How do you put a good face on the temporary shutdown of the Ormsby House?
- It will come at a relatively slow time of year.
- There are plenty of jobs out there for laid-off workers.
- When it resumes operation, the Ormsby House is promised as a five-star hotel.
All of those help, but there is no denying the darkened doors of Carson City's largest hotel will cast a shadow through downtown from Thanksgiving through July 4.
The momentum built among businesses along Carson Street has been slow in coming, but it has been steady over the last few years. The Ormsby House was part of that, along with several new businesses, improvements to existing businesses, renovation and landscaping by the city, and investment by the state.
We recently fielded an inquiry from a tourist planning to visit Carson City who wanted to know if the Ormsby House had returned to its one-time glory. Our response was lukewarm, at best. Despite the work done there and the faithfulness of its employees, we had to admit it was not the Ormsby House they remembered.
Fortunately, the Carson Nugget remains a flourishing attraction for gamblers downtown, the Carson Station anchors the south end of Carson Street and the Pinon Plaza has picked up the slack in quality accommodations.
The Ormsby House, though, remains a significant figure as it towers over the city's skyline - perhaps more symbolic than actual, in its relationship to Carson City's economy. After all, it's been a decade since the Ormsby House's heyday.
We're confident it will come back fresher and prouder, under the leadership of owners Al Fiegehen and Don Lehr, than it ever could with the patchwork repairs done in recent years. While the Ormsby House shutdown is a step back, we can only look forward to its reopening as two steps forward.