Mike Pegram thinks north Carson City is ideal now for a casino that caters to local customers.
“With all the changes there, the extension of the freeway, the downtown going to three lanes. The north end has become it’s own neighborhood,” said Pegram.
That’s why Pegram, who owns Bodines Casino at the south end of town as well as Carson Valley Inn in Minden and Sharkey’s Casino in Gardnerville, plans to open a second Bodines location at NorthTown Plaza.
The project goes before the Carson City Planning Commission on Sept. 28 for a special use permit required to operate a casino and bar and install a larger sign than normally allowed at a retail commercial site.
City staff is recommending the commission approve the project with 24 conditions, some to do with the sign and changes needed to operate a restaurant at the site.
One condition stipulates the applicant have a transferred unrestricted gaming license before a building permit is issued.
Pegram is purchasing the Horseshoe Club’s gaming license, grandfathered in before 2002 changes, allowing Bodines to operate without the 100 or more hotel rooms required for a new license.
Pegram said he has already applied to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission to transfer it.
The license transfer will be investigated by gaming staff then go before the board, which will determine whether to recommend it to the commission, which has the final say, said A.G. Burnett, chairman, Gaming Control Board.
The new Bodines is planned for about 16,500 square feet inside Building 3 in the shopping center located at the intersection of Carson Street and College Parkway and widely referred to as the old Kmart mall for its one-time anchor store.
That’s slightly more than half the size of the 30,000 square-foot Bodines located at the corner of Carson Street and Old Clear Creek Road, which features a restaurant, two bars, sports book, 280 slots and video poker machines and underground parking.
Pegram thinks Bodines move could help the north end of town which has seen major businesses like Kmart move out and few move in.
“I think it’s a good opportunity. The north end of town needs a little boost,” said Pegram.
At first blush, a casino may not seem the type of business that attracts other businesses.
“But all retail is synergistic, that’s why retail doesn’t happen in the middle of nowhere,” said Andie Wilson, principal, NAI Alliance, a commercial real estate broker. “I’m thrilled about any business going in at the north end.”
In addition, Bodines is known as a savvy business.
“They’re pretty smart,” said Wilson. “Other businesses will follow their lead.”