Meyers senior facility plans to shut doors
August 31, 2004
MEYERS – After being shut down by the state a year ago for violations under a different name, Paradise Summit Senior Plaza is due to close again.
This time the owners say it’s because of money, or lack thereof.
The announcement came a day after the Aug. 26 grand opening for the assisted living facility, formerly known as Sterling Village.
Katherine Borges of South Lake Tahoe moved her mother from Dallas into the building Aug. 1.
“It’s a real shame because there are no other facilities like this here,” Borges said. “Why in the world would they announce they are closing the day after their grand opening?”
One of four owners in the partnership, Del Matthews, said the facility would stay open until residents find new homes. They also pledged to assist them in the search.
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“At some point, we’d have to give them notice,” the Washington state investor said.
Lois Campbell of Kings Beach, who works in South Lake Tahoe, caught word of the anticipated closure last week and scrambled to find a new home for her 92-year-old mother, Elizabeth Hanlin.
“At first, I was shocked. I just moved in. I was going to die here – whenever that was going to take place,” said Hanlin, who set up stakes there less than a month ago.
She’s disappointed because she liked the spaciousness of the $3 million complex and its surrounding scenery. Hanlin’s room looks out on a golf course off Highway 50.
Her family is set on sending Hanlin to the Santa Barbara area. But the move represents a loss to Campbell because she won’t see her mother as often as she’d like to.
“It’s very obnoxious, very cruel. I don’t think they practiced business in good faith,” she said. “Here we thought she was permanently placed.”
Borges also was disappointed.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” she said. “It seems that before they open their doors in July and do a huge remodeling, why not determine if it’s financially feasible for them?”
In July 2003, the California Department of Social Services ordered the assisted living facility closed when it was discovered the place was operating without a license and the administrator left. Paradise Summit apparently received its license in June.
Jim Schmidt, another owner of Lake Properties LLC, reiterated that the decision to close is a financial one – estimating losses amounting to $42,000 a month. The partnership has owned the place since it opened a few years ago.
Only five residents occupy the three-story, 18,000-square-foot building that dominates the Meyers landscape. Thirty-one units are available.
“When we took it over, we had about 18 (residents). We need 30 to break even,” the Oregon investor said.
He cites growing competition from Carson City and Gardnerville-area facilities as making it tougher to compete for the business at the lake.
Schmidt said the owners would be open to leasing the facility. He said the California Conservation Corps is on the list of prospects, but nothing has been finalized yet.
Pat Foley, a nurse, said she’s “very disappointed.” She just started working at the Meyers senior home in July.
“I had hopes for this facility to be a beautiful place for the residents,” she said, adding she’s not sure what her next step is. “Needless to say, everyone involved had their spirit broken.”
– Tribune News Editor Tim Parsons contributed to this story.