Carson City's Tom Metcalf, whose building business worked only on the Ormsby House in recent years, pressed the "restart button" now and has a Winnemucca hotel project looming.
Metcalf Builders, Inc. (MBI) will construct an 83-room Candlewood Suites in that north central Nevada community for Carson City's Malkiat Dhami, a hotelier whose growth in the lodging field continues apace. Dhami was pleased when Metcalf made his 2013 MBI reboot decision.
"I talked to him, and he said, 'Tom, I want you to build my hotel in Winnemucca,'" Metcalf explained Monday. Ground breaking for the Candlewood Suites project is expected next month.
In addition, Metcalf said, his firm will handle renovations for a Holiday Inn Express Dhami already has in that county seat community of Humboldt County.
Metcalf said he has built three hotels and an AM-PM mini-mart convenience store/gas station for Dhami since about 2007.
But in 2011 and 2012 MBI operated on the down-low, continuing to work on the Ormsby House on the southwest corner of Carson and 5th streets in Carson City but otherwise remaining fallow.
"We were not pursuing new contracts," Metcalf said. He was working with a large, international building company that had Northern Nevada offices in Carson City during those years.
"We never mothballed because Metcalf Builders has been working on the Ormsby House from 2002," he said. "We've had a great relationship with the Ormsby House."
So the first folks he contacted about hitting the MBI restart button were Don Lehr of Carson City's Cubix Corp., a principal in the Ormsby House, and Dhami, a multiple-property hotelier who also sits on Carson City's Planning Commission.
"Don Lehr has always been there for me," he said. "There's good synergy at the Ormsby House."
Metcalf, however, wasn't prepared to make any predictions about whether or when the Ormsby House might open for business as a hotel/casino.
As for Dhami, the reaction was great when, as Metcalf put it: "At the end of 2012 the opportunity arose for me to press the restart button" at MBI.
Metcalf said MBI has been around for almost two decades, but he has been in the building business even longer.
"This is my third economic downturn since I've been in the industry, and this was by far the worst for all of us," he said. But now, he said, he sees light at the end of the tunnel that isn't an oncoming train.
In part he bases his assessment on a trio of January economic forecasting meetings he attended at which he perceived that the political and tax climate in neighboring California provides optimism for Nevada.
"We're starting to see an influx of Californians wanting to come over the hill," he said, adding that Northern Nevada specifically is poised to take advantage of the trend.
Metcalf's best friend and long-time co-worker Russ Fiddyment will serve as project manager on the Candlewood Suites contract.
"I think it's a great project," said Fiddyment. He said hotels will do well n Winnemucca with the price of gold strong and the region robust.