5305 Carlsbad Boulevard | Carlsbad, 92008
PREVIOUS RESIDENT: William T. and Susan B. Walters
LISTING PRICE: $29,000,000
HOUSE SIZE: 10,000 sq ft
For most, a 10,000-square-foot oceanfront estate along San Diego County’s northern coast with a price tag approaching $30 million would represent the crown jewel in a lifetime filled with achievement. For one Las Vegas–based used-car dealer turned professional gambler turned golf-course mogul, it’s a vacation home.
The home at 5305 Carlsbad Boulevard in Carlsbad sits upon nearly 1.5 acres of oceanfront property with 166 feet of beach frontage. A private stairway leads down the cliffs to provide beach access from the gated and “fully landscaped, Hawaiian-esque paradise.” Six oceanfront patios, including one with a full outdoor kitchen and bar area, provide options for entertaining guests from the home’s perch above the waves.
Inside, the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom home features a poker room, a theater with seating for 12 and a bar area, along with a recreation room and home gym. A 600-square-foot “surf break” office affords views south to La Jolla and features an 85-inch flat-screen television that can split into four displays, similar to those seen at high-end sports bars around town. The living room boasts 40-foot-high ceilings, and the chef’s kitchen is open to the living areas with a massive island and breakfast bar and stainless steel appliances. A curved stone and wrought-iron staircase leads from the entryway and dining area to the upper level.
A former listing agent described the guest house as “better than any 5 star hotel — you will seriously have to enforce a check-out date for your guests or they will stay forever.”
The listing also advertises a three-car garage in addition to garaged RV parking and a circular driveway with outdoor parking for ten or more cars around a centerpiece water feature.
The home’s listed owners are William T. and Susan B. Walters. William got his start in the business world as a used-car salesman in Kentucky and eventually became a professional gambler in Las Vegas. An excerpt from Beating the Wheel, a gambling book on roulette, recounts a 1986 scheme in which Walters and partners reportedly identified an out-of-balance roulette wheel in Atlantic City and collected $3.8 million (just under $8.1 million in 2013 dollars) in a 38-hour period.
Currently, Walters is the CEO and founder of the Walters Group, a Las Vegas real estate firm involved in developing golf courses in the area. In 2010, the Center for Public Integrity listed him as the fourth-largest donor to senate majority leader Harry Reid, at that time having given the Nevada senator over $30,000.
This and other political largesse have cast a shadow over some of Walters’s dealings. In 2005, former Las Vegas city councilman Steve Miller accused Walters of acquiring land from the city at little or no cost with the promise to build golf courses that were either poorly maintained or never materialized, all while successfully converting a portion of the land to commercial or residential zoning for him to develop.
“There has been a consistent pattern of political and financial favoritism granted to Mr. Walters’s business entities by the City of Las Vegas,” says a report from the Nevada attorney general’s office.
County tax records show that Walters bought the Carlsbad property from Brian and Helga Fritz (who are currently trying to sell their Exalta Farms property in Pala) in 2002 for $5,650,000. At that time, the property had an older 8185-square-foot mansion on the grounds, which was demolished to build the current structure in 2007.
The property has been listed for sale since August 2010 with no change to the asking price of $29,000,000, which qualifies it as the fourth-priciest home currently on the market in San Diego County.