The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Bankruptcy judge OKs Wayne Newton estate deal; new owner still vows Vegas tourist attraction

  • Print

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The bankruptcy deal is done, Wayne Newton and his family are out, and the majority owner of Newton's former "Casa de Shenandoah" property said Friday he still wants to turn the southeast Las Vegas spread into a tourist attraction.

Whether the name of the crooner dubbed "Mr. Las Vegas" will be associated with the development remained a question mark.

Newton and his lawyers were absent when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Markell signed off on a sealed agreement that leaves CSD LLC, headed by investors Lacy and Dorothy Harber, in charge of the 40-acre property several miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.

Newton, 71, his wife, Kathleen McCrone Newton, and their family and menagerie of exotic animals moved this month to a downsized nearby property with several homes on about 20 acres.

The Newtons were in Louisiana on Friday, according to a family member, where Newton was due to perform at the Cypress Bayou Casino on Clarenton. They didn't immediately respond to messages.

Their lawyer, J. Stephen Peek, cited the confidentiality of the negotiated settlement and declined to comment.

Outside the courtroom, Lacy Harber and Grant Lyon, the restructuring agent in the estate bankruptcy, offered sometimes cryptic comments to reporters' questions about the deal. They said they were constrained by the confidentiality agreement.

The two men wouldn't say whether the Newton family was forced to move from the home Newton bought in 1968 and spent years filling with art, animals, artifacts and mementoes.

They also wouldn't say whether the Newtons still had an ownership share in CSD LLC.

Going into the settlement, which was submitted to the judge in May, the Harbers owned 70 per cent of CSD LLC. Wayne and Kathleen Newton owned 20 per cent. CSD Management LLC, made up of museum project manager Steven Kennedy and his partner, Geneva Clark, had a 10 per cent stake.

"The Newtons moved out voluntarily," Harber said Friday. "It was a mutual agreement. That speaks for itself."

Harber said Lyon would remain in charge of efforts to develop a museum offering tourists "a look behind those famous walls ... formerly owned by Wayne Newton."

Harber and Lyon said the settlement left CSD "debt free and ready to begin tours of the famous ranch," with an additional 15 acres near the Casa de Shenandoah property to use for parking and a visitor centre.

They said they intend to preview the attraction later this summer, and that development plans would be submitted for review to the elected Clark County Commission.

They didn't specify what property remained in the former Newton mansion.

Over the years, the Strip headliner collected 17th century antiques from European castles, Impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and keepsakes from performers like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Bobby Darin.

Arabian horses, peacocks and penguins roamed the grounds behind the 10-foot walls that shield the property from busy Sunset and Pecos roads.

Newton had creditors at the door when the Harbers paid $19.5 million to buy the property in June 2010 and announced plans for a "Graceland West" attraction building on Newton's fame and show business career.

Newton's best-known songs include his signature "Danke Schoen," his 1965 version of "Red Roses for a Blue Lady," and "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard charts in 1972.

The landlord-tenant relationship quickly deteriorated and two sides traded allegations of fraud, mismanagement, animal abuse and sexual harassment in state court before the case moved to federal bankruptcy court. Peek, the Newtons' lawyer, told a Nevada judge last summer there had been death threats.

Before confirming the settlement, Judge Markell credited Joseph Wielebinski, Dallas-based lawyer for CSD, with brokering "a result that everyone hoped for but nobody reasonably expected."

Wielebinski, who characterized the bankruptcy as a bitter business divorce, spent nine months smoothing animosity over every contested issue.

"I think we've pulled off a miracle in a short period of time," he said. "CSD's owners can now proceed to do what they want with their property."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up:- Shoulder Press

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A mother goose has chosen a rather busy spot to nest her eggs- in the parking lot of St Vital Centre on a boulevard. Countless cars buzz by and people have begun to bring it food.-Goose Challenge Day 06 - May 08, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google