A new, modern hotel casino may be coming to Reno within the next four years if everything goes as planned for its developers.
Representatives from Elevation Entertainment were part of a town hall hosted by the city Thursday for Ward 2 members to go over the plans and discuss any issues people might have about the project.
The development’s area would cover almost 20 acres that are partially vacant at the northwest corner of the intersection of South Virginia Street and Kietzke Lane.
“It is time for this site to be redeveloped,” said Ryan Stone with the San Diego-based development firm. “It feels like the doughnut hole of Reno. It feels like a site that’s just been blighted and abandoned for so long.”
Future plans for the Firecreek Crossing Resort and Casino were submitted to the city in November and include multiple, large-scale areas. The total building area will be over one million square feet and include a 13-story hotel, casino and convention space.
“I think you’re going to see a project that really is designed for Reno with Reno in mind,” said Stone. “In our experience in the casino business, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and Reno is a city on fire as we know and you’ve got projects like the RED in Midtown in the neon lights district and all the other infill developments that are going on.”
More than 40 people were on the Zoom town hall to discuss the project, with community members pointing out issues such as a possible sky bridge across South Virginia Street to connect the new hotel to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. As of now, there are no plans for a sky bridge, but the developers are open to building one if there is a demand for it once the project is done.
Another issue brought up by local residents was the increase in traffic, which could see an additional 11,200 trips a day in that area. The section of road between Virginia Street and Redfield Parkway has had some congestion issues that have been made worse by the opening of the Dutch Brothers Coffee location.
Some community members also voiced their concerns that this project could bring gaming closer to the residential area that is very close by. Project leaders said this would be no different than the proximity of residential areas around both the Peppermill and Atlantis, which are relatively close by.
The following NAB meeting on Jan. 24 will give people the option to ask more questions and listen to what the developers have planned. After that meeting, the development will be discussed at a Reno Planning Commission meeting possibly in March as well as a Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission meeting possibly in May. Dates for when the project will be on those agendas are still to be determined.
If the plans are accepted, the project would take about two years to break ground and another two years to finish construction. Since the proposed area of the site is already zoned as a gaming overlay district, the project doesn’t need direct approval by the city council to proceed.