Ormsby House getting face lift | NevadaAppeal.com

Ormsby House getting face lift

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer
Brian CorleyThe Greco-Roman-style roof structure on the east side of the Ormsby House, known as a 'portecochere,' was set to be removed early this morning by a huge crane. The project closed one southbound lane of Carson Street for several hours.

Reconstruction is under way at Ormsby House, where a huge crane was scheduled to remove the portecochere, the structure extending over the building’s Carson Street driveway, early this morning.

The project temporarily closed one of the southbound lanes on Carson Street. The giant structure will be moved to the Ormsby’s southern parking lot, where it will be dismantled and removed, said Larry Tiller, general manager of Ormsby House.

He said the main entrance, complete with another portecochere, will stand on the south end of the building.

“We’re not sure yet, what we’re going to do with the space where it now stands,” he said. “But we’ll probably do something to extend the main building, just under the footprint where the original structure stood.”

Metcalf Builders, Inc. is handling the reconstruction, which includes expansion of the casino and hotel building to the south.

“The south-end addition includes a new portecochere and pedestrian bridge across Curry Street,” said Tom Metcalf, owner of the construction company.

Included in the plans is the Winchester Club, currently part of Ormsby House’s parking garage. Plans call for about 125 more slot machines and a theme centered around a Winchester rifle collection.

Tiller said some of the rooms are being converted into suites by combining two into one, reducing the total number of rooms from 200 to 127.

Owners Al Fiegehen and Don Lehr originally expected to do the renovation without closing the hotel, but after hammering away the walls, they found multiple structural problems.

They announced the closing to give contractors room for a massive renovation from roof to street level and promise an overhaul costing more than $13 million.

Built in 1972 by the Laxalt family, Ormsby House has had troubled times for most of its existence, except for the 10 years it was owned by owner Woody Loftin, who died in 1986.

Bankruptcy shuttered the Ormsby House from January 1993 to February 1995, and a second bankruptcy followed in February 1997. Fiegehen and Lehr, owners of local manufacturer Cubix Corp., bought the property in September 1997.