Motel to be replaced with spa, restaurant, gym

Highland Inn will soon no longer be a lodging establishment in South Lake Tahoe. Photo/LTN

Highland Inn will soon no longer be a lodging establishment in South Lake Tahoe. Photo/LTN

By Kathryn Reed

The 27-unit Highland Inn next to Applebee’s in South Lake Tahoe is about to be transformed.

When the owners are done it will no longer be a motel, but instead will be a restaurant-bar, spa and gym.

Moe Rahmani, who represents owners the Rahmani Family Trust, was not available for comment.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has already signed off on converting the one residential unit and 27 tourist accommodation units to commercial floor area.

The project goes to the South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission on April 10 for design review and a special use permit.

The plans call for a 3,851-square-foot restaurant and bar; 1,783-square-foot gym; and 3,352-square-foot spa.

The exterior will be remodeled to include changes to the roofline, stonework and wood siding. Fences will be replaced and exterior lighting improved.

The 960-square-feet of retail at the front of the building will be retained.

If this is approved, the next step is to get a building permit. That could take three weeks.


• Planning Commission meets April 10 at 3pm at Lake Tahoe Airport.

• Other agenda items include final map review to subdivide existing 15-unit mobile home park at 1025 Shepherds Trail; and to grandfather in the sign for Heidi’s restaurant.


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Comments (8)
  1. Mama Bear says - Posted: April 5, 2014

    That motel was the reason I moved to Tahoe in 1975. It was then the Playland Motel. My M-I-L bought it and we all moved to Tahoe to be business owners. She bailed out after only 2 years and moved off the hill. 39 years later, I am still here.

  2. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: April 5, 2014

    Mama Bear, I remember the Playland Motel. My folks owned the Wonderland Motel for a short time in the mid 70’s. Cleaned it up, fresh paint, new carpet and renamed it “The Rockin’R motel”. We were just a couple of doors down, heading east, from Cecil’s market on the corner.
    I hate to see the old motels go away but I reckon that’s the way things are nowadays.
    Glad you’re still here. Old Motel Skiis

  3. sunriser2 says - Posted: April 5, 2014

    Great to see up-grades happening without redevelopment nightmares.

  4. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: April 6, 2014

    tweeker motel gets renovated.

    good luck there are already 2 crummy restaurants on that block.

    and with the LOOP RD. going in there will not be any business

  5. reloman says - Posted: April 6, 2014

    Chief, why are you always such a downer about any redevleopment going on in town. you would think with your biz, any construction would be a good thing.

  6. bike bum says - Posted: April 6, 2014

    chief slowroller, EVERY motel is a tweeker motel. Having said that, it’s not that motel owners want that enviroment, but it’s the nature of the beast here. Our renter friendly laws here enable tweekers to stay rent free for more than two months. Sometimes more. No druggy wears a sign saying “I’m a drug user, and I’m going to set up shop here”

    This town is what it is, a junkie town with a huge problem. You can tear down one motel, redevelop the land, but that wont eradicate the issue. You can tear them all down, but then our streets would be filled with junkies.

  7. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: April 6, 2014

    Seems that the conversion from TAUs, which pay TOT, to commercial floor area, which pays sales tax, might be a consideration for the planning commission. Will the city lose or gain revenue?

    As far as hotels which have been remodeled I think the ones along Cedar Ave. have been done nicely even thought they are sitting across the street from the failed Project 3 eyesore.

  8. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: April 6, 2014

    Reloman redevelopment at state line has cost the City BIG $$$$

    for me 55 acres of parking lots that I did every year.

    I have done the Marriot twice in the last 12 years.

    the owner of the Highland Inn knows its a Tweeker motel and has allowed it to be for many years.

    I’m just stating some of the facts.