Romantic Adventures expands to casino |

Romantic Adventures expands to casino

Susan Wood
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Rena McCarthy, owner of Romantic Adventures, has opened a second store located inside MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa.

Rena McCarthy has made it a mission to spread romance to South Shore residents and visitors.

McCarthy, who has owned Romantic Adventures for seven years, has expanded – opening a second shop in December at the MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa and putting her husband, Bill Bassett, in charge of their upgraded Web site.

With the two stores and Internet access, the shop that sells intimate apparel and adult toys may cater to locals, visitors and “the world,” as McCarthy put it Sunday in the MontBleu shop.

McCarthy has noticed a bit of a shift in who she attracts to the casino store – 75 percent consisting of visitors.

Visitor Jane Batarsch of Sacramento was celebrating her 32nd wedding anniversary that morning and came in looking for a negligee to be a little creative with the evening’s activities.

“What happened is the kids moved out,” she said of her 23-year-old son, who left the nest last month.

“People who are married for a long time are open to try new things,” McCarthy said. “(What Batarsch said) happens a lot.”

McCarthy, 53, admits to being much more open than most about sexuality. A self-proclaimed child of the 1960s and ’70s, McCarthy has been through the controversy in this small town surrounding her shop.

When she opened the one near Al Tahoe Boulevard seven years ago, she received negative calls and a threatening notice from the city about her “adult room,” which sells adult toys and other intimate merchandise.

A petition against her sparked a counter petition of her own. In the end, it worked with her attorney’s help.

“At the time, I wondered why there was never an adult shop. People get married here. People had to go to Reno for a (toy),” she said.

Now, the store is a regular feature on the South Lake Tahoe landscape.

“I get people in here of all ages,” she said.

Still, McCarthy is careful. She recalled telling a 16-year-old girl who came in asking for a toy to ask her mother for permission.

When Columbia Sussex was taking over Caesars Tahoe, McCarthy said management had called her to ask if she would open a shop in the casino. She gladly obliged.

The store has 200 more square feet and features an assortment of garments, accessories and board games to spice up the most inhibited partnership.

McCarthy and her husband opened an office and distribution center in Minden to handle the influx of business, primarily from the Web site Bassett is working on adding search engines.

“You could have the best product in the world, but if you’re not on the right search engine, nobody will find you,” he said.

To expand the promotion, the couple is also preparing to run monthly lingerie shows on the last Friday of the month at the MontBleu store. The first one is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Romantic Adventures at MontBleu can be reached at (775) 588-8720.

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