding the derrick and zoning are scheduled to be discussed at commission's Oct. 11 meeting.

Commissioners Kelly Kite, Nancy McDermid and James Baushke voted for the rezoning, special use permit and height variance for the towers. Commission chairman Doug Johnson and David J. Brady voted against the measures.

"I feel good that I didn't get denied," Baer said afterward. "I feel better than I did when I was before the planning commission.

"I would much rather have had it been unanimous," he said. "Like anybody, I want to be liked by everybody, not just three out of five."

Some Douglas residents told commissioners the derrick would be an eyesore, harming the natural beauty of the area.

Baer and his representatives said they were willing to work with the county's planning staff to find compromise on the derrick.

During the meeting, opponents and supporters traded comments to commissioners in heated debate.

Many who opposed the project said they lived near the proposed site.

"It's easy to vote for a project in someone else's neighborhood," said Tom Davis, president of the North Valley Concerned Citizens.

Others were surprised the project is close to fruition.

"I never paid much attention to this project because I never figured it would fly," resident Gary Wheeler said. "I don't want a casino in my neighborhood. I've got a family. You can't drive anywhere around a casino and say I sure would love to live here. "

Others saw the project as a way to generate needed tax money.

Robert Miller, a partner of Baer's, told commissioners that the project would generate $4.5 million in one-time fees, $3 million annually to the county by 2014 and $16 million in taxes from 2008 to 2014.

"This would be a source of room tax receipts," resident David Schumann said. "The county has proposed new taxes. Here's a way to get them without having to go to the homeowners."

Baer's plan for similar projects in Reno and Carson City never panned out.

 

 

Gaming board recommends casino license for Max Baer Jr.
 


http://www.jethroscasino.com/IMAGES/max2.htm
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From center right, Max Baer Jr., his partner Roger Camras and attorney Preston Howard talk in the lobby of the Nevada Gaming Control Board before a hearing Wednesday in Carson City. Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal

 



Geoff Dornan
Appeal Capitol Bureau

August 11, 2005


Max Baer Jr. won a unanimous recommendation Wednesday to be granted a gaming license at a North Las Vegas club.

The Gaming Commission is expected to approve the Gaming Control Board recommendation at its meeting later this month.

But Baer made it clear his real reason for seeking the license is to grease the path toward opening his Beverly Hillbillies casino in Carson City.

He told the board he and his partner Roger Cameras will own 10 percent of the North Las Vegas club.

John Karras, who has extensive experience in management with several Atlantic City casinos, is buying 90 percent and will actually operate the Beverly Hillbillies Gambler Casino.

Baer said he expects things to break loose on the Carson City project, which he wants to build in the old Wal-Mart building on South Carson Street, but has run into opposition from others in the mall.

"I have not been the impediment to putting things up," he told the board in response to questions about the Carson City project. "We have the financing. Glenbrook Realty and J.C. Penney have been the impediment."

Baer, who played Jethro Bodine in the 1960s television series "Beverly Hillbillies," said it makes no sense to him that anyone in the mall opposes the project. He said the project includes 240 hotel rooms and will draw more business to Carson City.

"It's my intention to put a shovel in the ground by June of next year," he said.

He said the first step in the process came eight months ago when he won initial licensing to participate in the North Las Vegas casino.

He said he needed to put the Beverly Hillbillies logo on some casino before his option with CBS to use the theme expired.

He said a gaming license is his goal now so that, when the Carson City project is ready, it will be much simpler and quicker to license him to run it.
 

Entertainment Today Magazine Article - No. 195  -  November 5. 1993

 

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