Reno’s old Star Dust Lodge goes down
For the third time in two months, a frayed remnant of mid-20th century Reno has been wiped from the downtown map.
Like the dilapidated Carriage Inn and Donner Inn in September, heavy machinery took down the long-neglected Star Dust Lodge as part of Jacobs Entertainment Inc.’s vision to transform the Fourth Street corridor west of downtown into a $500 million, 21st century “Fountain District.”
There will be more to come as Jacobs Entertainment proceeds with its plans for the multi-block stretch of Fourth Street, part of the original U.S. 40 east-west Lincoln Highway dating back more than a century.
“This is one more step for our plans,” said Jonathan Boulware, vice president of Nevada operations for Colorado-based Jacobs Entertainment.
As with the Carriage Inn and Donner Inn at Fourth and Washington streets, the Star Dust Lodge on Arlington Avenue just north of Fourth had been a haven for low-income tenants.
But Jacobs Entertainment has been active in successfully relocating those tenants as part of its mission to spruce up Fourth Street, said Boulware, appearing alongside city officials at the site before Lepori Construction crews took their heavy machinery to the 57-room Star Dust.
“Sometimes developers get a reputation for not caring about the community. But we have a commitment. I’m here to tell you Jacobs Entertainment cares about people. We’re not just putting people on the streets,” Boulware said.
He declined to provide details of what Jacobs Entertainment has in mind for restoring Fourth Street other than previously announced fountains along with roundabouts at Fourth’s intersections with Washington and Ralston streets.
Project details, he said, will be publicized by spring 2018 and will include attention to Reno’s past.
“It’s part of the balancing act. You want to preserve history, but sometimes it’s tough to preserve and to progress,” he said.
The district will be anchored by the Gold Dust West gaming property at Fourth and Vine streets and the 833-room Sands Regency Casino Hotel, which Jacobs Entertainment acquired for an undisclosed price earlier this year from Truckee Gaming LLC, at Fourth and Arlington Avenue.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.