Casino slated for Silver Springs in February |

Casino slated for Silver Springs in February

Teya Vitu

SILVER SPRINGS – A new casino with 100 slot machines will open in Silver Springs in February.

The Silver Springs Nugget will hire all its employees locally and nearly all the play is expected to come from Silver Springs or Stagecoach residents, general manager Scott Tate said.

“Silver Springs people are who we’re going to hire,” Tate said. “(The supply of potential employees in Silver Springs) is very abundant. It’s been a surprise.”

Tate expects to hire 35 to 40 people to open the casino/restaurant/bar, with that number possibly growing to 55 or 60 in one year. The estimated payroll for the first year will be about $500,000.

The Silver Springs Nugget will open in a 6,000-square-foot building that used to house a smoke shop at the northwest corner of Highway 50 and Highway 95A. Tate and his partner Paul Nemeth acquired the property about a year ago and are about 90 percent ready to open.

Tate and Nemeth also own the Fallon Nugget and the Bonanza Inn and Casino, also in Fallon.

Even though the Nugget has been taking shape within the building for some six to nine months, community leaders in Silver Springs have scant knowledge about what the new casino will offer.

“We know absolutely nothing about it,” said Dick Linderman, chairman of the Silver Springs Advisory Board. “They have never communicated with anybody in the community. We hope they have a decent restaurant.”

Linderman said the community welcomes new businesses and he thinks competition for neighboring Pipers Casino is healthy.

“We’d sure love to hear from them, what they’re doing,” Linderman said.

The Silver Springs Nugget could open this week, Tate said, but he and Nemeth plan to hold off opening until February. They want to launch the casino during a slower period to be able to work out organizational kinks more easily.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board last week recommended that the Nevada Gaming Commission issue the Nugget a gaming license for 100 slots. The Silver Springs Nugget, with twice as many slots as Pipers next door, will be the largest casino between Dayton and Fallon.

The Nugget will be slots-only at first but Tate said plans call for more slots and possibly table games within the existing building at a later date. He said the casino will open with slots well spaced out.

The restaurant has no name yet but Tate said it will be a grill.

Tate and Nemeth have invested $2 million in the Silver Springs Nugget, a sizable sum for rural Nevada. The partners have kept an eye on this central Lyon County community for nearly five years.

“There’s been significant growth in the community,” Tate said. “It’s wise to be there now. We’re not thinking one year but five to 10 years.”

Tate’s goal is for the Silver Springs Nugget to keep locals from having to drive to Fallon, Fernley, Dayton or Carson City to get diverse slot play.

“We’re going to offer good quality slot games and a big variety,” he said. “Our patrons will be taken care of in a friendly manner.”

The casino, together with the sewer system to be built next year, signal Silver Springs developing into a full-fledge community beyond the bedroom community, said Sarah Mersereau, state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.

“The casino will bring basic entry-level local jobs,” said Mersereau, who supplies loans and grants to rural projects, such as the Silver Springs sewer. “There will be another place for locals to go. The fact that more Silver Springs people will stay in Silver Springs will build community.”

What: Silver Springs Nugget Casino

Where: Highways 50 and 95A in Silver Springs

When: Opening Feb. 1

Employment: 35 to 40 people, all Silver Springs residents

Job info: 577-GAME or (775) 423-3111