Past pages, March 14, 2011: Siena preps to reopen, builders once again face rising prices

The cover of the March 14, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the March 14, 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 March 14, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Siena nears return after fast renovation

The new owners of the Siena Hotel Spa Casino believe they’re setting a record in the gaming industry for the fastest hotel-casino opening.

The owners purchased the downtown Reno property for $3.9 million in a bankruptcy auction on Nov. 10 and took possession on Dec. 3. Despite a multi-million dollar renovation of the entire property, including 184 rooms and 30 suites, casino floor, spa and restaurants, the owners plan on having everything but the gaming component open to the public on April 12, with gaming to soon follow.

“The time frames have been unrealistic,” says Jay Meilstrup, general manager of th
e property and a co-owner. “A typical casino purchase takes six to 18 months, and we bought this in a week. Normally there is a transition period, which is about nine months, and we are opening up in four months. It probably will be the fastest casino opening in the history of gaming.”

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Builders face rising prices for materials

Rising fuel prices are putting the brakes on mobile businesses.

Owners of businesses that travel to their customers often cite lower operational costs as one of the primary benefits of founding a company on wheels.

But Jason Dias, owner of Pit Stop Mobile Tire Shop, says his monthly fuel expenditures are the equivalent of leasing a small shop space due to the rising cost of gasoline.

Pit Stop has two trucks on the road, and Dias is building a third. Each truck logs well over 100 miles per day — trips to Tire Rack’s West Coast distribution center at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center to pick up customer orders average 70 miles round-trip.

“It is a wash,” Dias says of the money he saves by not having a lease. “These are not Honda Civics.”

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Talent pool, Bay Area proximity draw web firm to Reno

The fast-growing media company that’s opening its first branch office in Reno was drawn by the talent in the region as well as its proximity to Northern California.

MyNewPlace, the second-largest website for apartment and home rentals in the U.S., will open the Reno office in mid-March. The company headquartered at San Francisco leased 3,000 square feet at the building at 300 E. Second St.

MyNewPlace expects to employ about 20. Snow Conant, social marketing manager for the company, said the company has focused its recruitment efforts on college campuses in the region, although it expects to employ higher-level staff as well.

— Page 2, by John Seelmeyer


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