When the name of a property includes the date 1862 you know it has a long and likely colorful history. The original owner was a man named David Walley, who came West in search of his own prosperity in the promise of the Gold Rush and Comstock Lode era. He didn't find his fortune in precious metal, but rather with the therapeutic value of natural hot springs just 1.5 miles south of the Town of Genoa. He purchased the hot springs and surrounding property and charged 50 cents a bath. During this same time frame the Pony Express Route was still going strong and the route abutted Walley's property. Riders made a point to stop at the springs to soothe their aches and pains from the rigors of the long ride.
The original resort was built in 1862 and included a 40-room hotel with 11 bathrooms, a grand ballroom, a large stable, a swimming pool and several bathhouses with a resident physician and masseur. It transitioned from a spot for weary miners to relax to a place of affluent renown, drawing high-society types including Mark Twain, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and a handful of U.S. presidents. Over the years the property has had a multitude of owners and survived a devastating fire, but several of the original buildings remain on site, as does one of the original stone soaking tubs.
Steeped in this rich history, the present-day resort offers the ultimate Nevada-style spa getaway. The idyllic spot is a year-round combination of health, beauty, vitality, relaxation and resort comfort. You can bask in the most relaxing medium of your choice. The resort features five natural hot mineral springs/pools, one outdoor heated pool, one outdoor seasonal pool, steam rooms, dry saunas, a fitness room, a playground, billiards and bike rentals. You can also choose from a full range of spa treatments including Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, hot-stone massage, mineral salt/sugar scrubs, enzymatic mud wraps, facials and more. Accommodations include queen rooms, one- and two-bedroom suites with many amenities and views of the surrounding mountain scenery. The accommodations also can be purchased on a time-share basis.
The 1862 Restaurant & Saloon offers casual fine dining and a quaint bar setting to enjoy cocktails and craft beer on tap. Executive Chef Brandon Kealoha joined the restaurant in 2014, and his broad range of culinary skills have helped elevate the flavors and appeal of the 1862's fare. Chef Kealoha studied at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. Originally from Florida, he spent much of his early career working with various chefs influenced in Southern as well as Cajun cuisine. His early influences are represented in some of his signature dishes such as Maple Leaf Duck, Blackened Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Smoked Paprika Dusted Fried Okra. Some of his other specialties include authentic Italian cuisine, fall-off-the-bone ribs and flash-fried calamari that is unique to the 1862. The property is a popular site for weddings, banquets, meetings and private parties with full services, planning expertise and several spectacular settings with awesome scenic backdrops.