Carson City businesses honored for tourism contributions |

Carson City businesses honored for tourism contributions

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Several Carson City businesses will receive honors from Gov. Kenny Guinn at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism for wooing tourists into the area, whether it’s by building a conference center or renovating a restaurant.

About a year ago, the Plaza Hotel completed construction on its $1.3 million conference center at 211 E. Ninth St. Since then the center has hosted business development meetings, weddings and political gatherings.

“It’s one of the newest facilities in the Carson City area that does not have gaming,” hotel marketing director Rachel Bertrand said Monday. “We can do all the food on the property. We can do weddings, seminars and meetings for up to 250 people.”

In most cases, the winners have nominated themselves in a pat on the back for investing hundreds of thousands in growing their business here.

“Usually, the winners themselves have put in for it,” said Chris Chrystal, spokeswoman for the Nevada Commission on Tourism, which organizes the awards. “They’ve heard of the award and they say, ‘what about us?’ They’re not difficult to get if you have built, improved or renovated something that would attract and accommodate visitors. It celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit.”

That’s true in the case of Nate Lance, co-owner of Mulligan’s restaurant and sports pub on Highway 50 East.

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“This is a tremendous honor for us,” he said. “Small local businesses like Mulligan’s help drive Nevada’s economy and we’re thrilled to join the list of businesses that are leading our state into the future.”

Lance and Damon George invested $275,000 into the renovation.

The Steakhouse at Silver Oak, which opened in April, was also selected for the award.

“You don’t have to golf to come eat here,” said General Manager Pete Caron. “We have heated deck dining that overlooks the lake and the Sierra Nevada.”

The steakhouse is on the edge of a fully lit lake at the North Carson Street golf course. The restaurant is inside a $2.5 million, 15,000 square-foot building that includes a banquet hall for 500 people and a pro shop. The steakhouse is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday evenings, for lunch Monday to Friday, and for limited lunches on Saturday and Sunday.

One of the largest additions to North Carson Street this year was the Hampton Inn & Suites, owned by Dave and Sheri Friedrich. They’ve invested from $8-$9 million into making their hotel dream a reality.

“I didn’t do it to get an award, but I’m excited to get it and excited to be a part of Carson City,” said Dave Friedrich.

He said the 85-room inn is exceeding 65 percent occupancy, primarily with business travelers, in its eighth week. In week one, the hotel had a 10 percent occupancy rate. The inn has provided jobs to about 20 locals.

The renovation and restoration of the 1913 Chartz House, which is located near the Bliss Mansion on West Robinson Street, was one of Carson City’s downtown redevelopment projects. The Chartz House is now the Bliss Bungalow, a five-bedroom inn that costs from $100 to $135 a night. It opened about three weeks ago.

Co-owner Joyce Harrington said the $275,000 project is part of the historic district, and it attracts tourists.

“They love the historic district, and to see these old homes restored, that’s pretty special,” she said.

Harrington isn’t sure who nominated the Bliss Bungalow, but the governor did stop by several times during the construction. The Governor’s Mansion is about five houses away.

“He has come in and checked it out and brought friends by,” she said.

The awards ceremony will be Dec. 13 at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.