Carson City’s Ormsby House Hotel & Casino

If you’re headed to Carson City and were hoping to stop by the legendary Ormsby House hotel and casino, you’d better make other plans…

The Ormsby House hotel and casino in Carson City, Nevada, has famously stood on the corner of 2nd and Carson Streets for over four decades. But – and this may be the venue’s greater claim to fame – for almost 16 years, Ormsby House has been closed.

It is not, however, that Ormsby House has become a derelict building – once much loved and now forgotten among the other ruins of time. The only reason why Ormsby House is not currently open to the public is that it is being renovated.

So how does a popular venue like Ormsby House simply disappear under the radar for the better part of two decades… all for remodelling?

The History of Ormsby House

As it turns out, the “Old West” theme sported by Ormsby House before it closed its doors was more than just a decorative feature – it actually reflected the casino’s deep roots in this small but historic city in the heart of casino country.

And, even before the remodelling began in 2000, the history of Ormsby House has been as colourful as that of the Silver State it calls home:

  • Ormsby House in the 1800s

Ormsby House was originally built by one Major William Ormsby way back in 1860. Unfortunately, Ormsby was killed at war later in the same year but his legacy has succeeded him by over 100 years, with Ormsby House retaining its original name right to the present day.

  • The Original Ormsby House Demolished

In the early 1900s, Ormsby House was purchased by businessman, Dominique Laxalt, who eventually had it demolished. And, for several years, it seemed that that was the end of Ormsby House, until the next generation stepped in to raise the sleeping monument from its ashes.

  • Ormsby House is Reborn

In 1972, Paul Laxalt – Dominique’s son – rebuilt Ormsby House and, although it changed hands several times over the coming decades, it grew, once more into a highly successful establishment.

  • Competition Brings about Foreclosure

But Ormsby House fell on hard times once more in the 90s, when competition from Californian casinos was driving many Nevadan venues into the ground.  Once again, Ormsby House closed its doors as the business went into foreclosure in 1993.

Between 1995 and 1997, Ormsby House briefly reopened but was eventually driven into foreclosure once more.

  • Bob Cashwell Saves the Day

Fortunately, the Ormsby House was not kept under for long after the second foreclosure, as the owners brought in future mayor of Reno, Lieutenant Governor Bob Cashwell to manage the venue. Cashwell really turned Ormsby House around before its 1999 sale to the Cubix Computer Corporation.

  • The Never-Ending Renovations Begin…

Finally, after all that, Cubix took the decision to give Ormsby House a complete overhaul, causing the hotel to shut its doors once more in 2000. Thanks to a series of construction delays, permit and other legal issues, plan changes, and other complications, Ormsby House remains under construction to this day.

What the Future Holds for Ormsby House

Although a date for the completion of the remodelling on Ormsby House remains unclear, the owners have promised that it will feature a large casino, hotel, wedding chapel, bars, restaurants, entertainment centre, and nightclubs.

In the meantime, Ormsby House maintains its Nevada Gaming Licence for the property via the Winchester Club – a small bar and video poker and slots venue – operational on Fridays and Saturdays in hotel’s parking area.