Concept for Cal-Neva revealed with hopes to open by 2026

Community members were invited to view conceptual plans for the Cal-Neva Resort.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev.— Conceptual designs for the revitalization of the historic Cal-Neva Resort were revealed at Bowl Incline Thursday, Sept. 7, with many excited to see the worn down property receive a new breath of life. 

The property was purchased by real estate investment, development and management firm, McWhinney, in April 2023. At the self-paced presentation of preliminary design and concept ideas, guests were able to hear from representatives about the plans for the site. 

“2026 will be the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the Cal-Neva,” said Cal-Neva representative Jason Newcomer. “So we are working really hard to try and open in 2026.” 

Once owned by Frank Sinatra and a place frequented by Marilyn Monroe, the Cal-Neva will stand as it once did in history with the tower, lodge, circle bar, and showroom all set to be renovated and kept in the final design for the site. 

The proposed site plan for the revitalization of the property.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Since everything that was presented is still in the conceptual phase, there is still room for suggestions from the community prior to official plans being submitted to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. 

There are multiple guiding principles the team is following throughout the planning process, including historic preservation of the property, maintaining environmental stewardship, creating seamless transportation and accessibility options in and around the site, and working towards some type of workforce housing within the project. 

Additionally, McWhinney, which owns many Proper brand hotels around the county, is committed to collaborating with local agencies to achieve environmental enhancement and protection in the basin. Through their work, there will be multiple positive environmental impacts, including reduction of stormwater pollution, creating fire defensible space on the property, and creating sustainable recreation and transportation. 

“We don’t want the community to be burdened, and we also don’t want the people staying here to be burdened,” said Cal-Neva representative Nick Exline. “So we want to create a really seamless transit environment in which people are kind of moving through the system, not bogging it down.” 

The team is also dedicated to looking how they can be apart of the community that they want to give back to, and throughout the meeting, offered ways for community members to offer their opinion on the project. 

Design inspiration for the resort is inspired by the original Cal-Neva styles.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

While it is of the upmost importance to stick with the history of the Cal-Neva Resort, many of the original artifacts have been taken from the property, leaving the bones of the resort in visitors wake. 

The team is dedicated to keeping history alive at the resort, but unfortunately will have to tear down some of the cabins on the property, including the historic cabin frequented by Marilyn Monroe. 

New cabins will be built that can be reserved just as the hotel rooms, as well as a new wellness center to be added to the property. Besides the two new additions, the rest of the property will just be revitalized, preserving as much of the originality to the buildings as possible. 

While the “Indian Room” will be kept on the property, the McWhinney team has been working closely with the Washoe Tribe to determine the correct way to preserve their history. 

To learn more about the revitalization of the Cal-Neva, visit

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