Company opens its room with a view to community |

Company opens its room with a view to community

John Seelmeyer

Peter Gunnerman, like many entrepreneurs, would like to give back to the community, but his Advanced Refining Concepts LLC needs every dollar of cash to finance its rapid growth.

Gunnerman’s solution? A room with a view.

As it moved its corporate office into the 16th floor of City Hall Tower at 1 E. First St., Advanced Refining Concepts invested in a shiny renovation of a conference room whose expansive windows provide a panoramic view extending from Caughlin Ranch to Mt. Rose to the Steamboat Hills at the south edge of Reno.

Gunnerman, a partner in Advanced Refining Concepts, doesn’t expect that the team from his company will be using the conference room very often.

Instead, he’s opened it to use — for free — by groups whose mission is the improvement of the community, and the room already is getting use from organizations involved in entrepreneurial training and economic development.

“Our goal is to have this room in use at all times,” says Gunnerman.

Its use for economic development presentations is particularly promising, Gunnerman says.

City officials are just a quick elevator ride away to answer questions from visiting executives scouting sites in Reno and Sparks.

“People understand the relationship between the city and business right off the bat,” he says.

The 16th-floor view of attractive neighborhoods and outdoors recreation, meanwhile, helps sell the region.

And the fact that the conference room is located in the office of a green-technology company helps tell the story of northern Nevada as an emerging technology center.

Privately held Advanced Refining Concepts converts natural gas into liquid fuels at a refinery at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. It moved its corporate office to the City Hall Tower from an out-of-the-way industrial neighborhood in Sparks.

The company’s renovation of the 6,600-square-foot space stayed close to its roots.

“We’re not a law firm. At the end of the day, we’re a refinery,” says Gunnerman. “We wanted steel, wood and stone.”

But he says the project took some vision when he first stepped off the elevator with Kylee Bozarth, a project coordinator and business development specialist with Advanced Refining.

“The first time that Kylee and I walked into this room, it was piled high with chairs. But there always was that view,” Gunnerman says.

The Reno-Tahoe Open subleases 1,000 square feet on the 16th floor from Advanced Refining Concepts. Between them, the two organizations brought 17 workers downtown — 12 at Advanced Refining and five at the RTO.

NNBW staff