Plans for major casino moved forward

A casino that could be one of the top employers in Carson City can build the city’s biggest hotel and tallest building as part of its resort project, the planning commission said Wednesday.

Las Vegas-based Golden Gaming Inc. got permission to build the USD 100 million Sierra Gold on 4.5 acres at the corner of Highway 50 East and the Carson City freeway. It will have a 100,000-square-foot casino, an eight-story, 220-room hotel and stand 118 feet tall, passing the 110-foot Ormsby House.

It also got permission from the commission for a 44-foot-tall sign, a 700-space car garage and heavy water use.

The city board of supervisors has to also approve the project before work can start.

Amy Sances, director of business development for Golden Gaming, said the casino will be “iconic” and a “perfect project” for Carson City, employing about 1,000 full- and part-time workers.

The Carson City School District and the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center both employee more than 1,000 workers.

Sances said the company, which runs casinos in Colorado and Pahrump and taverns throughout the state including Sparky’s in Carson City, will start on design and engineering work, but she doesn’t know yet when building will start.

It’s been working with the city for about a year and a half now, she said.

The commission unanimously approved the company’s requests, but Commissioner Craig Mullet said he was concerned about the parking garage. The garage will be built in the first of two phases, but Mullet said he wants the company to spread out building the garage over two phases so there wouldn’t be unnecessary space if the project is delayed.

Michael Alonso, an attorney for Golden Gaming, said designers want to be sure they have enough parking from the start, and splitting the building into two phases would be too expensive.

Two people who live near the project also spoke at the meeting. One of them, Gary Scheuller, said there would be far more noise, traffic and possibly crime in his neighborhood because of the casino – a building would block his view, too.

He said he knows there’s nothing he can do about the project, though.

“Because we’re little and they’re big, we’re stuck,” he said.