Cal-Neva Casino Facelift: Would Frank Sinatra Want It ‘My Way’?

The Cal Neva hotel-casino, formerly owned by Frank Sinatra, is about to undergo major refurbishment and will close for a year.

The resort, which was once a favorite spot for Sinatra and his Rat Pack crew, will see millions of dollars pumped into it so that it will conform to modern style and tastes.

The resort, which boasts 10 stories and 219 rooms, sits on the border of California and Nevada. Robert Radovan, who acquired the property for his Company Criswell-Radovan, wants to give the resort a massive face-lift and return it to its “former glory.”

Radovan told the Associated Press: “Our goal is to bring it back to its former glory and to make it what it was like in Sinatra’s day. It has such great soul and character, and it’s needed this redo for many decades.”

The situation at the casino got so bad, due to the recession and fierce competition from Las Vegas casinos, that it was forced to shut its doors back in 2010.

In its heyday in the early 60’s, the Sinatra owned resort attracted its fair share of famous clients. Among them, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and even Marilyn Monroe, who spent her penultimate weekend at the resort, before she died from a drug overdose in LA.

The Cal-Neva Casino resort was revamped by Frank Sinatra many years ago. A labyrinth of tunnels were built so that mobsters and celebs of the time could move anonymously around the resort, without the glare of publicity.

Radovan didn’t say exactly how much the renovations will cost, but confirmed that the tunnels will be preserved and that public tours of Sinatra’s personal cabin will resume after the makeover.

He stated, “The acoustics in that place are amazing. The modernized equipment will allow for high-end concerts.”

He went on to talk about the difficulty of restoring the estate, while preserving its original character:

“There will be an elegant, clean, post-modern feel to it after we’re done,” he said. “You don’t want to lose the history of the Frank Sinatra era and eras before it. But you have to… bring it back to where it’s a modernized version of what it was in the heyday.”

The new owners hope to reopen the Cal-Neva casino-hotel, just before Christmas 2014.