The Castaway Inn on West Second Street was demolished today. It’s one of a number of motels purchased by developer Jeff Jacobs to make way for yet-undisclosed entertainment-focused development west of downtown Reno.
The 46-room Inn was built in 1954. It was purchased last year by Jacobs as part of a more than a dozen similar property purchases. Jacobs’ purchases of other Reno weekly motels have led to demolition of the weeklies and, now, vacant lots.
Jacobs began in 2017 purchasing similar properties. He has been widely criticized for calling the west downtown area a “Neon Line” district, despite no official designation of that name, and for not making public plans for the now vacant properties.
Jacobs claims those displaced by his demolitions are provided housing assistance. He describes the weeklies as unsuitable for living – however, for years the city and local service providers enabled and gave vouchers to those needing low-income housing in order for them to stay in Reno’s many weekly motels.
A small crew of workers was demolishing the building today.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.