Tidbits and Rumors

by Mike Van Houten / Feb 24, 2011

Grand Sierra Resort - was bought by minority-owned Meruelo Group. The 145-acre resort casino has been owned by a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. since October 2008 when former owner Grand Sierra Resort Corp headed by Tom Schrade lost it to the financier. When that happened, dreams of the world's largest indoor water park evaporated quickly. Then there were rumors about SK Baseball/Nevada Land LLC partnering or buying a portion of GSR's land to build retail, but nothing ever happened or panned out. I'm excited this property is back in private hands. JP Morgan did a good job running the property but was not interested in investing serious amounts of capital to improve it or develop any kinds of marketing game plans. I hope the Charlie Palmer brand stays. It's a HUGE property to own and manage, and I can't wait to see where Meruelo Groups takes it.

Riverfront Palladio Space Leased - The corner riverfront facing Palladio commercial space has been leased, and a rumored Neapolitan pizza and pasta place run by Mark Estee who operates Moody's in Truckee is rumored to go in there.

275 Hill Street - Several restaurants are rumored to be looking at the 275 Hill Street space. Expect 275 Hill's former space to be leased quickly.

Reno Aces Jobs - Levy Restaurants, the concessionaire of the Reno Aces, will hold a job fair this Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 26 at Aces Ballpark. Levy will be hiring 240 people this weekend to work the 2011 season at Aces Ballpark. Positions including bartenders, concession stand attendants, cooks, restaurant host/hostesses and catering supervisors will be offered at the job fair. The job fair will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Applicants should enter Aces Ballpark at the Rotunda Entrance, between the box office and team store. Candidates are encouraged to dress in warm clothing and bring a black pen to fill out applications.

Great Basin Food Co-Op - Will soon relocate to Court Street near the Lake Mansion and Park Tower. The larger location will allow them to have a local farmer distribution center in the basement, kitchen for fresh baked goods and prepared foods, and expand most of the sections that the co-op currently has, including local produce and meat.  They will host their first ever organic beer and wine section and will have community cafe space for members to hang out and enjoy!

Jones Vargis Center - I had a few folks email me asking when Jones Vargis was moving to their new location across from the Ballpark. The answer is May 2011. Jones Vargas will occupy the 15th floor of the building at which time it will be renamed the “Jones Vargas Center" with giant new signage visible from I-80.

Reno eNVy - I've heard from a couple of sources Reno eNVy might be moving to a different location downtown, but staying in the downtown core still. I've heard from one source the new location might be next to Silver Peak in the downtown parking garage.

New Bus Stations - Bidding goes out for the next phase of the SoVi Complete Project, new Rapid Transit bus stations with loading platforms, LCD screens showing schedules, and covered seating.

Port of Subs Downtown - Sadly, their last business day will be on February 28. While I know some aren't Port of Subs fans, I found it a healthy alternative to fast food options downtown for lunch. They did a great job renovating the interior of their downtown location, and I hope to see the soon-to-be vacant space filled soon with something new.

City Council - February 28 Meeting Items -
J.9 Discussion and potential direction to staff regarding the potential sale of naming rights for the Reno Ballroom.
It makes sense to me to sell the name to one of the two casinos the ballrooms serves, either the Silver Legacy Ballroom or the Eldorado Ballroom. Maybe Google will want naming rights and it can be called the Google Room.
J.16 Staff Report: Approval of a Non-Exclusive Revocable Balcony License between the City of Reno and DRW Fitzgerald Real Property, LLC for the installation and operation of two balconies one of which supports a proposed climbing wall and both of which protrude into City owned right of way commonly known as North Virginia Street and West Commercial Row.
I wonder what 'revocable' means? Does that mean the city can make CommRow remove the balconies at a later date? Seems odd it's phrased that way. I would be a little nervous building balconies if the city can yank the airspace away at a future date.

Additional Info

Meruelo Group

City Council Agenda for Feb 28

Post your comments
  • February 25, 2011 - 5:11:35 PM

    Thanks Mike!

  • February 28, 2011 - 6:27:00 PM

    The fact that Meruelo Group is minority owned is irrelevant to the story. That said, all these "tidbits" are definitely exciting! Thanks Mike.

  • March 23, 2011 - 2:00:04 PM

    Walking along the river today I noticed that Spread Peace Cafe is gone. Not exactly gone gone, but it is now called Urban Beets, with a different theme and menu. The waitress said the ownership is the same but they no longer claim to support food programs for the homeless.