Anne Knowles
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December 16, 2013
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Price drop sparks new interest in Tahoe House Hotel

VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. — Virginia City’s historic Tahoe House Hotel has a new price tag.

After a year on the market, the 154-year-old, 16-room inn’s asking price was recently reduced by nearly a million dollars to $1.92 million.

The C Street property is owned by Daan Eggenberger, a Crystal Bay contractor who purchased the dilapidated building in the mid-1990s and spent more than 10 years renovating it.

“I bought it never thinking I would do anything with the hotel,” says Eggenberger, who initially planned to just redo and lease the retail space on the first floor.

Then he took a trip to South America where he had enjoyed staying in similar hotels.

“I had some money in the bank and had the energy,” says Eggenberger.

The hotel lacked plumbing, electricity and insulation and Eggenberger found a foot of dirt in the attic, a remnant of the days when that’s how buildings were protected from fires leaping from rooftop to rooftop. (The hotel survived Virginia City’s catastrophic fire in 1875.)

Eggenberger expanded the rooms, added private baths to each, and turned a carriage house in the back into a honeymoon suite.

While updating it with modern amenities, he rebuilt its historic charm. That included installing period doors discovered in Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., brass beds found in Genoa and a vintage pot-bellied stove from the now closed Christmas Tree Restaurant on Mount Rose Highway in Reno.

“He’s restored everything to its historic glory,” says Missy McQuattie, the Chase International Real Estate broker in Reno who is representing the property.

Eggenberger is less nostalgic about it.

“After a decade of misery, I was able to put it to back together,” he says. “It was always my intention to sell or lease and never to run it. But because of market realities, we’ve been running it.”

The hotel, located on the second floor of the building, has been in operation since its rehab was finished in 2008. The first floor of the 10,000-square-foot building features five retail storefronts, three of which are currently leased and bring in $88,500 annually in net income, according to the real estate listing.

There’s potential to add a restaurant, bar or even gaming in a great room on the second floor, which is now used for continental breakfast in the morning and as an honor bar in the evening, says McQuattie.

The price reduction sparked interest in the property on Loopnet, the Web site listing commercial real estate. Inquiries have come in from the United States, including Las Vegas, as well as internationally, from South Korea and Japan, from buyers interested in the hotel’s storied history and historic location.

The hotel opened in 1860, soon after the first major silver deposit was discovered and just before Mark Twain came to twn to work on the Territorial Enterprise, the local newspaper. It was managed by Laura Fair, who in 1870 murdered her lover on a San Francisco ferry and became the first women in California to be convicted for murder, although it was overturned on appeal. At one point, the property was a boarding house, then a museum.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 18, 2013 03:15PM Published Dec 16, 2013 03:24PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.