Ranchos slot operation proposed for Gorman's site

GARDNERVILLE -A plan to make the now-vacant Gorman's Market into a small slot-machine operation and eatery is drawing a bit of attention.

Bruce Park, of Park Cattle Co., which owns the Tillman Center where Gorman's was located, said the corporation has exhausted the possibility of moving in another grocery store.

"We've made every effort and called every major grocery store and no one is interested. We'd jump at the chance, but being that Gorman's has closed its doors, and we don't want to see plywood on the windows, the time had come to make a choice," Park said.

Park Cattle Co. and the Carson Valley Inn are working on a lease that would allow for a small slot operation and eatery. Company officials on both sides said they both feel the slot operation will be a positive for the area.

Bill Henderson, director of sales and marketing, and Steve Chappell, director of finance of Carson Valley Inn, said rumors have spread quickly that make the slot operation larger than planned.

The slot operation would have between 150-200 slot machines with a deli, a bar and a lounge to sit and eat a meal.

"We are looking to fit into the neighborhood. We are not going to bring in bus traffic into the neighborhood. We will cater solely to the local residents," Chappell said.

Henderson and Park both said the business has no interest in bringing in a project that will decrease the image of the neighborhood.

"Park doesn't anticipate putting anything in there but a first-class establishment. We don't want junk on our shopping center. They're not going to put in something that will downgrade the center," Park said.

Chappell said Carson Valley Inn anticipates the slot operation will bring in between $35,000 to $40,000 in gaming tax to the county and 30 and 40 jobs.

"Also, hopefully, it will help bring Tillman Center to 100 percent occupancy, which will also increase taxes for the county," Henderson said. "If it is all full, there are benefits there we can't measure."

However, Chappell said, Carson Valley Inn will not fight to save the idea of a slot operation in the neighborhood if it doesn't fit in.

"We will not aggressively fight for it. It will have to pass or fail on its own merits. Our job is to educate the public on the benefits and not try to sway their beliefs in any way," Chappell said.

Zoning would need to be changed from neighborhood commercial to tourist commercial and the Douglas County Commission would have to give approval. According to county Assistant Planner Lee Plemel, the planning commission would first hear the application for zone change at the Dec. 14 meeting. The Douglas County Commissioners will consider the planning commission's suggestion Jan. 6.


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