Desolation Hotel slated to open June 1

Laney Griffo

STATELINE, Nev. — The tourist core’s newest lodging property, Desolation Hotel, is set to open June 1.

The hotel is being developed by two local brothers, Eric and Chet Pipkins, who want to bring their love for Lake Tahoe alive in every aspect of the hotel.

A rendering of the hotel which is described as a micro-resort.

“We want to be a great set of experiences for the guest and then we want to be a portal for the all great experiences that are here in South Lake Tahoe and the greater Tahoe Basin,” Chet said.

Located on the corner of Poplar St. and Manzanita Ave., the hotel is a short walk to Lakeside Beach and an even shorter walk to Heavenly Village.

The site was formerly Tahoe Villa, one of the more dilapidated sites in that area. Eric likes to say they turned the site “from worst to first.”

The hotel sits on the former Tahoe Villa property.

The hotel was named after the Desolation Wilderness and various areas of the hotel are a nod to the wilderness, including the restaurant, Maggie’s, named after Maggie’s Peaks and the poolside bar, Velma’s, named after Velma Lake.

Guests can choose to stay in the Alpine Studios, Granite Suites or the El Dorado Townhomes. Every room offers king sized beds, and queen size sofa beds, a kitchenette or kitchen, walk-in showers and tubs, a private balcony with a soaking tub and two-way fireplaces. The Granite Suites have a separate living room area. The El Dorado Townhomes also have a private garage.

There are 21 rooms total on the property so guests can feel like they are getting a private experience.

Chet Pipkin, who was the founder of Belkin, a consumer technology company, spent his whole career thinking about customer experience. Many unique touches can be found throughout the hotel, including Apple TVs and wireless chargers in the rooms, a workout facility with Peloton Bikes, a saltwater pool and jacuzzi that will stay heated in the winter and space heaters on all of the balconies and outdoor dining areas.

Most importantly for Tahoe, the hotel is dog friendly. This was proven by Chet’s yellow lab Harriot leading the Tribune’s tour of the property. The lobby even has a dog lounge area.

In addition to comfort and luxury, the Pipkins had sustainability at the top of mind. They hired a local company, Sierra Sustainable Builders who helped bring their vision to life.

Construction at the hotel is ongoing as of Wednesday, May 18.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

The resort offers electric vehicle charging stations for guests, the hotel is equipped with solar power and even the parking lot tiles are designed to best capture snow and rain.

Eric will be managing the property and while he’s modest about the work he’s done, it’s clear that he’s proud of this project. Eric said he owes this project to Chet, who he had worked with and learned from for most of his life but Chet gives Eric the credit.

“He’s very, very modest but he’s the guy who has done this, without him we wouldn’t be here,” Chet said.

The Pipkins have lived in Lake Tahoe for more than half their lives and they are committed to seeing the community flourish. They recently helped open Untethered, a co-working space in Round Hill and revitalized the Wylder Hotel, which was formerly Sorensen’s.

The first rooms will be available on June 1, with the rest of the resort slated to be finished by the end of June.

To learn more or to book a room, visit

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