Casino shakeup in Douglas

A lot of people are keeping a close eye on how the casino industry shakes out in Douglas County, and we expect it will be a long time - years, in fact - before we have the answers.

The most recent developments show optimism for the future of gaming in Douglas. Two large projects have been proposed in the past week, either one of which could significantly change Carson Valley.

One is being proposed by Tom Bruce and Ferenc Szony near the intersection of highways 395 and 88, bringing a hotel-casino and commercial development.

The 115-acre project may face an uphill battle, because it needs a zoning change, and neighbors already are sounding the alarm. As a business development, however, it promises much.

On the heels of that project comes the announcement by Butch and David Peri they are planning a 100-room hotel-casino at Highway 395 and Pine Nut Road, which will also need a zoning change for the 186-acre parcel.

If both projects are built, sometime in the next few years, the Carson Valley will take on a decidedly European flavor.

Meanwhile, one of Carson Valley oldest casinos, Sharkey's, recently sold to Harold Holder Sr., who has some plans for renovations while maintaining the uniqueness of the place. And the Carson Valley Inn has a $6 million expansion well under way, which involved larger gaming area and, next week, pool and spa.

At Stateline, the big news has been Harrah's acquisition of Harveys', which has led to 23 management-level layoffs as the operations are consolidated.

While those layoffs are tough on the individuals, the expectation in the long run is a stronger company and a couple of healthy casinos at Stateline.

All these add up to a significant amount of confidence by investors and developers in the economics of gaming in Douglas County.


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