Plan looks to stabilize ranch finances

A combination of special events, equestrian facilities and development of three non-strategic pieces of land are expected to provide financial stability for the landmark Rancharrah.

The 150-acre property west of Kietzke Lane between Sierra Rose Drive and Del Monte Road has been owned by members of gaming's Harrah family since 1957.

And like members of Britain's noble families, John and Holly Harrah the current owners of the property find themselves with big annual bills for upkeep.

Kevin Singleton, who's overseeing a project to create a solid financial future for Rancharrah, says annual operating costs run more than $1 million a year. Electricity for the 25,000-square-foot mansion that's the centerpiece of the property alone runs more than $4,000 a month.

Assuming that the City of Reno and regional planning officials give their approval, Singleton says an equestrian facility on the property should be in operation by late this year and providing a stream of cash flow.

"We believe that the equestrian center is going to be sold out by Christmas," he says.

The climate-controlled equestrian facility including 65 indoor stalls, an arena and a veterinary facility already is the centerpiece of operations on the ranch. The change, Singleton says, will involve opening it to outside users.

The main house, meanwhile, will become a special events center. A sunken events terrace behind the house that could host as many as 500 people drew opposition from neighbors, but Singleton says Rancharrah executives think they've negotiated a workable compromise.

As they planned a financially sustainable course for the property, the management team of the ranch focused on the core property holdings.

And that meant that three parcels two of them now devoted to pasture on either side of the First Independent Bank building, and one to the west of the Regent Care Center on Hammill Lane would be opened for development.

Those proposals, too, alarmed neighbors, but Singleton believes workable compromises have been reached.

The property west of the care center is likely to be developed fairly soon, Singleton says, as the ranch owners already are fielding inquiries from folks who hope to develop a health care facility.

The property in the northwest corner of Kietzke Lane and Del Monte also is drawing interest from developers who want to build prestige office space. Development of the property will need to work around a 40-foot-wide, eight-foot-high berm along Del Monte as well as some limitations on building heights reached during negotiations with neighbors.

Development of the third vacant parcel, which is north of First Independent Bank, probably will be further in the future, Singleton says. The parcel is envisioned as a possible hotel site.

The plan for Rancharrah also calls for creation of 18 bed-and-breakfast rooms in existing homes on the property.


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