The idea of building two hotel properties at the Sparks Marina that has been floating around for years is finally coming to fruition as partners Olympia Companies and Tharaldson Hospitality Management recently broke ground on the 104-room Residence Inn by Marriott and the 102-room Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton last week.
Within walking distance to shopping, dining, and entertainment venues of The Legends Outlets the hotels also offer lakefront views of the Sparks Marina and appeals to business travelers and tourists alike, especially with its accessibility to the Interstate 80 corridor.
“We acquired the land in 2007; it had always been contemplated that we would put a hotel and casino on this site, synergetic to the shopping center,” says Olympia Companies CMO DeCourcy Graham.
However, when the economic recession hit the project was put on hold. Now that companies including Apple, Tesla, and Switch are driving diversification and jobs into Sparks, it seems as though now is the perfect time to build out the 70,000 and 80,000-sq-ft hotels and casino.
Once open, Olympia and Tharaldson will share ownership of the hotels although Tharaldson will manage the day-to-day operations.
“We are very excited to add these two hotels to our portfolio,” says Tharaldson Hospitality Management COO Aimee Fyke. “We have a great location in a dynamic development, and Sparks is an outstanding community with all the fundamentals we love to see surrounding our hotels. Both of these hotel brands are top performers when it comes to guest satisfaction, and we are delighted to bring them to Sparks.”
Along with the two hotels, the 70,000-sq-ft Legends Bay Casino is also planned for that area which will include gaming, entertainment, and dining amenities.
“This was zoned as a preferred gaming site by the city, and we got a special use permit put together. Where the hotel products came with proven blueprints, the design process of Legends Bay Casino is a bit more extensive in scope and requires a longer development window,” says Graham. “We are taking careful consideration to create an experience that will be a welcomed addition to the Sparks community, with an appeal to both locals and out of town visitors alike.”
The groups had contemplated a bigger project at the peak of the economic boom when they acquired the land a decade ago, but decided to scale it down now that they’ve revisited it after the recession. The time that passed also allowed Scheels and The Legends Outlets to mature.
“Now the economy has stabilized at the gaming perspective and this is the right size for the market and location,” Graham says. He added that having access to the Marriott and Hilton customer databases should also drive more business travel and tourism to the area.
“We are very excited about the project; we’ve been working on this for a decade and are finally happy to get this underway,” he says.
“The original plan for the Legends always included hotels and it will certainly help the activities and business going on around them, plus it’s compatible with business travel,” says City of Sparks City Manager Steve Driscoll. “The Olympia group is a very good developer; their two other properties in the state do well (referring to Carson City’s Casino Fandango and Galaxy Fandango movie theater).”
“There is a lot of growth and exciting things happening in Sparks,” says Tharaldson Hospitality Development Manager Joe Blagg. “We like to build hotels in places where there are a lot of amenities for our guests. With the shopping and marina right there, this is a unique location and market,” he adds.