Meeting space coming to Casino Fandango | NevadaAppeal.com

Meeting space coming to Casino Fandango

Ronni Hannaman

Casino Fandango President and General Manager Court Cardinal stands in front of what now appears to be a big hole in the ground but will soon morph into a much-needed small convention center.

Those who organize meetings have long lamented about the lack of adequate meeting space in Carson City.

Meeting planners from across the state have long sought to hold meetings in the capital city preferring to avoid the congestion and distractions prevalent in Reno or Las Vegas. Local service clubs, nonprofits and others who wish to assemble more than 100 persons have found the lack of meeting space frustrating and often find themselves having to book space in Reno.

Though there are several sites that can accommodate meetings under 100, there are few that accommodate up to 500, and those meeting spaces are generally booked solid. Plus, a few of the sites require bringing in your own caterer.

"The lack of meeting space is about to change," so states Court Cardinal, president and general manager of Casino Fandango. "It is time we keep meetings here instead of allowing them to book in Reno — this city needs more space!" He has long debated the need to build behind the existing casino to be able to accommodate the hundreds of meeting requests he continues to receive and is convinced the time is now right when considering all the change and growth continuing to take place.

Construction began just after Christmas for the 6,000-square-foot space that will be able to accommodate 300 for a sit-down dinner and 750 in theater style. The large ballroom can be divided into four 1,500-square-foot break-out rooms accommodating more than one meeting. The new space will be in addition to the current space at the back of the casino that can accommodate up to 150.

The back hallway will be reconfigured by moving walls to be able to provide additional space for coffee breaks and displays.

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According to Cardinal, the projected completion date is around July 1, though it may be finished earlier.

In other improvements, Cardinal is pleased with the positive reaction he has been receiving regarding the million-dollar makeover of the Galaxy Fandango movie theater, now offering luxury leather seating in the 10 theaters with the larger theaters offering reclining seats. The theater was added to the complex in July 2007.

The Courtyard by Marriott, also owned by Olympia Gaming, was opened in the spring of 2008 to provide a needed upscale branded hotel in our city. As with everything Cardinal is involved in, the hotel continues to be remodeled to meet the needs of today's travelers.

Cardinal asserts, "Our goal is to be Carson's premier property and we continually up the bar to be the best." With their five award-winning dining establishments, four bars, latest gaming technology, friendly employees, the theater and the hotel, this once downtrodden Supply One store has become quite the destination providing guests an all-in-one experience.

"We make it a point to keep everything fresh," states Cardinal as he previewed the changes being made to the outside marquee and the exterior repainting giving the casino a fresh look. "We are constantly reinvesting in our business — inside and out." The refresh is expected to be complete by April.

A permit had been under review to build a Towneplace Suites by Marriott, but the project was scuttled when Cardinal and his partners sold the property to Kromer Investments to build additional Carson Hills Apartments, bringing the total to over 500 units providing renters with Casino Fandango entertainment and dining options within walking distance as well as the "best views in the city." The new units managed by Kromer Investments will relieve the shortage of the first-class apartments featuring well-appointed amenities in the one, two and three-bedroom units. Kromer manages more than 3,000 units in Reno.

The owners of Olympia Gaming are conservative and have hit the mark each time they have decided to expand and grow as our city expands and grows. The timing for the building of the convention center is another chapter in the success story started in the summer of 2003.