Gardnerville OKs hotel-casino near Lampe Park |

Gardnerville OKs hotel-casino near Lampe Park

by Sharon Carter

When real estate broker Patty Clark asks the Douglas County Planning Commission to support a zone change so developers can build a hotel/casino adjacent to the new Lampe Corners Center, she’ll do it with the blessings of the Gardnerville Town Board.

Clark and Minden engineer George Thiel Thursday asked town officials to approve a zone change and master plan amendment request for a 30-acre strip which stretches between Highway 395 and Waterloo Lane. The property, which belongs to Herman and Annaliese Herbig, is currently used as pasture. It is directly south of the Lampe Corners project which includes the new AM-PM Market and Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant.

Developers hope to change the zoning from agricultural use to tourist and general commercial use in order to build a 100-room hotel/casino, a 70-space RV park, a 36-lane bowling alley, offices, construct a portion of the planned bypass from Highway 395 to Highway 88 that would be adjacent to the property, and also dedicate three acres to the county for a youth skate park.

n Steak and lobster. “If the Pinon Plaza in Carson City is a meat and potatoes casino, this one will be steak and lobster,” Clark told the board.

Thiel said the project would capture the various tax dollars spent by many visitors who come to the area for Carson Valley events but must stay in Carson City. He said the town’s urban boundary includes the property.

“We see it as a part of the orderly expansion of the existing downtown corridor,” Thiel said.

Project developers anticipate relocating the Cottonwood Slough.

“The property has 30 acres of good water rights,” Clark said.

She said the upscale project would landscape the slough, planting trees and shrubs, building walking and jogging paths with the intention of supplying visual continuity with Lampe Park. She also assured rancher Henry Dreyer, who voiced concerns about moving the slough, that the ditch’s water delivery to other users would not be affected by the project.

“It would be green, park-like and pretty,” Clark said. “The only way to make it work economically is to make it beautiful.”

Clark’s request was supported by Trustee Doug Sonnemann who said he say the project as “ideal for the town.

“It would generate sales tax dollars and if they’re willing to give three acres to the park, it’s a good deal,” Sonneman said.

Gardnerville Town Board Chairman Tom Cook said the project was welcome.

“It’s something that’s needed in that end of town,” Cook said.

The town’s engineer Andy Burnham of Berryman and Henigar (formerly Vasey Engineering) cautioned the board that if the recommended zone change is approved by the county commission but this particular project did not go forward, the commercial zoning would be in place for another project.

The town board unanimously voted to send to county officials their recommendation to grant the zone change and requisite master plan amendment.

Clark said Friday the project’s major investor, who preferred not to be named at this point, would likely lease the casino operation out.

“It is a well-funded, national entity that doesn’t want to be associated with casinos,” Clark said. “I have no doubts whatsoever that the developer is capable and excited about doing the project. It’s the right project at the right place.”

The planning commission begins Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the old courthouse in Minden.

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