Carson City Fandango’s new dance card: Convention center

Court Cardinal, general manager, stands in what will soon be the reception area of casino's 8,000 square foot convention space.

Court Cardinal, general manager, stands in what will soon be the reception area of casino's 8,000 square foot convention space.

Carson City’s Casino Fandango is in the midst of a makeover and expansion.

The casino is spending several million dollars on multiple projects, including the addition of upscale convention space, said Court Cardinal, president, partner, chief operating officer and general manager.

“For some time, Carson City has not been able to accommodate larger banquets and functions,” said Cardinal.

So the casino is building an 8,000 square foot convention center that will be able to seat 400 for dinner, or 700 for a concert or meeting, said Cardinal. The addition, which is being built by Rafael Construction Inc., can be seen from Curry Street adjacent to the casino’s warehouse. The project got underway earlier this year and plans are to open the space by Oct. 1. Cardinal said he’s looking now for a sales and catering manager to manage the convention space.

Cardinal said the convention center will be customizable into four separate breakout rooms, and will feature 30 crystal chandeliers as well as other high-end appointments.

He’s hoping to attract large wedding receptions, Christmas parties, and expositions.

“I’ve already been approached by a national car company that wants to hold a convention there,” said Cardinal.

In the meantime, the casino is undergoing a few transformations, too.

Ten year-old carpeting throughout the casino floor has been replaced. The flooring in the high limit slot area is being changed out this week. And the carpet in Duke’s Steak House has been redone as has the bar, which was extended by a few seats and the reception desk moved out front.

“The happy hour is so busy there,” said Cardinal.

The 14 year-old marquee on Carson Street, including the reader board, was replaced earlier this month.

“There is an all new facade in the front of the building,” he said.

The Palm Court Grill and Rum Jungle Buffet will soon be spruced up, too, with new decor installed at the restaurants’ edges to update them and give diners more privacy.

“It will be kind of classed up and more contemporary,” said Cardinal.

The sports bar will be overhauled soon, but Cardinal didn’t want to reveal too much before it’s unveiled later this summer.

“Just say the sports bar will be upgraded to reflect current trends in the beverage industry,” he said.

All this comes on the heels of the successful launch of a new event for the casino, its Rockin’ Rib-Fest on Memorial Day weekend, which attracted 25,000 visitors, Cardinal said.

The casino’s next big event is Oktoberfest, which is being expanded to two days this year.

There’s also plenty going on around the casino. Behind it, on property once owned by the casino, the Carson Hill Apartments are under construction. Initially, part of the land around the Galaxy Theatre was set aside for a new hotel, but the apartment developer wanted more land and Cardinal said residents represented more of an opportunity for the casino.

“We’re extremely excited about 370 gated, luxury apartments that will be going in,” he said.


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