Ormsby House

Ormsby House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (wikipedia.org)

Ormsby House is a closed hotel and casino in Carson City, Nevada. Originally opened in 1972, it closed on September 23, 2000, for extensive renovations. The re-opening was originally planned for July 4, 2001, but was pushed back many times due to construction delays, many remodels and management changes. As of March 2018, the property is up for sale, and is expected to be converted into housing and retail space.


The original Ormsby House was built in 1860 by Major William Ormsby, at the corner of 2nd and Carson Streets. Major Ormsby was killed later that same year in the Pyramid Lake War. The hotel lasted until the early 1900s, when it was purchased by Dominique Laxalt and later demolished.

In 1972, a brand new Ormsby House was built by Dominique’s son, former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt, at the corner of 5th and Carson Streets. In 1975, the Laxalts sold it to Woody Loftin and on his death in 1985, it passed to his son Truett Loftin. Loftin spent a large amount of money on a large parking structure. Around this time all casinos in Nevada began to receive competition from Indian casinos in California. The Ormsby House hotel was forced into bankruptcy protection in 1990 and in 1993 the property was foreclosed and shut down. The Ormsby House stayed closed until 1995, when it was reopened by Barry Silverton. In 1997, it went through bankruptcy and foreclosure again. This time the new owners appointed former lieutenant governor and future Reno mayor Bob Cashell as their general manager. Cashell managed well, and he turned the property around, and in 1999 it was sold to Carson City businessmen Al Fiegehen and Don Lehr, owners of Cubix Computer Corporation. They toyed with the idea of keeping the casino open during renovation, but finally decided to lay off all the employees and perform a complete inside-out renovation, which has now taken over 15 years.

The Ormsby House was closed for work on September 23, 2000. Renovation was originally scheduled to be completed on July 4, 2001, but a combination of construction delays, numerous plan changes, permit problems, and ongoing perceived problems with the city stretched the project out to more than 15 years. At one point the owners became so frustrated with dealing with the city due to the imposition of laws applying to a remodel that they threatened to demolish the building.

The renovated Ormsby House was planned to feature a hotel, large casino, four bars, wedding chapel, coffeehouse, fine dining, a buffet, nightclub and entertainment center. A small slots and video poker casino and bar, the Winchester Club operated on Friday and Saturday in the hotel’s parking structure, in order to maintain the Nevada gaming license.

In March 2018, Fieghen and Lehr allowed the building permit for the renovations to expire, and stated that the building would likely be converted to a mix of housing and retail, rather than a hotel and casino. They reported that there had been ongoing interest from potential buyers, including three deals that had fallen through within the preceding six months.

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

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