Caged in steel scaffolding and crawling with workers, the Ormsby House is starting to look a little like the dream hotel promised by the owners.
Brick details have been added to the concrete pillars on the portecochere. Some painting and plastering have been done, which gives a clue to what is in store.
Ormsby House co-owner Allan Fiegehen said this week he thinks workers are making good progress on the 167-room hotel/casino.
"Our goal is to have the exterior sealed so we can heat the building inside and work on it all winter long," he said. "A lot of people are thinking that we're not doing anything, but they just don't know how much work it takes to put that place back together."
Fiegehen estimated it'll be completed by the end of 2005. The Ormsby House has been the most prominent construction area on Carson Street since September 2003.
"Our goal has been to make a first-class hotel for Carson City and the community," he said. "Not only a fine hotel but meeting rooms and banquet facilities and good restaurants. The casino is part of it, but our primary goal is to make it a landmark hotel for the city. That's the vision."
People can see the color of the portecochere will be a light oyster shell color, Fiegehen said. A portecochere is a large porch that vehicles can drive under. The trim around the windows is gold. More trim was added underneath every window on the high-rise.
He said the low-rise will be a darker shade and the first four floors up through the casino and banquet area will be slightly different shades of the same colors.
"You'll see all the colors really coming out in the next few weeks," Fiegehen said.
Robin Zakzeski, operations manager for Ormsby House, said they have lots of ideas for the interior, but no plan yet of where to situate it all.
"I know there will be more meeting space than any other place in Carson City," she said Friday.
A fire-proofing mixture was applied to some of the steel. Workers are getting the roof sealed using a high-tech rubber membrane that gives extra leak protection, Zakzeski said.
"They're putting up a whole new roof over the building," she said. "We inherited a lot of holes. This new membrane is the latest and greatest on keeping roofs dry."
Zakzeski said a lot of changes were made to the lower portion of the hotel, which included adding new rooms on front and bringing the building away from the sidewalk.
She said the owners are not scrimping on this project.
Tom Metcalf, chief executive of Metcalf Builders Inc., said the final cost of this project will be determined by Fiegehen and co-owner Don Lehr. He said the plans are fluid.
"It's up to the owners on timing and cost," said Metcalf, who owns the construction company working on the building. "But, again, they've just been great to work with and we're working as a part of their team."
An early estimate pegged the massive renovation from roof to street at more than $13 million.
Built in 1972 by the Laxalt family, Ormsby House had troubled times for most of its existence, except for the 10 years it was owned by Woody Loftin, who died in 1986.
Bankruptcy shuttered it from January 1993 to February 1995. A second bankruptcy followed in February 1997. Fiegehen and Lehr, owners of local manufacturer Cubix Corp., bought the property in September 1997.
Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.
Plans for the Ormsby House
• Meeting rooms of adjustable sizes
• An outdoor pool on the fourth floor
• Fitness center
• Fine dining, buffet, coffee shop, bars
• 167 rooms and suites
• A pedestrian bridge across Curry Street