Ormsby management wins gaming board OK

Ormsby House owner Don Lehr told gaming regulators Wednesday he and partner Al Fiegehen are still hoping to reopen the hotel casino in time for the 2005 legislative session.

Lehr made the comment to the Gaming Control Board, which voted to recommend approval of his application to become general manager and his daughter Robin Zakzeski as assistant manager.

"We've struggled," he told the board, referring to the building which has been stripped to little more than a concrete and steel shell. "We learned why they use dynamite on hotels in Las Vegas."

He said, however, there is "a good shot we'll open the hotel in early 2005."

"We really want to get open before the Legislature," he said.

Zakzeski told the board that business at the Winchester Club, the bar and slot machine facility on the ground floor of the Ormsby House's parking garage, has been slow - in part because of problems caused by demolition and construction at the hotel casino.

"We would prefer a few more people," she said.

The board voted to support applications by Lehr and Zakzeski to manage the resort once it opens. The recommendation will be voted on by the Gaming Commission at its June 17 meeting.

The Ormsby House was opened in 1972 by the Laxalt family, which later sold it to veteran casino manager Woody Loftin. The resort wound up in bankruptcy after Loftin died and closed in January 1993. It reopened in February 1995 but shut down again two years later.

Fiegehen and Lehr, who own Cubix Corp., bought the casino in 1999 and reopened for business as they began remodeling.

They closed in December 2000 after deciding a total remodel was necessary instead of piecemeal improvements and changes.

Lehr said they will work on putting the exterior of the building back on this summer, then do the interior work.

They have said the final product will be an upscale facility in the 10-story structure at Fifth and Carson streets.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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