Downtowner’s potential buyer wants to refurbish motel |

Downtowner’s potential buyer wants to refurbish motel

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

The former owner of a downtown Carson City motel who lost his business license will be evicted if he doesn’t leave by next week.

Ralph Ahmad must leave the 34-room Downtowner Motor Inn under an eviction order awarded to the DiMartino family by the sheriff’s department.

The family took over the motel in a foreclosure auction Tuesday. The family held the auction to collect a $900,000 mortgage debt, and took the motel when no one bid on the property.

Ahmad refused to leave the motel Tuesday and called the police. He filed a lawsuit against the DiMartino family over the mortgage.

Ahmad declined to comment Tuesday. He was not at the motel Thursday.

The DiMartino family plans to sell the motel when they are able to take it over in the middle of next week.

Frank DiMartino of Carson City said the family is thinking of selling it to the current Downtowner business license holder, Dave Shearer, but “we got a couple others in the wings.”

Shearer said he is “very interested” in buying the motel. If he does, he said he will spend $170,000 refurbishing the two-story building. The motel has had no reordered improvements since it was built in 1962.

The city does not want to buy the motel, but it does want to see the property put to its best use possible, said Joe McCarthy, city business development manager.

The Downtowner is out of step with the growth and redevelopment of attractive restaurants and retail stores in the area, he said.

“The extended use of an older uninviting antiquated motel is certainly not in the long term going to be a benefit to the downtown,” he said.

The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada next door to the Downtowner would like to buy the building, but it probably doesn’t have the money to do so, Jim Peckham, executive director, said in a message.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.