Beach Club loses appeal, stuck with $35.1M assessment

Laney Griffo

STATELINE, Nev. — The owners of Tahoe Beach Club are stuck with the $35.1 million assessment after the Douglas County Board of Equalization voted to deny their appeal of a lesser amount.

The amazing view from Tahoe Beach Club on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore. <em id="emphasis-fefa5072428e0452b2832c06d86ee5b3">Tribune file</em>

Attorney Josh Hicks, representing Tahoe Beach Club, claimed the property had been assessed too high based on a comparison to the neighboring Edgewood Tahoe Resort cabin property that was appraised at a much lower value, $24.57 million.

Hicks claimed that in some ways, Edgewood was superior. While both properties have private beach access, he said Edgewood has much more beach, a private road accessing the cabins and is closer to the casino corridor.

Tahoe Beach Club has 97 proposed units that the owners have not yet started construction. In the next phase of development, 32 units will be built, 59% of which have already sold.

After Hicks gave a lengthy presentation, Assessor Trent Tholen gave his rebuttal.

“What you have just heard was the longest, most drawn out, most desperate attempt to turn opinion into fact,” Tholen said to start his rebuttal

One of Tholen’s biggest arguments was that Edgewood is zoned for recreational use while Tahoe Beach Club is zoned for residential use. Because of the different zonings, they cannot be considered comparable properties.

“Considering the different zoning, I just really don’t know if they are alike,” said board member James McKalip.

Another sticking point for the board was the fact that the land in question is undeveloped. The next phase of development likely won’t be finished for two to two and half years. The project won’t be fully developed for five years.

Patrick Rhamey, CEO of the Beach Development LLC which oversees real estate for Tahoe Beach Club, said while Tahoe development is on the up right now, it’s hard to tell what the market will be like in five years.

Board member Tim Plaehn was disturbed by the significant difference between the values of Tahoe Beach Club and Edgewood, although he thought the issue is likely in Edgewood’s assessment.

Ultimately, the board voted 4-1, with board member Gary Boudreau voting no. Tahoe Beach Club can appeal the decision to the State Board of Equalization and Hicks said he will be, “evaluating our next steps.”

At $35 million, Beach Club is the third highest assessed value property in Douglas County, if all the condos were combined, the Tribune previously reported.

Caesars Entertainment, which owns Harrah’s and Harveys in Stateline, is assessed at $78.8 million. Edgewood Co. has an assessed valuation of $49.8 million. Starbucks, which operates a roasting plant near Minden-Tahoe Airport, is valued at $31.4 million, according to the Assessor’s Office.

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