The Fitzgeralds Casino/Hotel, a Reno landmark since 1976, will close on November 30 putting almost 500 employees out of work. It is expected to re-open in two or three years after extensive renovations but the casino will be gone forever. Instead, plans call for replacing the casino with retail, restaurant and convention space with an entertainment facility on the third floor. The hotel will reopen as a boutique hotel under a different, as yet undisclosed, name.

Reno’s declining gambling market is part of the problem with over a year of declining profits. Other factors contributing to the decision was the increase in competition from California tribal gaming and the general US economic crisis.

“Gaming is very capitol-intensive, competitive and highly regulated,” said Fernando Leal of L3 Development, which is developing the project. “And we think there are many great gaming facilities in the immediate area. So we will go in a different direction. And we think our offering will compliment those facilities and offer an experience that is distinct to the market.”

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