Inside Wayne Newton's $30 Million Casa de Shenandoah
Legendary Las Vegas singer Wayne Newton's 36-acre property, Casa de Shenandoah, is back on the market with a $29.9 million price tag. The 57,000-square-foot estate was hand designed and built piece by piece by Newton for well over a decade.
Casa de Shenandoah used to be furnished with hundreds of Newton's personal possessions. We're taking a look at not just what the property looks like now, but what it looked like in all its glory just a few years ago.
Who will be the next buyer to say danke schoen (thank you very much) to this multimillion-dollar property? Whoever it is will need quite a bit more cash than it takes to buy red roses for a blue lady.
The Next Graceland
Newton turned the mansion into a tourism hotspot in 2015, five years after he and his wife, Kathleen, sold the majority of the estate to CSD LLC in 2010. Newton was facing bankruptcy, and he sold a majority of the estate for $19.5 million.
Newton retained a 20 percent stake in the property, but lawsuits and difficulties delayed the opening of Casa de Shenandoah. The estate was even put up for sale for $70 million in 2013, but it failed to sell, and eventually, it opened its doors to the (paying) public.
It was supposed to be the next Graceland.
'Home of Beauty'
Newton is half Native American, so he picked the name Shenandoah, which he has said is a Native American word for "home of beauty."
We're not sure how accurate that translation is — Shenandoah seems to have etymological roots for describing rivers and lakes — but it's a beautiful house all the same.
The foyer features a dramatic butterfly staircase and floors made up of square marble slabs.
Casa de Shenandoah was open to the public from 2015 until 2018
This is a current photo of the house, and some of Newton's possessions are still here. In fact, he's suing the new owners to reclaim some of the stuff he left behind, when he fully sold the property in fall 2019 for just $10.53 million.
The Living Room
Newton lived on the property until 2013.
2010 was not the first time that he faced bankruptcy. The crooner owed $20 million in debt in 1992 and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Some of that debt came from a libel lawsuit against NBC over the network's allegations that he had ties to the mafia.
A $5.2 million verdict in favor of Newton was overturned after a successful appeal in 1990.
Always Happy to Court the Press
Newton has always been happy to court the press — just not NBC — and he often did so in the home's main living room.
Newton's lawsuit against NBC was one of many lawsuits in his life.
While Newton was back in the black by 1999, lawsuits over the home would eventually shutter the enormous estate.
Take a Vegas Vacation
The main living room can also be seen in "Vegas Vacation."
In that movie, which was basically the end of Chevy Chase's career, Newton has a notable role trying to seduce Ellen Griswold (Beverly D'Angelo).
Parts of the estate, including the living room, can be seen in the movie.
Newton first purchased the property in 1966, buying up five acres, and lived in a small house with his parents, his brother and his sister-in-law while other homes were being built.
Before he was 20 years old, Newton had several best-selling records that netted him $500,000 each.
The Memorabilia Room
This room was entirely devoted to memorabilia, most of them from famous friends.
There are numerous awards, including an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, pictures of him and Ronald Reagan, and a violin gifted to Newton by comedian Jack Benny.
This room is also known as the Red Room because of its red furnishings. It was the only room in the house not designed by his wife, Kathleen.
Pictures of Icons
Here is the aforementioned violin signed by Jack Benny, along with several photos of legendary comedic actress Lucille Ball.
This showcase features photos of Newton as a baby and his bronzed baby shoes.
There are also photos of Wayne and his family.
A Pillow from Sinatra
Frank Sinatra never forgot Newton's birthday and once gave him a pillow with the face of Newton's dog, Thor, embroidered on it.
The glass table has hundreds of service medallions given to Newton by men and women in the armed services.
The desk once belonged to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He used it while he was practicing law.
The robes behind the desk are religious ones blessed by the Vatican.
Vivian Leigh's Couch
At the property at one point was this couch, which Vivian Leigh used to rest during the filming of "Gone With the Wind."
Newton is fighting for the possessions of his home with the estate's current owners and sellers, a company known as Smoketree LLC (the buyer's identity has remained anonymous, much to Newton's frustration). Smoketree claims they bought everything in the sale and own everything that was left.
Some of the items Newton is suing for are his wife's wedding dress, a note written by Elvis Presley that inspired "The Letter," Newton's bronzed baby shoes, Jackie Gleason's pool cue, Jack Benny's violin and a microphone from Frank Sinatra, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Newton finished the main 14,000-square-foot home in 1978.
By this time, he was nearing the height of his fame and had an $8 million-per-year deal to sing at several Las Vegas casinos.
By 1980, he would be the biggest thing in Las Vegas and one of the biggest singers in the world.
It Has a Full-On Movie Theater
As the property was being developed, Newton and CSD LLC made some big additions to the property.
Like creating Shenandoah Theater, which is located on the corner of the property.
Notice the striking photos of Newton, including him on a horse, and a big eagle statue.
With enough seats for well over 100 people, this is a commercial-sized movie theater.
We're not sure why exactly there's a theater here — Newton has had small parts in a dozen films but was never a movie star.
It may have been one of the decisions that led to one of the lawsuits between CSD LLC and Newton.
Wayne Newton's Net Worth
Newton has performed for decades and has accumulated millions, but he has also battled many lawsuits and faced bankruptcy twice.
Now, he's said to be worth about $50 million. He has performed over 30,000 live shows and in 2019 celebrated 60 years of singing in Las Vegas.
He turned 78 in 2020 and still has not retired.
Newton's Car Collection
Newton's garage features chandeliers and a carpet, with room for 100 cars.
Newton owns a bunch of classic cars, including a 1934 Bentley Cabriolet DeVille, a 1933 Essex-Terraplane 8 and a fully customized 1981 Mercedes-Benz 380 SL convertible. Let's take a closer look at them.
The Custom Mercedes-Benz
This is a fully customized 1981 Mercedes Benz 380L hardtop convertible with handmade gold siding. It's an odd and unique vehicle.
The Plymouth Fury
This Plymouth Fury looks like a 1969 or 1970 sport convertible, which housed up to a 7.2-liter V8 engine.
The 1934 Bentley Cabriolet DeVille
The 1934 Bentley Cabriolet DeVille is a one-of-a-kind car that Bentley made for racing.
There's not too much information about this beauty, but you can take a tour of it.
Newton has a fleet of Rolls-Royces.
At one point, Newton had Liberace's car on display here. Its grill was decked out in diamond stylings, but we couldn't find any pictures.
However, there is a Rolls-Royce earned by another very famous person that Newton owns.
Johnny Cash's Car
This Rolls-Royce once belonged to Johnny Cash.
It's not Cash's 1970 Silver Shadow that was given the guts of a 2016 Tesla, but it was owned by the "Man in Black" all the same.
The 1933 Essex-Terraplane
This is a 1933 Essex-Terraplane, a vehicle built by the long-defunct Hudson car company.
The Essex-Terraplanes were in production from 1932 to 1938, and were some of the most affordable automobiles of their day.
The 1933 model was favored among gangsters like John Dillinger and "Baby Face" Nelson for its speed and light chassis.
Steve McQueen's Rolls-Royce
This Rolls-Royce used to belong to Steve McQueen.
It's not the one he drove from "The Thomas Crown Affair" (that one sold for $70,200). It's a 1978 Rolls-Royce Corniche built for the late actor.
The Silver Cloud
Newton's brother, Jerry, gifted this 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud to him in 1963.
These are worth at least $50,000.
Snooker for Pigeons
The snooker table has crystal legs and used to be located in an Indian palace.
But it wasn't a place for some royal family to play games. It was just a piece of furniture for pigeons.
Newton bought it, cleaned it up and brought it home.
The Game Room
The game room features a coffered ceiling (is that wood?) and clown paintings from the entertainer Red Skelton.
There's a Secret Room
The game room also features a hidden door built into the bookshelves. It used to house a safe room.
The Hidden Office
The safe room has been converted into an office, which includes a tiny sculpture of Casa de Shenandoah.
In the Middle of the Conversation
In the dining room, Newton would sit in the middle of the table so he would be part of the conversation.
Newton has hosted numerous dinners here, with guests like Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
His 'Childhood Home'
This is the first home built on the property. It was built in 1967 and housed Newton, his parents, his brother and his sister-in-law while the main home was being built.
Although tours billed this as Newton's childhood home, he was in his mid-20s when he lived here.
The Old Kitchen
A peak inside Newton's old house shows the old kitchen and dining area.
The Front Doors
In 2012, CSD LLC sued Newton, claiming that the company had invested $50 million to develop the estate into a tourist attraction, but Newton had continually impeded the project.
The company alleged that Newton never planned to leave the property, and that he refused to comply with certain things, like handing over a number of collectibles to be used for display.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that Newton refused to whittle down his collection of Arabian horses from 55 to a more manageable 20, that he sexually harassed a young woman from the company, and that there were numerous dogs on the property which regularly bit people.
To quote the complaint: "The sight of grown men scrambling onto the roofs of cars and scaling tall trees in fear of their lives did nothing to dissuade Mr. Newton from continuing his walks with his unrestrained dogs, though he was well aware that his dogs were exceptionally vicious and had tasted blood many times."
At least he slept well?
The Master Bedroom
Later, Newton alleged that the former owners of CSD LLC, including Steven Kennedy, made death threats to or at Newton and his wife.
Another point of contention between Newton and the owners was a Ferrari that was supposed to be on display. Newton wanted it painted black while Kennedy wanted it painted red.
The Children's Bedroom
But happier times were here. This was the childhood bedroom of Wayne's daughter Erin.
Later, it became the bedroom of his youngest daughter, Lauren, for 15 years.
He and Kathleen had Lauren in 2002.
The Nanny's Bedroom
This bedroom used to belong to the nanny, who lived on the property for many years and took care of Newton's daughters.
The glass display case in the middle of the room is from India.
The mansion's kitchen has a six-burner stove set on an island, two ovens, marble countertops and an extra-wide triple sink.
Also notice the custom-made cookie jar, which is in the shape of Casa de Shenandoah.
The Wine Cellar
A small, winding staircase leads down to the wine cellar.
It's unusual both in its design — it looks kind of like something out of a movie set — and because basement storage in Las Vegas is rare.
It Was a Zoo, Too
Newton loves animals, so he created Casa de Shenandoah to house many kinds of them.
There were the 50-plus Arabian horses that he bred (he even offered one to Lady Gaga in 2019). There were even African penguins, swans and many types of birds.
There Are Too Many Peacocks
Most notably, there were the peacocks, who roamed the estate's vast grounds and did whatever they wanted. Sometimes the peacocks would get inside the mansion and break things.
The peacocks terrorized the neighbors. Neighborhood residents said the birds would fly over Casa de Shenandoah's walls and land on their roofs and scratch their cars (peacocks will peck at their reflection in, say, a side-view mirror).
There were an estimated 20 to 30 peacocks roaming in and around the mansion as of 2016.
Many More Birds, Fish and Mammals
There used to be 280 exotic birds, fish and mammals at the estate. That included 150 lovebirds, a pair of sloths, wallabies, black neck swans, the penguins, an East African crowned crane and 80 fish.
In 2013, courts gave CSD LLC the right to sell all these animals during a bankruptcy filing. The highest bidder was a conservation center in Rainier, Oregon, who paid $27,300 for the lot.
But we're not sure if this deal ever went through or Newton restocked the cages because there were animals at the estate years later, when it finally opened to the public.
The Monkey Bit Someone
We know this for sure because Newton was sued by two different people who alleged that a monkey bit and attacked them during a tour of Newton's property.
The attacks allegedly occurred in 2017 and 2018.
Boo the Monkey
This is Boo, Newton's beloved pet Capuchin monkey who stands accused of biting two people.
One woman is suing for $15,000 in damages and claims she sought emergency treatment at a hospital. It's unclear if the matter is still going through the courts.
Boo looks cute when he's not biting people, though.
Newton has been breeding horses for over 50 years and has produced many champions.
There are two stables with a total of 53 stalls. There's also a horse hospital and, in 1973, 120 Arabian horses lived on the property.
Inside the Stables
Of course, there's a lawsuit about this, too.
During the lawsuits against Newton, CSD LLC alleged that the paddock was "covered with hundreds of tons of horse manure" piled six feet high and the barn was "saturated in a sea of standing urine."
This was before Casa de Shenandoah opened to the public, as Newton and CSD LLC eventually settled out of court and worked out a deal.
There's a Horse Pool
If you want to breed champions, a horse pool is essential to improve recovery time and cardiovascular health.
Bonus points if there's a big "N" in the middle.
Check out the Jet
There's also a jet that comes with the property.
But personal jets can sell for much more than the property's asking price, so a new buyer shouldn't expect to take off anytime soon.
The plane is a junked Fokker F-28 that Newton salvaged from a hangar in Detroit. "It's called the junk airplane," Newton told a 200-person audience consisting of his neighbors, all of whom were skeptical about his plans for the then-upcoming tourist attraction.
The year was 2010, and residents could see the tail peeking over the estate's fence. "All of the avionics had been stolen, so we brought it out to our home. It is still a beautiful plane, but it will be surrounded by trees," he said.
Inside the Jet
The jet might not work, but Newton fashioned the interior to make it into a replica of his own private jet. At least we think so.
It sure is shiny.
There are numerous artesian wells on the property, which Newton discovered while developing the underground garage.
Closing Casa De Shenandoah
Newton kept Casa de Shenandoah open from July 2015 until April 2018.
Newton first said they were closing the home just for some renovations and would open back up soon. But three months later, they withdrew the tour operating permits.
A year later, it was sold from CSD LLC (which was now operating under new owners) to Smoketree LLC.
A Huge Undertaking
There have been well over $100 million invested into the property over the years, with the true value of the estate unknown.
What was once to be the next Graceland is now empty.
But Lots of Potential
While there's a lot of work to be done, the property is absolutely gorgeous.
There are 1,000 square feet of grass with man-made lakes and water features throughout.
Ten weddings, a car show, and several parties were held here, much to the annoyance of the estate's neighbors.
Even the famous gates to Casa de Shenandoah remain in limbo. Wil they be removed? Sold at auction?
Whoever buys the estate can't even use the Casa de Shenandoah name — Newton says he owns the trademark.
Danke schoen and auf wiedersehen.
His New House
After moving from Casa de Shenandoah in 2013, Newton bought this 9,145-square-foot home for $3 million.
Fifteen minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the house includes a movie theater, gym, sauna, guest house, wine cellar and came with 20 free-range peacocks.
Don't Try to Rob Wayne Newton
The mansion has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and sits on 3.5 acres.
Would-be burglars be forewarned: Newton fired a warning shot at burglars who attempted to break into this home, twice, within 10 days, in 2019.
"My wife was in hysterics and crying," Newton said to a Las Vegas jury in June 2019. "She said, 'Shoot 'em. Shoot 'em. There they are. He almost hit me with the pipe iron.' I decided to take one shot in the air. That was the last time I saw them."
The Newtons were unscathed, but the burglars injured their dogs. Only one of two burglars was apprehended.