Douglas County commissioners narrowly OK 'Hillbilly' casino

MINDEN -- Douglas County commissioners early Friday gave narrow approval to allow Max Baer Jr. to build a hotel-casino in northern Douglas County that includes two 143-foot hotel towers.

But commissioners postponed a decision on variances to allow a 200-foot oil derrick and huge reader board that Baer says is needed to draw visitors to his proposed Beverly Hillbillies resort.

Baer played the dimwitted Jethro Bodine on the 1960s television sitcom.

A public hearing on the project ran well into the night, with the 3-2 vote coming around 1 a.m. Friday.

Approval of the twin towers overruled a nonbinding vote of the Douglas Planning Commission, which denied Baer's request for the towers.

Baer wants to build his project on a 23-acre site near the Carson City line.

The zoning changes approved early Friday must also pass a second reading before commissioners.

Issues surrounding the derrick and zoning are to be discussed at the commission's Oct. 11 meeting.

Baer and his representatives said they were willing to work with the county's planning staff to compromise on the derrick.