Reno casino closing
October 2, 2008
RENO (AP) ” Fitzgeralds Casino/Hotel in Reno will close on Nov. 30, causing 475 employees to lose their jobs, the developer that bought the site adjacent to the downtown Reno arch a year ago announced on Tuesday.
L3 Development LLC intends to reopen the building in two to three years as a “boutique hotel” without gambling.
The company also is developing The Montage condominium tower with offices and retail stores across the street from Fitzgeralds at the site of the old Flamingo Hilton and Golden Phoenix property.
Robert A. Cashell Jr., president of Fitzgeralds Casino/Hotel, said the current employees “are our primary concern.”
“We are diligently addressing as many of their concerns and needs as possible, including providing resources to assist them in their search for new employment,” said Cashell, the son of Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.
“We recognize that Fitzgeralds is a place embedded in deep history, nostalgia and significance for downtown Reno,” he said in a statement.
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“Many of our team members have been with Fitzgeralds for many years and each one has contributed heavily toward what made Fitzgeralds a success in its day,” he said.
“These types of decisions are painfully difficult. However, there is momentum building in the revitalization of downtown Reno and we believe that the Fitzgeralds and associated properties are critical components to continuing the redevelopment started by The Montage, and most recently by the covering of two blocks of the railway corridor by the city of Reno.”
Since last November, the new ownership team at L3 has invested approximately $3 million in improvements to Fitzgeralds and the acquisitions of adjacent properties, said Fernando Leal, L3’s managing partner.
The property also includes the Old Reno Casino, Reno Mercantile Building and Primm Richards property, to become a non-gaming centric boutique hotel.
L3 expects The Montage to open late next month, he said.
“Taking into consideration the completion of The Montage and the initiation of the ReTRAC Plaza, it is now time for us to turn our focus on the transformation of the Fitzgeralds’ collective parcel,” Leal said.
“There is never a good time for people to lose their jobs, but we sincerely believe that now is the time to shift to a different business model and that the ultimate result will be a net gain in jobs and economic vitality for the community.” he said.