Indoor pool structure tops Ormsby House |

Indoor pool structure tops Ormsby House

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Jacob Saenz, left, and Reagan Rogers, of Open Aire in Canada, install a retractable pool enclosure at the Ormsby House on Tuesday afternoon. The downtown hotel/casino has been under construction for more than five years.

Carson City’s largest downtown construction project has a new addition to its exterior architecture, which has slowly evolved over five years.

Lifted more than 150 feet into place in pieces by a 70-ton crane, the enclosed pool structure is the latest addition to the 10-story building at South Carson and Fifth streets. The structure is also a new element in the Ormsby House’s exterior plans. The rooftop outdoor pool is original, but the idea to enclose it in glass with a retractable acrylic roof was developed by co-owner Don Lehr, a partner in Cubix Ormsby LLC, which owns the historic hotel.

“I just want it to get together,” said Lehr, who visits the site almost daily.

Construction and remodeling of the 84,000-square-foot Ormsby House began in 2001, but was interrupted by permitting problems and the threat by owners of a demolition in 2003. The city promised to put the construction permits on a fast track and construction has progressed slowly since.

Lehr and partner, Al Fiegehen, have taken much public criticism because of how long the project is taking.

The pool enclosure, which cost more than $250,000, was constructed by Open Aire of Toronto. Workers have been assembling the 2,700-square-foot enclosure for about a week, Lehr said Tuesday.

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When the hotel/casino opens for guests, the pool area will have a heated floor and renovated pool.

When completed, the Ormsby House will have seven-and-a-half floors of hotel rooms.

When will that be? When questioned, Lehr said “next year.”

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.