In four short decades, William Fist Harrah created an empire. Far from his humble beginnings in a snug bingo parlor, he transformed the gaming and entertainment industry and made millions. Harrah’s impeccable business acumen and innate devotion to authenticity, made everything he touched turn to gold. Aside from his prized casinos and befriending some of the world’s foremost entertainers, the man had an affinity for cars – a hobby that later in life would amount to the world’s most important collection of automobiles – a whopping 1,400 models in mint condition.
Fame and fortune aside, some argue his greatest achievement may very well be the assemblage of Villa Harrah – a 1963 sprawling estate on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. With a meticulous eye, Harrah poured his soul into constructing a lakefront property that would include every convenience and luxury of the day – specifically designed to entertain his legendary friends.
Secret tunnels running from one end of the property to the other, concealed high-profile celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. The stars took advantage of this lavish estate’s top-notch amenities – from sunbathing on the beach, to a dip in the pool, or taking Harrah’s classic powerboat out for a spin. Villa Harrah gave headliners like the Rat Pack a secluded place to party and a crash pad to call home.
Today this sprawling estate has been preserved to reflect the lure of its heyday, a period in American history that optimized Hollywood glamour. Remnants of it’s storied past remain – scratches on a piece of wood from Wayne Newton’s dog, a lock of Tony Orlando’s hair stuck to suede paneling in a guest room – traces of these iconic figures are everywhere. Renamed Villa Costa after the current owner, Richard Costa’s goal was to keep the property’s signature pieces and character in tact with very few changes rendered. For $17,950,000 you can buy a piece of the legend yourself.
The 20,000 square foot Villa overlooks marine life below as mountains shimmer in the foreground. Truly a place to live out your dreams, this historic home boasts an infinity pool, unparalleled views from sky high windows, and a gourmet chef’s kitchen complete with stainless steel appliances, custom cherry cabinetry, and exotic granite. Original chandeliers and bannisters speak volumes of an unforgettable era.
Harrah’s acute attention to detail and esteemed reputation afforded him and a slew of big-name headliners the lifestyle most people dream of. Who will be next to live the dream and continue the legacy on the east shore banks of Zephyr Cove? Sotheby’s International Realty represents homes that embody the rich tapestry of unique settings and diverse locales. Allow us to artfully unite you with the perfect home befitting your lifestyle.