New casino could be good deal for Carson City

There are some new names on Carson City's business landscape following the announcement that Mike Pegram and the Carano family will be partnering to build a casino at the intersection of Highway 395 South and Clear Creek Road.

For those who think casinos detract from the capital city's image, this doesn't come as good news. But the reality is that the site, because of the nonrestricted gaming license attached to it, was destined to become a gaming establishment.

And now that it's a done deal, it's time to take stock of what the city has gained.

For one thing, the casino will bring about 100 jobs and plenty of sales tax revenue from its restaurants and bars. Those restaurants, according to the Carano family, will model the sparkling reputation of the ones in their El Dorado casino in Reno.

Fuji Park, hardly one of the city's jewels, will see $1 million in improvements, including a new arena. As a side benefit, that arena may be a venue for concerts and other events put on by Bodine's, the name of the casino. The casino building itself can be considered a gain at a gateway to the city that has long needed improvement.

And the Caranos will certainly be a gain for Carson City if they fulfill their intentions to be active members of the community, as they have done in Reno. Though this will be their first business license here, they are not strangers to Carson City. Those who will be planning and working in the casino have ties to the community.

Are there negatives? Critics say gaming was not the best fit for the site and worry that the parking on the casino land won't be sufficient, requiring overflow parking at Fuji Park. Only time will tell if they should have been listened to more closely.

But for now, there are enough marks in the positive category to say this is a good deal for Carson City.


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