RENO — Bob Cashell, a three-term former Reno mayor, civic booster and casino owner was remembered Tuesday for his personality and his legacy of development in the Northern Nevada city he adopted more than 50 years ago.
Cashell died Tuesday morning at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center with family members at his side, longtime friend and publicist Jim Bauserman told the Reno Gazette-Journal. He was 81.
Cashell “touched so many lives with his larger than life personality,” Mayor Hillary Schieve tweeted. “He loved the entire Reno community like they were his very own family. His legacy will forever be remembered.”
Cashell was mayor from 2002 to 2014. He served on the state Board of Regents and switched party affiliations from Democrat to Republican after becoming lieutenant governor in 1983.
He moved to Reno in the late 1960s from Longview, Texas, buying a truck stop just that eventually became Boomtown Casino. He purchased Bill and Effies’ Boomtown shortly after arriving in Nevada in the 1960s. He built what was a tiny restaurant/bar and motel for truckers into what is now Boomtown west of Reno. He later owned casinos south of the capital at Topaz Lake and in rural Nevada as well as Sparks. For a time in the 1990s, Cashell was manager of the Ormsby House and put it back in the black by the time he was sold in 1999.
“I was heartbroken to learn that Mayor Cashell passed away this morning,” said Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell. “Mayor Cashell was not only a personal friend and mentor but a friend of Carson City as well. It was Bob who routinely used the roof of the Ormsby House to set off fireworks on the 4th of July when he was the manager of the property. He loved Reno but loved Nevada even more. His energy and love of life seemed boundless and he always had a friendly quip or two to bring a smile to the faces of those around him. Bob Cashell was a wonderful public servant who will be forever remembered in the annals of Nevada history as a man of vision, integrity and the friend of many. He will be missed.”
Cashell pressed for a rail trench that eliminated 11 city railroad crossings when it opened in 2006 at a cost of $282 million. He also supported construction of the Reno Aces baseball stadium, a new City Hall and other projects.