Golden Gaming to build casino in Carson City

February 05, 2008 5:41 AM
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Las Vegas-based Golden Gaming has submitted plans to build one of the largest hotel/casinos in Carson City, whose city planners are expected to review on Tuesday.

The casino, called Sierra Gold in the plans, is earmarked for the corner of Highway 50 and Lompa Lane with an entrance to the Highway 395 bypass.

Among the issues that the planning commission will examine will be the height of the 107,000-square-foot building. Builders will have to get a special permit for the 112-foot tall building; the height limit is 45 feet.

The plans include a 220-room hotel, casino, parking garage, restaurants and 13,000 square feet of conference space.

Carson City officials, who estimate the project will cost from $50 million to $60 million, expressed excitement at the prospects of a new hotel/casino.

"It’s absolutely first cabin," said Mayor Marv Teixeira. .

Carson Chamber of Commerce Director Ronni Hannaman adds that Sierra Gold’s conference center is "probably one of the most needed things in the city," according to the Carson City Appeal newspaper, adding that the city would be able to host events it never could before.

Hannaman said the casino will benefit the government and people of the city and, according to Northern Nevada Development Authority Director Ron Weisinger, the only ones that will be hurt by it are casinos that "milk" profit as long as they can without upgrading.

City officials are hoping construction will begin by the end of the year.

The project represents further expansion of Golden Gaming’s casino operations. Formed in 2001 by former Station Casinos chief operating officer Blake Sartini, Golden Gaming began as a slot route operator, but quickly cornered the pub and tavern market with its PT’s and Sierra Gold brand of taverns.

Most recently, Golden Gaming has added hotel/casinos to its portfolio including the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Gambling Hall, Mardi Gras Casino, Golden Gates Casino and Golden Gulch Casino located in Black Hawk, Colorado. It also entered into an agreement to purchase the Saddle West Hotel, Casino & RV Resort in Pahrump

In addition to the Carson City project, Golden Gaming last month submitted a proposal to build one of four casinos planned for Kansas.

The company was also contracted by Morgan Hotels Group to manage the casino at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, although last month Nevada regulators approved Morgan’s application for a casino license of their own.

The deal with Morgan was a two-year contract, so it’s unclear whether Golden Gaming will continue to operate the Hard Rock casino for another year, or whether Morgan will opt-out and retain its own operators.