‘Thrilled for the opportunity’: Historic Cal-Neva Resort under new ownership

The historic Cal Neva Resort is under new ownership.
Rob Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — The historic Cal Neva Resort on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore has been acquired by a real estate investment, development and management firm, officials announced Thursday afternoon.

McWhinney acquired the resort that was built in 1926 and was later redeveloped by Frank Sinatra in 1960.

During its glitzy heyday, the Cal Neva played host to hundreds of major U.S. figures including John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. The property has been in need of renovation for the past several decades and closed for business altogether in 2013. 

The recent purchase by McWhinney signals an exciting new beginning for Cal Neva, with planning underway to reimagine the resort as a modern leisure travel destination while nodding to its storied past. 

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to craft the next iteration of this one-of-a-kind resort. The acquisition of Cal Neva is a perfect complement to our existing award-winning hospitality lifestyle portfolio,” said Chad McWhinney, co-founder, chairman and CEO at McWhinney. “Our vision is to reimagine and revitalize this iconic resort with deep historic roots into an exceptional experience for guests and the local community to enjoy for years to come.”

Hayes Barnard, a pioneer in the solar and sustainability business, will be the lead investor in the project. “We’ve enjoyed being a leading investor in multiple McWhinney hospitality projects, including the Austin Proper Hotel, and believe strongly in their expertise and ability to transform the Cal Neva back to the iconic property it was in the 1920s,” said Barnard. This project has special meaning to Barnard, who owns a home in Crystal Bay, Nevada. “Our family has created lasting memories at Lake Tahoe for over 20 years and we are excited to play a meaningful role in restoring the Cal Neva Resort,” Barnard added. 

McWhinney’s project team, in partnership with The Kor Group, plans to reposition Cal Neva as a Proper-branded hotel as they begin the initial visioning and design for the 13-acre site. They look forward to engaging with the local community and meeting with regulatory officials as the redevelopment plan takes shape. “We believe the approach Proper Hospitality takes with each of our distinctive projects is the perfect fit for such a rare property. We strive to create an experience that is anchored to its location and creates long-term lasting value that supports the local community” said Brad Korzen, CEO at Proper Hospitality. For the latest project updates, visit

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