New venue, magic show coming to South Lake Tahoe
May 21, 2015
The curtains lifted on a deal this week that will develop an unused section of Heavenly Village's cinema into a live entertainment venue.
On Tuesday, the South Lake Tahoe City Council agreed to sell 5,100 square feet in commercial floor space for $100,000 to transform the unused section at Heavenly Village into a 110-seat arena with separate upscale living-room style lounge with full service bar. The lounge will feature overstuffed couches, private rooms, two fire places and a delicious menu.
The arrangement between Trans-Sierra Investment and PR Entertainment also brings two live magic show to the South Shore, said Trans-Sierra developer/operator Gary Casteel.
"We're very pumped about it," Casteel said on Thursday.
Casteel and Paul Reder, CEO of PR Entertainment, will invest a little more than $1 million in improvements to the third-story area, including a $35,000 foyer entrance from the third-story of city parking garage. Other improvements include a grand entrance and pavilion adjacent to Heavenly Cinema.
"It will give people an intimate walk-in experience and help improve the parking garage," Casteel said.
"It will round out the entertainment," Casteel said. "It's exciting for the South Shore and it will be something that no one else offers on the California side."
The deal also fully rounds out Heavenly Village, which Casteel said is completely filled and has a waiting list for vendors.
Casteel and Reder both go back a ways when they served at Caesars Tahoe.
"I ran the casino and he ran entertainment," Casteel said.
Reder, on Thursday, said it was neat to be working with Casteel again and was excited by the new venue.
"We've produced magic shows in town for 14 years in a row and it's been a big seller," Reder said.
The last South Shore magic show, "Illusion Fusion," closed March 31, 2014 with the Horizon Casino and Hotel, a night before its owners closed it down for renovations.
Illusion Fusion sold 30,000 tickets a year, Reder said.
"We ran it all the way to the bitter end," Reder said. "There's definitely a hole when the shows don't perform."
Reder and his co-producer Tony Clark have a standing reputation in the magical theatre world. They won a number of awards, according to a news release Reder sent out Thursday, including the 2010 Merlin Award for Producer of the Year.
PR Entertainment has also produced numerous shows since Reder started the business.
With the new venue at Heavenly Village, "we now have a permanent home for the magic shows."
The space will also be available when there's dark spots in the schedule, ranging in all types of uses.
The magic shows, he said, provide something needed for families both residing and visiting South Lake Tahoe.
"There is so many families that come up to come up and magic seems to cross the demographics with age and language," Reder said. "Most shows at the casinos are 21-plus so it can alienate people."
Reder said the venue has planned November opening date.