Closed motel gets reprieve from Carson supervisors

The Carson City supervisors revoked Frontier Motel’s business license in May 2021 after city staff discovered rodents, bedbugs, exposed electrical wiring, and rooms without hot water or flushing toilets. (Photo: Faith Evans/Nevada Appeal)

The Carson City supervisors revoked Frontier Motel’s business license in May 2021 after city staff discovered rodents, bedbugs, exposed electrical wiring, and rooms without hot water or flushing toilets. (Photo: Faith Evans/Nevada Appeal)

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The Carson City Board of Supervisors is giving a north Carson motel closed in 2021 another chance.

Thursday, supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the issuance of a business license to Five Star Motel LLC, doing business as Royal Inn Motel, at 1718 N. Carson St. – the property formerly known as the Frontier Motel. The authorization was conditioned on the Community Development Department reviewing operations at the site in six, 12 and 18 months and reporting to the board.

Supervisors revoked the business license for the motel in May 2021 following a city inspection that found unsanitary and unsafe living conditions. At the time, supervisors set conditions for issuing a business license in the future. The operators of the motel had to correct code violations and establish a plan with Carson City Sheriff’s Office to avoid criminal activity at the site, among other measures.

Those conditions had been met as of Thursday’s hearing, according to Carson City Community Development Director Hope Sullivan.

“That said, I do want to underscore that the building permits that have been pursued for the last two and a half years are for a motel,” she said. “They are not for an apartment. This use is a motel. It needs to function as a motel and not as an apartment complex. I want to be very clear on that point.”

Mayor Lori Bagwell asked Harry Handa, principal of Five Star Motel who was in the audience, if he understood the property would be subject to room tax. He said yes.

“We just want it on the record, so there are no surprises,” Bagwell said.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors honored Lorena Gonzalez, youth adviser, as the city’s employee of the quarter on Thursday. (Scott Neuffer photo) 

Sullivan added the operators need to provide proper beds and housekeeping.

“I learned the hard way … that’s the best way,” Handa told supervisors.

Bagwell wished Handa luck but joked she didn’t want to see him again, hoping the business fully complies with city code.

After the hearing, Handa told the Appeal he expects the 56-room motel to reopen within a week. Even with repairs, the old Frontier Motel sign will remain.

“It’s a landmark,” he said.

According to the Carson City Assessor’s website, the first building at the motel was built in 1949.

In other action:

• Supervisors approved a not-to-exceed $199,871 contract with Clarion and Associates to begin a 19-month process to update the Carson City Master Plan.

“A master plan is a community document,” said Supervisor Stacey Giomi. “And as such, to me, the most valuable thing we can do is to reach as many community members and organizations as we can.”

The Master Plan was first adopted in 2006 and sets land use designations for zoning and development in the city.

“They actually wrote the 2006 master plan, and they were really, really excited to be part of the update,” Sullivan said of Denver-based Clarion.

Sullivan told the Appeal the update team will work with community stakeholders and host public workshops as the update gets underway. The goal is to have it completed by the spring 2025.

Anyone interested in providing input for the update can email

Supervisors agreed outreach is important.

“I see the outreach not only about getting input, but also to really help establish the purpose, so that there’s a clear understanding why a master plan is so incredibly important,” said Supervisor Lisa Schuette.

More about the Master Plan can be found online:

• Supervisors authorized a grant application by the Carson City Fire Department asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service) for a roughly $4.5 million Community Wildfire Defense Grant to use in southeast Carson in and around Prison Hill.

“It does have a five-year term on it,” said CCFD Battalion Chief Kevin Nyberg. “The focus of this grant will be fuel reduction projects on the east side of Carson, which I know has been a concern in the past, and we want to address that.”

Nyberg said the grant, if awarded, would be used for three full-time and 10 seasonal employees. He also said part of the grant submission is a waiver for a 25 percent local match.

• Supervisors approved the first reading of a new ordinance amending Carson City Municipal Code 12.09 related to flood damage prevention.

The changes, which staff called minor, will ensure the city keeps its Community Rating System Class 6 rating, which provides reductions for flood insurance premiums as part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

• Supervisors approved accepting a number of grants awarded to Carson City Health and Human Services.

A one-year $749,634 Public Health Infrastructure Grant administered by Nevada Department of Health and Human Services will be used to add five full-time and one part-time grant-funded positions to address public health needs in the Quad County area. The funding will also be used for existing positions including nurses and a public health communications specialist.

Supervisors also approved a roughly $1.3 million state-administered grant for reproductive health services at the Carson City Community Health Clinic. This grant funding is effective through 2026 and will be used for existing personnel and vacant positions.

No local matches are required for the grants.

Bagwell described how people can be hesitant to take grant-funded positions, worried funding will go away.

“I want to let everyone know that (CCHHS Director Nicki Aaker) and her team do a great job of finding a different grant or shifting and moving and keeping the whole place running,” Bagwell said.


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