Ormsby House preparing for outside overhaul

After nine months of planning and demolition work inside, contractors at the Ormsby House are preparing the next phase, a new facade and greater parking accessibility.

City officials reviewed preliminary plans this week that call for a closure of Seventh Street between Carson and Curry streets, and a third-floor pedestrian walkway connecting the casino to the parking garage.

"The plans will call for new exterior walls mainly on the north and east sides," said Carson City deputy building official Larry McPhail. "They want to start on the exterior before winter."

Detailed plans are expected to be submitted for review by Carson City contractor Shaw Construction in the coming days.

On Tuesday, the Ormsby House participated in a major project review addressing just the street closure and pedestrian walkway, said senior planner Skip Canfield.

"It's a voluntary process just to get the agencies together and get everyone on the same page," he said. "They are really just starting. This is going to be a long process."

Those changes would have to be reviewed by the Carson City Planning Commission and city supervisors.

The Ormsby House has been closed since November. Owners Al Fiegehen and Don Lehr have said a $10 million complete remodel -- including structural changes -- will transform the nearly 30-year-old building into a five-star hotel.

When the project was announced, Ormsby House executives said the hotel/casino would be closed for nine months.

On the outside, new windows and architectural details will update the look of the building. Currently on the inside, the third through 10th floors have been gutted to make room for expanded suites, McPhail said.

There are also plans for restaurants and meeting rooms to be relocated, and the casino floor to be expanded.

"From what I hear, there isn't much besides a shell," McPhail said.

If approved by the city, the closure of Seventh Street will allow the casino's valet parking lot to expand and meet the existing lot which lies west of AM/PM.

The owners of the Ormsby House were unavailable for comment.


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