Carson Valley Inn unveiled plans last week for an outdoor events center to accommodate everything from concerts with 800 guests to more intimate settings like weddings or class reunions.
Developers of the project brought plans Nov. 7 to the Minden Town Board which heartily endorsed the events center.
Mark Rotter of Manhard Consulting told the board the events center would have a "hay barn" concept.
"It will be a fun venue for entertainment, concerts, weddings and meetings," Rotter said. "The overall look will be a reflection of the barns in the area."
He said the open-air structure will be a wood building with a metal roof on a one-acre site northeast of the Inn's existing parking lot at the edge of a wetland area.
"It's a pretty simple building and not as large as you think," Rotter said. "It will serve Carson Valley Inn and the whole community very well."
"I am excited about the opportunity to work on this with you," said board member Charlie Condron. "We have a beautiful Valley you can show off while entertaining."
Carson Valley Inn General Manager Steve Chappell said in an interview Friday the Inn has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and Douglas County to discuss challenges presented by the proximity to wetlands.
"The water table is so close to the ground right there, we've gotten as much done as we can at this point," Chappell said.
With the town's approval, the next step is to submit plans to the county, which Chappell said is planned after the first of the year.
Depending on the weather, he said the Inn hopes to begin construction in the spring and have the center operational in the summer.
He said the Inn won't be competing with venues like the Stateline casinos which command top-dollar acts.
"Our clientele is not necessarily in the 21-30 age demographic. We're geared more toward the 40-year-old and older. But we want to try new things. We're not going to be able to charge $100 for tickets. We'll look for bands we can afford and still attract enough people to go in and watch," he said.
He said the Inn has been doing concerts in the convention center.
"We can accommodate 350-400 people. They've been very successful but the room is not necessarily conducive to that kind of event with the low ceilings," Chappell said.
Speakers at the Minden Town Board cautioned the project's representatives to be cognizant of the noise level, bringing up an outdoor venue in the center of Genoa several years ago that was shut down because of complaints.
The design of the stage directs the noise toward the north.
"I think this is fantastic," said resident Sandy Deyo. "I live in Winhaven and I don't think this will bother us at all."
Chappell said concerts would be over by 10 p.m. to accommodate the neighbors.
"We're willing to work through all these issues," Rotter told the board.
Chappell said the Inn is cognizant of attempts to build an indoor arts center, as well as other community gathering areas.
"We're not trying to steal community events from other venues," he said. "(Owner) Mike Pegram's goal always has been to help the Valley as a whole, as well as help the Inn grow and become more successful."