Reno’s historic Harrah’s hotel-casino was recently sold for $50 million by VICI Properties and Caesars Entertainment to Las Vegas-based real estate group CAI Investments, after being a landmark presence in the Northern Nevada city for nearly 83 years.
Harrah’s Reno first opened in 1937. It was founded by William F. “Bill” Harrah and originally a small bingo parlor and casino. Harrah was a successful entrepreneur in the United States, and Harrah’s Reno was the company’s first establishment. Today, the Harrah’s chain has 17 casinos in 11 different states. Four of them are located in Nevada, with Harrah’s properties in Laughlin, Reno, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe.
There are plans to renovate and update the long-established casino into a mixed non-gambling property in downtown Reno. Eventually, this area will be known as the Reno City Center.
Plans for the New Reno City Center
The remodeled property will feature about 530 market-rate apartments, 150,000 square feet of new office space, and 78,500 square feet of retail. Some of the planned stores include dining options such as a grocery star, a bar, a coffee shop, and even a few restaurants.
The Reno City Center will also feature a fitness center. There are plans to accommodate other recreational activities as well. According to CAI, there may be areas to walk around, similar to a park-like structure. Plans also factor in the east tower but remain fluid, CAI told the Reno Gazette Journal.
“The goal with the property is to offer much-needed housing, office and services to the downtown Reno market — all of which are instrumental in the continued diversification of the Reno economy”, said CAI Investments CEO Chris Beavor.
“Fulfilling these needs are especially important if Reno wants to continue attracting new businesses and employees to the region.”
The plans for this update is for the new infrastructure to be versatile. They plan to host plenty of easy and fun options on-site. The idea is for future residents to be able to take the elevator down from their apartment and have a walking distance commute at any of the offices. Then, they can take another walk down the river or head over to the gym. And it could all take place within the very same building.
Services are also planned to be a la carte, giving renters the options to pick and choose which services they want to utilize and pay for, be it parking, the gym, or pet-friendly lodging features. Apartments will be offered as one and two bedroom configurations, priced at market rate.
Estimated Timeline for Completion
Beavor hopes to have the Harrah’s Reno refresh done within 30 months after Caesars’ lease finishes later this year. Gryphon Private Wealth Management and CAI will be working together for the Reno City Center project.
The City Center also aimsto open at the same time as CAI’s 20-story boutique hotel project that will be located on Court Street. The boutique hotel project will be built from the ground up, unlike Harrah’s reboot.
Beaver is a Reno native. Hopefully, the two projects will add substantial value, bring traffic, and garner more attention toward downtown Reno.
“If you think of Reno in terms of a baseball match, we’re just right now at the top of the third,” Beavor said.
“Everyone in Reno has done a great job in the last 10 to 15 years with the downtown regional plan. Our next push into the fourth inning is to help improve the repositioning of downtown.”