Work on Ormsby House interior to begin soon |

Work on Ormsby House interior to begin soon

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Work on the interior of the Ormsby House will start next month now that it has the permit, said co-owner Don Lehr.

One of Carson City’s most famous hotel-casinos will reopen when the work is done about a year from November after closing for renovations in 2000, he said.

“We’ll go right on building until we’re done with the Ormsby House,” said Lehr, who co-owns the building with Cubix Corporation partner Al Fiegehen.

The 10-story downtown landmark, when finished, will hold a casino, ballrooms, restaurants, a fourth-story pool and about 135 hotel rooms. It will connect to the parking garage with a sky bridge, which is already done, crossing from Carson Street to Curry Street.

The remodel of the casino-hotel that first opened in 1972 by former Gov. Paul Laxalt at 600 S. Carson St. will cost more than $25 million.

Lehr and Fiegehen bought the Ormsby House in 1999 for $3.75 million. The building had gone through bankruptcy and closures in the 1990s.

The original Ormsby House was built in 1859 at the corner of Second and Carson streets. The building was demolished in 1931.

Plans for the interior submitted in February have been checked and approved by the city, said Developmental Services Director Walt Sullivan, and the permit issued this week allows work for everything except the restaurants.

Mayor Marv Teixeira said it was “vital” that the Ormsby House got the permit so work could progress.

“It’s a real positive step, and I think they’re really serious about finishing,” he said.

The relationship between the Ormsby House and the city has not always been friendly, however. In 2003, the owners got frustrated with delays in getting permits and threatened to implode the building.

Nearby businesses to the Ormsby House said they look forward to it opening.

Barbara Durante of the Flower Bucket across the street from the Ormsby House said the building looks clean and she sometimes sees work being done, but would be excited to see it open eventually.

“We’ve been waiting and watching and waiting and watching,” she said.

Phil McKinnon of Century 21 Heritage West also across the street from the Ormsby House said the casino-hotel will be great for the city when it opens, and he is confident it will open because of the investment the owners have put in.

“We’re pulling for them,” he said. “We’re still interested in it opening up.”

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.