Thursday, August 5, 2004

'Jethro' pushes 'Hillbillies' casino

Max Baer Jr. said a judge's ruling won't stop him from pursuing his proposed Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino in a Carson City, Nev., shopping center.

The 66-year-old former TV actor said he disagrees with a judge's interpretation of restrictive covenants on the former Wal-Mart property.

District Judge Michael Griffin has ruled that the restrictions prohibit places of recreation or amusement on the property, which is co-owned by J.C. Penney and the Glenbrook Corp.

Baer said he won't sell the property and will let it remain vacant if he can't build his proposed $54 million casino, based on the '60s TV comedy. Baer played the doltish Jethro Bodine.

"My plan is to do a casino there," Baer said recently. "I paid cash for it so I have no debt on it. I can afford to leave it there in perpetuity and I can write it off."

His plans include a 200-foot flaming oil derrick at the entrance to a 30,000-square-foot casino with 800 slot machines and 16 game tables. Also planned are a movie theater, 240-room hotel and restaurants - all keyed on The "Beverly Hillbillies series.

Shelley Aldean, a Carson City supervisor who represents the Glenbrook Corp., said she was pleased and hopes Baer will work with other owners to find a suitable use for the property.

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