Commercial building is a bright spot in city’s economy |

Commercial building is a bright spot in city’s economy

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

The economy started to slump during the middle of work on the Silver Dollar Casino’s expansion, but Vice President Troy Wandler knew the casino needed to pull in more customers.

“We had to keep going,” he said. “It was one of those things. We couldn’t stop halfway through.”

The casino that is now painted in orange, red and green stripes with an added third floor cafe, 15,000 square feet and 35 new workers, used to not even have the food to keep customers from leaving after a short time.

“We only had hot dogs before,” he said.

It’s not the largest casino in the city, but the work on the Silver Dollar helped boost commercial construction – an area Carson City Development Services Director Walt Sullivan called “the one bright spot” in the city’s economy slowed by slumping business and home sales.

The city has already seen about $32 million of licensed commercial work so far this year compared to about $28 million during all of 2007.

Shaheen Beauchamp Builders is finishing two commercial buildings for businesses, including a bank and a small slot parlor in North Carson Crossing, the city’s largest shopping center. The company’s Jeff Shaheen said it was one of his contracts that came through before the economy slumped this year.

“It’s getting a little harder to find work, but it’s out there,” he said.

Other work in Carson City this year includes the $20 million Bodines casino that opened in May, Home Depot that opened in June, Burlington Coat Factory that moved into a remolded 70,000-square-foot building in August and the recently finished 71,000-square-foot Carson Tahoe Quail shopping center on the south side of the city.

The Carson Mall is also adding three new restaurants, including Little Caesars during its remodeling this year, which will help people help the city, said Kevin Ray, a representative for the mall.

“Shop locally,” he said. “Keep the taxes here locally.”

Ronni Hannaman, director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, said the city has advantages with a stable workforce that is one-third public employees and being a shopping destination for people in Douglas County and around Lake Tahoe who don’t want to go to Reno.

“When you go to Costco on a Saturday, half those license plates are from California,” she said.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.