Representatives of Holiday Inn Express have applied for a conditional use permit to construct a 103-room hotel on Highway 160 just down the street from Gold Town Casino.
Nye County Planning Director Bobby Lewis said the conditional use permit is required for building a hotel in a general commercial zone. The Pahrump Regional Planning Commission will hear the request for a CUP Jan. 15. Lewis said he doesn’t see any issues with the application.
“It’s an intense use and requires a discretionary approval from the RPC,” he said.
Jace Burgess, co-owner and partner of Safari Hospitality, the parent company of Kanab Hotel Holdings/JDL Investments, said they hope to begin construction in February and finish by November.
“It should go fairly quickly. We do this quite a bit,” Burgess said. “I think we’re good to go. The city’s been great to work with.”
The building will be three stories high, 68,000 square feet and sit on 2.6 acres of gross acreage at 861 and 881 S. Highway 160, the site of a mobile home office at the southeastern end of the Gold Town property. Principal Planner Steve Osborne noted the Holiday Inn Express will only have another 38 parking slips, but hotel patrons will share a parking lot with Gold Town Casino.
“Holiday Inn Express is a limited service property. We’re not allowed to have a restaurant with it,” Burgess said. The regular Holiday Inns include restaurants and room service, he said. “It’s comparable to a Hampton Inn with a continental breakfast but no restaurant.”
Burgess said they have been looking at the Pahrump market for some time. He said it’s an attractive market, near Las Vegas, specifically mentioning Front Sight Firearms Training Academy, which has hundreds of students each week.
“We’ve been looking at Pahrump a lot the last little while. We have hotels all over Utah, Idaho and Nevada,” Burgess said. He said his company constructed a hotel in Ely, which has less market appeal than Pahrump.
“We’re excited about having rooms; we’re desperately needing this type of facility in Pahrump and we want to see that. It will be a good thing for us as far as having conventions and special events in the area, giving the local economy a shot in the arm, having places where people can stay other than a camper or an RV is a good thing,” Lewis said.
A report by County Manager Pam Webster, who also serves as president of the Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority, said the 100-room hotel when operational would generate 20 full-time and 10 to 15 part-time jobs. It will be a $9 million project, with $6 million spent on construction, generating 200 to 300 temporary construction jobs.
Property owner Ken Searles said the lots are leased to Golden Gaming, which subleased it to the mobile home dealers.
“The lease was written they had first option to buy if I wished to sell,” Searles said of Golden Gaming. “I don’t have any immediate control what they do with the lease.”
Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone, who mentioned the pre-construction meeting before his board Tuesday, said Holiday Inn Express had originally looked at locating behind the Pahrump Auto Plaza.
“My comment is we can’t wait. More to come,” he said.
Carbone mentioned other projects in the pipeline, like the Dollar General store planned farther north on Highway 160 near Bell Vista Avenue; a 10,000-square-foot, Big Five Sporting Goods store and a tractor supply company. Spring Mountain Motor Sports also has ambitious plans, he said.
A Pizza Hut restaurant is under construction at Highway 372 and Pahrump Valley Boulevard along with a Pinnacle Propane distribution facility on Basin Avenue behind the Nevada Division of Motor Vehicles. Webster’s report lists a new 8,400-square-foot China Wok restaurant that is in the planning stage.
A Holiday Inn Express was planned before, at 540 S. Highway 160, near the Wells Fargo Bank. That project was planned by Amarillo Heritage House Venture in February 2008. Their plans included building a Buffalo Southwest Cafe. That proposal required rewriting a county code prohibiting liquor sales within 1,500 feet of a school, library or church.
In September 2006 the Herbst Family Limited Partnership submitted plans to rezone the 16-acre Terrible’s Town Casino site at Highway 160 and Crawford Way to later add a 100-room hotel as market conditions permit, a five-level parking garage, an eight-plex movie theater and T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant. It included demolishing the recreational vehicle sales office and expanding the gas station, convenience store and an additional 29,618 square feet of casino space. Those plans also never came to fruition.
The submission of plans before Jan. 1 would allow the latest hotel developers to avoid paying impact fees to the county when a two-year moratorium expires. Developers building lodging establishments pay an impact fee of $436 per hotel room under the 2005 impact fee ordinance, which would amount to $44,908 for this project.