Past Pages, April 18, 2011: New Fitzgerald’s owner plans downtown comeback

The cover of the April 18, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the April 18, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the April 18, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Renovated Fitzgerald’s aims for non-gaming, budget hotel niche

The owner of Fitzgerald’s Hotel has begun renovating the property and plans to reopen the shuttered hotel at Third Street and Commercial Row by mid-summer.

The changes proposed by DRW Fitzgerald Real Properties, LLC for the 16-story hotel opened in 1976 signify a big change in the business model of downtown Reno properties, says Larry DiVincenzi, marketing and operations manager for the newly branded CommRow resort.

DRW Fitzgerald Properties, which purchased Fitzgerald’s out of bankruptcy in 2007 and closed the struggling hotel/casino in November 2009, is upgrading the first three floors of the property into downtown’s first non-smoking, non-gaming resort, including plans for a 167-foot high outdoor climbing wall facing Virginia Street.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Sports books’ sale reflects capital needs

Growing complexity in the sports book sector — and especially the demand for substantial fresh investments in technology — played a role in driving the sale of the Cal Neva Sportsbook Division and American Wagering Inc., the Las Vegas-based parent of the Leroy’s group of sports books.

The two companies said last week they’ve agreed to be acquired by British bookmaker William Hill.

The Reno-based Cal Neva operations will be acquired for $21 million, along with another $1.5 million to be paid if the 31-location company hits financial targets in the next year. American Wagering, which operates 72 locations under the Leroy’s brand, will be acquired for $9.4 million.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Demand for truckers picks up with business rebound

Heather Aldrich’s cell phone rings nearly every Monday morning with callers seeking to hire her students.

Aldrich owns Nevada Truck Driving School on North Virginia Street, and enrollment has increased 30% to 40% from 2009 levels as new students and unemployed workers seek retraining for new jobs behind the wheel of commercial vehicles.

Though the national recession curbed demand for long-haul truckers as freight levels decreased, a rebound in the health of the national economy has resulted in increased freight haulage and subsequent demand for truck drivers. That’s good news to the handful of training centers in the Truckee Meadows.

— Page 4, by Rob Sabo


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