The Home That We All Dream Of, The Sierra Star

Amazing Home in Lake Tahoe
The Sierra Star, an Amazing home on the waterfront

Most of my Christmas breaks are spent in Truckee California with my family.  We have friends all around the Reno and Lake Tahoe Areas.  In the winter time there is plenty to do, ski, snowboard, snowmobile and eat like a champ.  It really is a great place to take a week or two out of the office.  Everyone tells me I need to “recharge” once in a while.  With all the pain from skiing, I don’t know how anyone can call this a “recharge” but OK, it is still better working here than the office.  Of course there are shows and casino action if you some how have any energy left after beating up your knees on the moguls or handling a snow mobile for the day.

As a business owner and writer, I have found my creative space is pretty much any waterfront location.  Preferably facing due east for the sunrises or due west for the sunsets.  I still don’t know which is better.  For the last 15+ years my wife and I have wanted to find a waterfront property in the Lake Tahoe Area even if it is just  a studio condo.  We would prefer a home or condo on the eastern shore so we can look west and watch the sunsets.  Part of our Holiday travel in the area includes a “dream tour” of homes on the eastern shores of the Nevada side.  It is a two way trip frome Incline Village to Cave Rock to Zephyr Cove ending up with a late lunch at the Riva Grille or some other South Shore eatery.  So far, renting and staying with friends has proven to be the most economical way to enjoy the Tahoe Basin and find a little creative space there.  It is great to have friends and family there in this economy for sure.

Several years ago, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to take care of some family friends waterfront home.  It was there I learned to relax and write with nothing but the water in front of me.  While I don’t have a waterfront home, I do have a very large lagoon pool and sit on a second floor balcony most of the time I am writing at home.  It just isn’t the same.  Renting and staying with friends is OK but lugging all of your stuff back and forth can be a hassle, especially given the current excess of TSA review.  Owning a property regardless of the economics just makes sense.  There is a reason wealthy and successful people do it.  I used to think the robber barons were nuts living in New York then sailing out to there weekend house with the family each week.  Now I know, live where the money is made in your field, find your creative space whereever it may be.

Since we don’t yet have a property on Lake Tahoe, we trek around the states to waterfront locations and I drive my wife nuts. It doesn’t matter if we are in Myrtle Beach, Kona Hawaii, Newport California or Lake Tahoe, I find a nice chair looking at the water, flop open by laptop and start writing.  Where do you think I am writing this?  This time we are staying in Truckee and spent the day running around the East Shore of Lake Tahoe.  As our normal boring routine dictates, we had lunch at our favorite South Lake Tahoe restaurant, the Riva Grille.  As always the food was fantastic at the Riva Grille and the only letdown was the heated outdoor patio was closed.  Even thought the view from the inside was fantastic, it isn’t the same as being outside on the heated patio.
After lunch at the Riva Grille, we drove back North around the East Shore admiring the evening and holidat lights of homes in Cave Rock and Incline Village.  Zephyr Cove was packed with people trying to get to South Shore for New Years Eve so we skipped it.  Incline Village is a famous area with very high priced homes, a couple of nice golf courses a ski resort and the Hyatt Regency resort and casino.  It is everything that Disney tried to do with Celebration and missed.  A small high priced chunk of Nevada Real Estate that proves the two old addages of Real Estate.

1. Location, Location, Location

2. You get what you pay for.

This year we wandered past a home called  “Sierra Star”.  The Sierra Star is waterfront castle which according to several internet sites is priced somewhere between $60 Million and $65 Million.  Here is the problem with the internet.  It may have been both prices at different times, and now the log of prices is sitting on the internet until the website is shut off.  Oh well, if you are looking at this home, I am sure the $5Million is somewhat negotiable either way.   In the day time on the land side, you can’t really see to much of the Main house which is nearly 11,000 square feet.  The fences and trees keep the property very secluded and private during the day.   A side street will give you a glimpse of a guest house that is nearly 4,000 square feet.  According to the MLS there are two of these “small guest cottages”.

At night, the Sierra Star really shines.

To put things in perspective, my home has 65 outdoor lights that are LED, CFL and about a dozen low voltage halogens mixed in.  My neighbors think I an nuts with all of these lights.  When we bought the place it had a dozen 500W halogen lights spinning my meter like a frisbee.  I tried to turn them off, but like many good things in life, once you try it, you are hooked.  I have done the responsible thing and replaced the 500W halogens with 24W CFL’s from Cooper Lighting, and added some high powered outdoor LED’s I am testing for the CoolToys site.  Sitting out in my yard on a Friday night with a nice 18 year old Scotch and a fine Dominican cigar I can forget about all the worlds problems.  The lights at night give the yard life and peace all at the same time.  I thought I had the ultimate thinking spot until I saw the Sierra Star at night.

The Sierra Star easily has several hundred outdoor lights year round and currently has a very nice holiday display added to the outdoor lighting scenery.  I can only imagine what it is like to be the owners of the Sierra Star.  Spending the evening hours sitting on the lake, looking out at the snow capped mountains glistening in the moonlight has to be indescribable.  Sharing this view and a round of good 25 year old scotch with the right group of people on the back deck would surely solve a lot of the worlds problems.  I learned a long time ago that creative space is necessary to keep your life and mind organized and active.  Even on a night with fog or a new moon, the landscape lighting at the Sierra Star would offer inspiration to anyone, a writer, business man, mogul or King.

Imagining life at the Sierra Star isn’t difficult at all for me.  One feature of the Sierra Star sure to please any car nut is the lift that can lower cars and boats up to 70,000 pounds into a hidden underground storage area.   How much money would you need to spend at the Barrett-Jackson Auctions or the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance to fill it up?  Now those are happy thoughts.  There is a little part of this that is a bit uncomfortable though.  The amount of information about the house available on the internet is just a tad unnerving.  I can’t decided if it makes me like the home more or less.  For me, I probably won’t be making the offer anytime soon so it doesn’t matter.  For a prospective buyer that has $60 Million in loose change around to buy a vacation home, all that information on the internet can’t be a good thing.  Unless of course there is a lot more we don’t know about.

I guess I will have to come up with a good story and see if I can talk my way in and find out more.  Until then, what I can tell you about the waterfront Lake Tahoe Castle called the Sierra Star, is that it is a stunning waterfront home on Lake Tahoe offering all the splendor of California with a private deck facing the western Tahoe sunsets and the advantages of Nevada taxes.

If you decide to buy the Sierra Star, drop me a line, I promise to bring a nice bottle of wine to the house warming party.  If you have the Sierra Star listed, call me, I will be happy to write more (or less) about the house in exchange for a complete tour.  If you are the owners and need someone to stay there at least once a month and make sure the employees are keeping the place up, I am your man.  I’ll even bring my wife to make sure I clean up after myself.

So until you can buy the Sierra Star, where can you go to find your creative space?  We all need it to clear our accumu-laters and keep out priories straight.  Once you know where your creative space is, make a commitment to spending one day a quarter there.  As you gain focus and perspective you should be able to increase that time to monthly then weekly, and maybe even daily.  The most successful people will somehow bring that creative space into thier daily life every day.  I wonder if the Sierra Star will ever be that space for someone.

Stay Focused – and let life be Great!


Editors Note, in 2019 the house valued above $40 Million so apparently the price tag was a bargain.

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