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Newport Beach firm set to begin work at Tahoe Biltmore

EKN Development Group looks to turn East Shore property into ‘marquee destination’

EKN intends on selling the wooden-and-steel sign out front of the Tahoe Biltmore. The rest of the lodge and casino will be demolished in the coming months.
File photo

Changes are on the horizon along Lake Tahoe’s East Shore.

Newport Beach-based real estate firm EKN Development Group has recently acquired the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino and Beesley’s Cottages, both located in Crystal Bay.

In the coming months work will begin to demolish buildings at both sites in order to develop the property into a “branded marquee destination for both locals and visitors to Lake Tahoe’s vibrant North Shore,” according to an Oct. 7 press release.



Ebbie K. Nakhjavani, president and CEO of EKN Development Group, said the Tahoe Biltmore will remain open through February until phased demolition work begins. EKN hopes to begin grading the site on May 1. Plans for the area include a new luxury hotel, condominiums, casino, dining options, and concert area.

“We’re creating a little community,” said Nakhjavani. “It’s a location where the community can come gather — where people come with their families.”



EKN closed on the 75-year-old property on Sept. 16, according to the Washoe County Recorder’s Office, for $56.8 million.

The history of the Biltmore dates back to 1946. Over the years the property has had several names, including the Nevada Lodge and Cal-Neva Biltmore. Nakhjavani said EKN’s received little pushback regarding the demolition of the building, and that the company also intends on selling the iconic wooden and steel sign out front of the Tahoe Biltmore. The Tahoe Biltmore will also be rebranded in the coming weeks, according to Nakhjavani, who added that the working name for the resort is Tahoe Luxury Resort and Residences. A permanent name will be announced in the next few weeks.

The company also recently announced the $18 million purchase of the nearby Beesley’s Cottages at 6674 North Lake Blvd.

Plans for the site include demolishing the existing cottages and building a luxury beachfront clubhouse.

“It will be like nothing you’ve seen around Tahoe, exclusive to the residents and the hotel guests,” said Nakhjavani.

EKN also has three buoys at the site and plans to offer guests access to boating on Tahoe.

Nakhjavani said during the pandemic, EKN, which is based out of Southern California, has shifted its focus toward developing properties in destination markets like Tahoe.

“Based on everything that’s happened with COVID and the way people are living their lives, we’re going to destination-oriented locations. That fits much better with our corporate strategy.”

Further details on the new casino and clubhouse aren’t yet available, but Nakhjavani said plans are to have the project completed by 2025.

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at jscacco@sierrasun.com


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