The roughly hour long presentation by Ebbie Nakhjavani, CEO of EKN the owners of the Resort at Tahoe, started with Mr. Nakhjavani explaining how the project will only be successful if it is embraced by the community. He stated that in 2011 TRPA approved the EIS and plans brought forward by the prior owners. EKN’s goal is to stay within the development parameters previously approved by TRPA.
Due to EKN’s lack of a gaming license, they took possession of the property on May 1, 2022, after the closing of the Biltmore. EKN is planning to submit their revised plan to TRPA and the county in September 2022. They intend to complete all demolition, excavation, roads and utility work in 2023 with vertical construction beginning in fall of 2023. The dirt and debris off-haul is now planned for Truckee, thereby eliminating significant truck traffic on SR-28 over Spooner Summit. They are intending to build the entire project in one phase, with an estimated completion date of late 2027. EKN has found a hotel brand partner, but is not ready to make the partnership public.
EKN’s vision is a 5 star resort with careers, not temporary work, for employees. As he stated at the opening of his presentation, EKN feels their vision will only be successful if the resort is used by residents of the surrounding local communities. They believe their design is better for the environment, community, and guests. EKN states its plan reduces Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to 10,000 per year down from 30,000 with the Biltmore in operation and a 90% reduction of sediment run-off.
They compared their design and plans to the plans approved in 2011 by TRPA. After reviewing the permit, it appears there are some inconsistencies between the permit and what was presented by EKN as having been approved. Click here to view pages 4 & 5 of the permit for the comparison information. Below were the comparisons presented with notes referencing the permit related to the 2011 plans:
- Hotel Rooms approved was 275. They are planning to build 118 rooms,
- Residential Units approved was 59, however the EKN presentation stated this number to be 65 . They are planning to build 67 units, 8 more than the permit.
- The total units approved was 334, not 340 as presented by EKN. However, EKN’s plan is to build 185 (a reduction of 149 units, not 155 units as presented by EKN).
- They are planning to have on-site workforce housing of 28 beds. They are planning to provide 10 workforce units off-site. These numbers are consistent with the permit.
- As it relates to coverage, EKN stated there will be no change from the approved plan.
- EKN stated the updated plan includes no changes to building heights.
- All parking, totaling 414 spaces, is intended to be underground with 24X7 valet service. The permit required a total of 460 parking spaces with 450 to be underground. The EKN plan reduces this amount to a total of 414 underground parking spaces while the number of units have been reduced to a total of 185, a roughly 45% reduction from the original plan.
- The previously approved road through the project has been changed in the plans to a walking path.
- The plan moved the hotel entrance off of SR-28 and positioned it off Stateline Road. The entrance is intended to be a public space with access to other public space on the upper levels to take advantage of the lake view.
- The retail space, planned to be over 18,000 square feet, is planned to be dual faced, both on SR-28 and the interior of the project.
- The plan includes wandering walkways with plants, poolside restaurants, a spa and fitness center, a kids club, and a 10,000 square foot casino. In the winter, they are contemplating providing a small ice skating area.
They want guests to have access to hiking, biking, pedestrian paths, access to bus transit and a ski/beach shuttle. EKN also owns a lake front property in Tahoe Vista, intended to be the beach for residents and guests. VRBO or other forms of Short Term Rentals will not be allowed. All units will be managed by the Resort. Mr. Nakhjavani mentioned they unsuccessfully attempted to purchase the abandoned Tahoe Inn, without specifying their intentions for its use. He also stated they are seeking other land/property for possible workforce housing. EKN owns the property across SR-28 from the site, however it has not been determined what that property will be used for after the resort is completed.
Here is the link to their website with FAQ’s, etc.