Plans to construct a 10-screen movie theater and a 98-room hotel and add more than 24,000 square feet to Casino Fandango's gaming area were approved Wednesday by the Carson City Planning Commission.
"It's a great thing," said Commissioner Bill Vance.
He and other commissioners asked about such things as outdoor signs, security and infrastructure improvements needed to make the South Carson Street business' expansion viable.
Floodwater coming from higher elevations could travel in any direction, but upgrades being done by Fandango will move it toward drainage work to be done for the new freeway, said Nathan Robison, a civil engineer working on the project.
The city wanted the drainage system built with "redundancies," to be safe. Floodwater should end up flowing down Curry Street to Koontz Lane then Carson Street, "if all else fails" with this overall design, Robison said.
One of the residents who lives nearby, Tony Pilant, was concerned Voltaire Street would inherit traffic from Curry Street. Voltaire runs north to south and lies west of Cochise Street, the road that takes vehicles from Curry once they cross Voltaire Canyon Road. The volume of traffic on Voltaire Street shouldn't increase, say principals behind the project.
"Voltaire is the slowest street in town, and we like it that way," Pilant said. He was "open-minded, but leery" about how the expansion would impact the neighborhood.
"I really do appreciate what Fandango has done," he told the commissioners. "A casino on Carson Street is one matter. A megaplex in a residential area is another."
The project will bring more tax money to the city because of the extra casino space and a hotel, possibly a Courtyard Marriott. It also will add a Galaxy movie theater to the south side, on the west side of Curry Street, according to the staff report.
"IMAX?" asked Commission Chairman John Peery.
"No," said Peter Wilday, the architect on the project. "But it's real good."
"Just the floors not being sticky would be an improvement," Peery joked.
The project would be "an important anchor in establishing a community center in south Carson City," the report also stated.
Fandango opened in summer 2003 in what had been the long-empty Supply One building, in the 3800 block of South Carson Street.
The casino was expanded once to its current size of roughly 48,000 square feet. It is considered a redevelopment project, and is within the city's south side redevelopment district.
Total cost for the project is expected to exceed $35 million.
Fandango is also seeking to abandon a 40,000-plus-square-foot section of Voltaire Canyon Road. The street abandonment must be approved by the supervisors.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved the plan for converting the 176-unit apartment complex Parkway Manor, in the 600 block of College Parkway, to a condominium community. It will be called "Avalon Court."
• Walton's Inc., will be allowed to expand its existing cemetery and cremation areas. The business is in the 1200 block of North Roop Street.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.