- A hotel, casino, spa and movie theater project planned
for Pyramid Highway has been redesigned to look like an
old ranch house, based on feedback from the public, developers
$100 million project by Peppermill Casinos and lobbyist
Harvey Whittemore is under review from Sparks planners,
who could make recommendations for changes, officials
could not provide a timetable for the Lazy 8 project --
north of Lazy 5 Regional Park -- because of various approvals
needed. If the city's planners are happy with the design,
it will go to the Planning Commission for approval and
then to the Sparks City Council.
is not a Peppermill -- it is a totally new design with
a very ranch- and farmlike feel," said Carlos Vasquez,
CEO of Art Associates Advertising and spokesman for Peppermill
and Whittemore. "We would like to get started as
soon as possible."
nearby residents have spoken against the project, and
John Ascuaga's Nugget hotel-casino funded a Web site opposing
Lazy 8 plans call for an 18,000-square-foot casino, about
the size of Gold Dust West in downtown Reno, larger than
Tamarack Junction in south Reno.
listened to everything we've been told, been to all the
public meetings, watched the public surveys," Vasquez
said. "We realized we had the wrong product for the
public out there. We redesigned it to what you see now.
It fits in better with the environment and the community."
brought plans for the hotel-casino to a Spanish Springs
Citizen's Advisory Board meeting in September 2004 and
was grilled by nearby residents who opposed a casino in
project was estimated at $35 million to $45 million then,
making the new proposal a substantially larger project.
Casino opponents said the plan changes wouldn't stop their
efforts to defeat the project.
still non-restricted gaming within 50 yards of homes,"
said Roy Adams of Spanish Springs, who has spearheaded
a petition with more than 5,000 signatures. "It's
still non-restricted gaming within 200 yards of a park
and library. People are still opposed to it."
Bertschinger of Sparks, another vocal opponent, agreed.
is a ruse by Mr. Whittemore to get around the opposition
to him," Bertschinger said. "The opposition
isn't against him. It's against the casino."
said the new project is designed so that people walking
in the front doors from the two-story, partially underground
parking complex off Pyramid will not see the casino unless
they look for it.
are separate entrances for every entity, the buffet, coffee
shop, arcade and movie theater," he said.
"Families can come right into the family areas and
not ever see gaming."
200-room hotel will include 20 suites, he said. Additionally,
the 20.5-acre project will include a day spa open to the
public, some small retail, restaurants, and a roughly
$1 million police substation donated to the community,
casino, theater and hotel will be 90 feet tall, with other
buildings limited to 35 feet.
the gaming aside, we've got excellent amenities for the
region," Vasquez said.
plans to use an entitlement for a casino at his Red Hawk
development for the Lazy 8 casino.
plans to sell the land, which he owns in private partnership
with one of Peppermill owners, to the company. He will
have a 10 to 20 percent interest in the operations, he
said, which will be donated to the University of Nevada,
the proceeds will go to UNR," Whittemore said.
also has a casino license obtained from the now-closed
Old Reno Casino, the use of which he said was unclear.
Alex Newman of the Reno Gazette-Journal contributed to