Bill Harrah would turn over in his grave…


This photo, taken on a glorious March day, would make William Fisk Harrah revolve in his grave, if such he has not already done. It’s by request; an old reader asked me about the house, which was built in the late 1960s by a local dentist, a nice guy, for his large family at the south end of Nixon Avenue on the west side of the street (1555 Nixon).

The large house was acquired by Harrah’s Club as a rest and recreating place for the stars and their families, who were indeed stars in this period of Reno-at-its-prime. The club hired Oakland architect Henry Conversano & Associates, who designed the Harrah’s South Shore Hotel, to gut the place and turn it into a home every bit as nice as any Harrah property. I know; I was in it once with Neil Sedaka, after we got into a conversation out in front and he invited me in for a beer. Nice guy. Good singer…

And, its exterior was impeccably groomed, a point of pride with the Harrah organization, with the name “Interlaken” in brass on a rock out in front, evocative of “Rancharrah” on Talbot Lane in Reno, and “Villa Harrah” at Lake Tahoe’s southeast shore. Mr. Harrah liked brass plaques.

And the stars lived there, and enjoyed it to the max. One of the most noted guests was Willie Nelson, who when playing the club, might have gone in and out of the place once in a while, but what neighbors remember, and not unpleasantly at that, were the four huge motorhomes – think stretched MCIs and  Prevosts, belonging to Waylon, Willie and the Boys (the Highwaymen!)  parked on Nixon, with the Boys jammin’ and havin a toke or two after their midnight show downtown. These guys knew how to party, and didn’t give a rat’s ass that the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court lived next door – he was welcome to come over and light up a joint also, but it didn’t spoil their party one bit.

The asset was disposed of in the 1980s, when entertainers ceased to be a concern for what remained of Harrah’s. I think it’s had a couple of owners since, and sadly, looks like hell.

And there you have it, Misha…


One thought on “Bill Harrah would turn over in his grave…

  1. What are said to be “earthquakes” in Reno, are the “ripple effects” of Bill Harrah turning over in his grave, all the way from Hailey, Idaho. You can bet.. He ain’t happy!!

    Many thanks for the great update..


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