Arabian horses and lemurs may have once frolicked on the 36-acre grounds of Casa de Shenandoah, Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas estate, but the real zoo these days is its price tag: it’s just been listed for a crazy—nay, insane, nay, utterly inconceivable—$70M. As Redfin Blog points out, there are eight separate homes on the property, a “car museum” (that must mean “garage,” in brokerbabble), 37 stables, an “equestrian pool,” a tennis court, and, best of all, a “jumbo jet and terminal” meant to be used—as if there were any doubt by those marbleized interiors—”for entertaining.” Yet it’s unclear from the photos where, exactly, the “excess of 15-20 Million in improvements” went.
Mr. Las Vegas and his wife, Kathleen, lived at Casa de Shenandoah for nearly 45 years, but in recent years the place has been riddled with lawsuits and squabbles. In 2010, a developer purchased the estate for $19.5M in an agreement that would help the Newtons out of bankruptcy, so long as they agreed to vacate and build a smaller place for themselves right on the property so that the main house could be turned into a Wayne Newton-themed theme park, complete with a museum, gift shop, and dinner theater. Newton didn’t actually seem against the idea; in fact, he retained a 20 percent stake in the development company and seemed to see the financial potential in the museum idea. An excerpt from 2010 AP coverage:
“In Newton’s vision, visitors to Casa de Shenandoah would tour select parts of his 10,000-square-foot home amid the plush white carpets, gold-trimmed doors, impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and 17th-century antiques collected from European castles.
They might glance at the singer’s favorite space, a cramped office just to the right of his lavish living room, where the ominous red paint splashed on the walls is barely visible behind the shelves and stacks of mementoes collected during his 50-plus years in show business.”
Things didn’t go as planned, though, and last year the entertainer was sued for allegedly dragging his feet on moving out, not handing over the agreed-upon memorabilia, and, uh, “deliberately thwarted construction efforts, including sexually harassing construction workers,” according to the International Business Times. The Las Vegas Sun has a brilliant breakdown of the suit, as well as Newton’s countersuit; as a sneak preview, it involves people accusing each other of shooting Rhodesian ridgebacks.
Back to the estate at hand: this summer, Newton settled for an undisclosed sum and finally left; the animals, according to Redfin, have been sold to wildlife centers; and the developer dropped its plans to proceed with “Graceland West,” as the theme park has been called. Last Dec., a judge greenlit Casa de Shanandoah to go to auction—at which point a relatively decent crop of listing photos surfaced online—but the auction never actually happened. Now, of course, the home where Ellen Griswold has her date with Newton, playing himself, in the 1997 flick Vegas Vacation is seeking someone to shell out $70M. Let’s just hope some of those “impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir” are factored in.