100-room hotel said to be in planning stage

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<p>Mark Waite / Pahrump Valley Times - A sign advertising a future development across from the Ian Deutch Justice Facility on East Basin Avenue advertises a future site of an appliance store and bail bonds business, but no plans have been presented.</p>
<p>Mark Waite / Pahrump Valley Times - Crews for Double M Construction are building an office and storage facility for Pinnacle Propane on East Basin Avenue behind the Nevada Division of Motor Vehicles building.</p>

County Manager Pam Webster, president of the newly-formed Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority (NCREDA), outlined a number of potential building projects on tap for the Pahrump Valley Tuesday, ranging from the more advertised, like a Pizza Hut moving into a small restaurant building on Highway 372, to a proposed 100-room hotel being kept under wraps.

Pinnacle Propane has already started construction on a bottling facility and office on East Basin Avenue, behind the Nevada Division of Motor Vehicles office. Almost 50 jobs are expected to be created. It will be one of the company’s western distribution points shipping tractor trailer loads of propane in a 300- to 400-mile area.

The old Su Mesa restaurant on Calvada Boulevard is being remodeled into El Jefe 2, the second Mexican restaurant for the owners of the other El Jefe in the Wheeler Springs Plaza on Highway 160.

The other center of construction activity is occurring on the south end, where Spring Mountain Motor Sports paved a new 2,100-foot straightaway last June, part of a 2.1-mile track addition for the private motor club, going up on an additional 180 acres acquired from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. A 7,800-square-foot building is going up for the Cadillac V series vehicles academy and Jet Pack America. There will also be 14 new garages.

Webster said Spring Mountain Motor Sports has plans for a large recreational and retail buildout that will include office space, a hotel, retail and residential construction. Plans were introduced at one time for an 87-room MicroTel Inn and Suites at Spring Mountain, which never progressed beyond an initial planning stage.

Pizza Hut revealed its plans for a Pahrump location, joining numerous other pizza operations in town, with a sign in front of a small building that once housed Romero’s Express, 920 S. Pahrump Valley Blvd. Pizza Hut plans to expand that building, Webster’s report states. Nye County Principal Planner Steve Osborne said the plans are so far being complicated by the proposed roundabout at Highway 372 and Pahrump Valley Boulevard.

Armscor was already granted a building permit to construct two 4,900 square-foot, manufactured buildings at 150 N. Smart Way, in a remote, northeast part of Pahrump Valley at the east end of Bell Vista Avenue. The company is waiting on final approval from Nye County public works, according to Armscor Precision International Chief Operating Officer Fe Grayblas. One building will be used to assemble firearms, the other for more warehouse space, she said. Armscor hopes to start construction by the fourth quarter of this year, so it can be operational in 2014. The company already has 28 employees.

Osborne said no plans have been presented yet to the planning department for a proposed 9,100-square-foot Dollar General Store on Highway 160 or a proposed 30,000-square-foot Valley Electric Association building. Webster said VEA had a pre-construction meeting on their project recently.

VEA Chief Executive Officer Tom Husted told his board of directors in August the expansion would accommodate an additional 20 employees hired in recent years, along with more personnel in the future. The board meeting room also needs to meet handicapped requirements, he said. It will be big enough to house district meetings, he added. The current VEA campus opened in October 1997.

During an interview with KNYE radio, talk show host Karen Jackson asked Husted about his reluctance to release the cost of the new building.

“They want to know why you won’t give these numbers,” Jackson said.

“We don’t have the numbers and we stated that. There’s a process that we go through,” Husted replied, then compared it to a homeowner building an addition on a home. He said when the architect brings back the plans, the figures will be presented to the VEA board. The project was estimated to be complete at the end of the year or beginning of next.

“As we become more successful we add on more employees and we added 30 percent to our workforce. There’s no more room at the inn,” Husted said in the radio interview.

Commissioner Donna Cox asked for more details from Webster’s disclosure about the proposed 100-room hotel. She wanted to know where it would be built.

Webster said, “I’m not at liberty to talk about that yet. They’ve asked that be kept under wraps right now. We met with them, I think it’s going to happen, but I’m not at liberty to disclose that yet.”

Senior Building Inspector Brent Steed said a hotel had been proposed at the entrance to Mountain Falls subdivision at the junction of Mountain Falls Parkway and Highway 160 but the plans fell through.

Rumors have swirled recently that former brothel owner Joe Richards’ Kingdom strip club is for sale and that a hotel may be planned for that location. Richards did not provide any specifics about any such project when asked last month. A sign recently put up at his club, however, noted that it was under new management.

Meanwhile, county commissioners are working with developers of a 160-room assisted living facility originally proposed at 780 W. Gamebird Road. The county is weighing whether to swap six acres of county-owned land on Calvada Boulevard just west of the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension Service, with the four acres on West Gamebird.

Developers are also planning a 20,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor retail complex, Webster said.

Webster said First Solar, the company that unveiled plans recently to build a 65-megawatt photovoltaic plant in Amargosa Valley, wants to build a solar project at the Tonopah Airport.

There’s also plans for another solar plant in Amargosa Valley. Greg Helseth, renewable energy project manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said Pacific Solar wants to build at the site originally proposed by Solar Millennium on public land. Pacific Solar originally proposed a 150-megawatt, photovoltaic plant on 7,500 acres near Big Dune, in far western Amargosa Valley but ran into environmental problems.