Ormsby House owners to proceed with renovation

After meeting with Carson City officials Friday, owners of the Ormsby House are moving forward with a $20 million renovation project instead of planning for demolition of the hotel-casino.

"Carson City and the Ormsby House owners are looking forward to seeing the Ormsby House through to completion," said city officials and owners Don Lehr and Al Fiegehen in a joint statement to the press.

Lehr said he preferred not to comment on the meeting Friday.

"Overall, it was a very cordial meeting," said Supervisor Robin Williamson, who sat in. "I'm delighted. I feel a lot better today than I did last Friday."

City Manager Linda Ritter said city officials will look into issues like delaying the need for a traffic study, health department requirements for bars and capping a sewer line following demolition of the nearby Capitol Motel, as requested by the owners during the meeting.

"There were just some general things they thought maybe we should just examine the code and see if it makes sense," Ritter said. "This is not unusual."

The city is pleased with the owners' response and willingness to move forward with the project, Ritter said.

"The project is moving forward," Ritter said. "They want to see the project through."

The city's chief building official Phil Herrington has been assigned as a liaison to the owners.

Lehr and Fiegehen decided last week to demolish the 190,000-square-foot hotel and casino that has stood on the corner of Fifth and Carson streets for the past 31 years. The two are planning to build an upscale, 127-room establishment with a night club, brewery, bar, buffet, fine dining and convention space.

"The Ormsby House is important to Carson City," said Williamson. "It's important to redevelolpment. It's a good addition to the offerings we have in the city. We look forward to working with them to get things going."

Currently, the owner have permits for reconstructing the exterior hotel tower and facade and building a pedestrian bridge. Scaffolding is still in place for the project but work halted a week ago after owners said they became frustrated with city regulations and "red tape."

The application to demolish the structure was not pulled Friday.


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