Harveys Lake Tahoe

Coordinates: 38°57′37″N 119°56′33″W / 38.9603°N 119.9424°W / 38.9603; -119.9424
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Harveys Lake Tahoe
Location Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
Address 18 U.S. Route 50
Opening date1944; 79 years ago (1944)
No. of rooms742
Total gaming space87,500 sq ft (8,130 m2)
Notable restaurantsTaco. Cantina
Hell’s Kitchen
Sage Room
Joe’s Sports Bar & Grille
OwnerVici Properties
Operating license holderCaesars Entertainment
ArchitectMartin Stern, Jr. and Associates
Previous namesWagon Wheel Saloon & Gaming Hall
Harveys Wagon Wheel
Renovated in1963: 11-story Mountain Tower
1986: 19-story Tahoe Tower
Coordinates38°57′37″N 119°56′33″W / 38.9603°N 119.9424°W / 38.9603; -119.9424

Harveys Lake Tahoe is a hotel and casino located in Stateline, Nevada. It has 742 rooms and suites as well as six restaurants and a casino with 87,500 square feet (8,130 m2) of space. It also has a video arcade, wedding chapel, pool, convention center and a full-service health club. It is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment.


Harvey's was originally opened in 1944 and operated by Sacramento meat wholesaler Harvey Gross and his wife Llewellyn. They opened the first high rise tower and an 11-story, 197-room hotel in Nevada just across the state line from Lake Tahoe, California in 1963.[1]

Harvey's Resort Hotel in the late 1970s. Across the street, Harrah's only had a casino and no hotel yet; its hotel was built in the early 1970s.

The hotel suffered an explosion from a 1,000-pound bomb on August 27, 1980, that left a crater three stories deep when it was detonated by the FBI. (The area around the hotel had been cleared and no one was injured.) The bomb caused an estimated $18 million ($58 million in 2022) in damages. Parts of Harvey's casino reopened within 48 hours, and the fully repaired and renovated hotel reopened in May 1981.[2] The bomb was placed by John Birges, a heavily in-debt Fresno landscaper who had lost at least $1 million at casinos in Stateline and was hoping to extort $3 million from the bomb threat. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, where he died from liver cancer in 1996.[3]

In 1983, Harvey Gross died at the age of 78; however, the company continued to operate under family management. In 1985, Harveys sold Harvey's Inn, northeast of Stateline, which reopened as the Lakeside Inn. The 18-story, $74 million, glass "Lake Tower" opened in 1986,[4] the same year the trademark "Wagon Wheel" was replaced on the 11-story tower with the current Harveys brand.

In early 1992, Harveys entered a bidding war with Hilton Hotels Corporation over the right to buy Bally's Reno, which opened on May 3, 1978, as MGM Grand Reno (now Grand Sierra Resort). Harveys announced an agreement on a $71 million deal, only to see Hilton up the ante to $73 million and assumption of Bally's debt. Several weeks later, after considering even higher bids, a federal bankruptcy court settled the matter by approving Hilton's final $83 million offer.

After going public on February 15, 1994, Harveys began new projects including a joint venture with Hard Rock America for an $80 million casino in Las Vegas, which it later sold its interest in 1997 and then a casino resort in Central City, Colorado. A riverboat casino-convention center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, followed in early 1996.

In the late 1990s, Bill Cosby was signed on as the spokesman for Harveys.[5] This included putting the actor's likeness on several of the casino chips[6] and recording several specials at the casino.[7]

The 1980 explosion that destroyed three floors of the hotel.

In 1999, Colony Capital bought a controlling interest in Harveys Casino Resorts. Harveys announced on April 24, 2001, that it would be acquired by Harrah's Entertainment (later Caesars Entertainment) for $625 million.

On October 6, 2017, ownership of the property was transferred to Vici Properties as part of a corporate spin-off, and it was leased back to Caesars Entertainment.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Harvey's hotel now open to the public". Lake Tahoe News. April 5, 1963
  2. ^ Hoffman, Ryan (August 21, 2020). "40 years ago, Tahoe casino bombing was biggest in U.S. history". The Record Courier. Gardnerville, Nevada. Tahoe Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  3. ^ "John Birges Sr". AP News.
  4. ^ "Celebration set for new tower." Tahoe Daily Tribune. June 26, 1986
  5. ^ "History of Harveys Casino Resorts – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com.
  6. ^ "Harvey's Casino Chips". www.marlowcasinochips.com.
  7. ^ "Then and now: Stateline casino ownership". Lake Tahoe News.
  8. ^ "Vici Properties Inc., completes spin-off from Caesars Entertainment Operating Company" (Press release). Vici Properties. October 6, 2017 – via NewsBank.
  9. ^ Form 424B4: Prospectus (Report). Vici Properties. February 2, 2018. pp. F-54 – via EDGAR.

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