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Hotel rising

Whip Villarreal
editor@nnbw.biz
Construction is underway on the Courtyard by Marriott near the Greater Nevada Field, which can be seen in the background.
Whip Villarreal |

The Downtown Reno Courtyard by Marriott, set to open in June, will mark the first new lodging development built in the downtown area in decades, according to an official of the hotel.

The construction project on the banks of the Truckee River on East Second Street, south of the Greater Nevada Field, has been underway since early 2015.

Chain linked fences and scaffolding surround the structure as general contractor for the project, Metcalf Builders, continues major construction for the future Courtyard.

Metcalf Project Manager Nick Landis, says that the hotel stands four stories tall and will be just under 80,000 square feet. It will have 135 rooms, including eight suites, to accommodate guests.

Though the hotel is in close proximity to the baseball field, there is no business link to the ballpark. The company says guests of the hotel will likely be people who are traveling to Reno for leisure activities that may include Aces baseball games, hiking the Sierra Nevada or visiting Lake Tahoe.

However, part of the goal for the new hotel is to capture a chunk of the business community that travels to Reno.

Amy Preston, general manager of the downtown Courtyard, says there are a lot of business travelers who have dealings in the downtown area who prefer a non-smoking, non-casino hotel that is also a branded property.

“We are very excited to be in downtown Reno because there is so much energy and diversity in the downtown area and it’s an exciting time to be a part of that,” Preston said. “We’re glad to be part of the new energy in Reno and we want to work with the casinos to help spur new opportunities.”

Guest rooms will average about 250 square feet per room, and will include a media hub, high-speed wireless Internet access along with direct plug-in Internet service and 49-inch flat screen televisions as well as other amenities.

The hotel will feature a bistro that serves breakfast and dinner, a full bar, outdoor swimming pool with a hot tub and a gym.

Parking for hotel guests will be located across the street west of the property at Park Center Tower, a combination parking garage and office building that holds up to 900 cars.

The Courtyard will employ about 30 workers. Preston said that she has started the recruiting process for the housekeeping department, maintenance department and front office employees.

The new Courtyard will be a non-smoking property and joins other hotels in the Downtown Reno area that don’t offer gaming, like the Whitney Peak Hotel and the Siena Hotel. The Siena ceased its casino operations last year and the property is scheduled to become a Marriott Renaissance hotel later this year, according to an employee at the hotel.

Construction workers on the Courtyard project ran into extra problems on the lot that was once home to an older hotel and apartment building. Demolished in 2008, the plot sat undeveloped for years as the Great Recession took hold of the economy and forestalled efforts to move any projects forward.

Remnants of the partially buried foundation of the hotel had to be removed when construction on the Courtyard began. Workers also had to do extra excavation because of the condition of the soil.

Metcalf’s Landis said that during the excavation, the construction team discovered remnants from an old bridge structure that was previously used by the V&T Railway system to cross the Truckee River.

The Downtown Reno Courtyard is just one of several construction projects underway in the surrounding blocks in an effort to combat blight that goes with the vacant lots in the area. Projects include the new Virginia Street bridge, the Third Street Flats and various buildings along Center Street. Also planned is redeveloping the site where the former Center Lodge structure stands and the old Hudson building, which is being prepped for high-end retail.