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Siena prepares to reopen
by Joshua H. Silavent
Apr 12, 2011 | 3922 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Maryse Nicole, the Siena’s head designer, explains the unique lighting that is featured in the main gaming room Tuesday morning during a tour of the newly refurbished hotel, casino and spa.
Tribune/John Byrne - Maryse Nicole, the Siena’s head designer, explains the unique lighting that is featured in the main gaming room Tuesday morning during a tour of the newly refurbished hotel, casino and spa.
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Tribune/John Byrne - Dave Dixon, a Reno electrician contracted by the Siena, works on one of the game stations in the main gaming area Tuesday morning. The downtown casino is slated to reopen gaming operations on April 21.
Tribune/John Byrne - Dave Dixon, a Reno electrician contracted by the Siena, works on one of the game stations in the main gaming area Tuesday morning. The downtown casino is slated to reopen gaming operations on April 21.
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Tribune/John Byrne - Jay Meilstrup, general manager of the Siena Hotel, Spa, Casino in downtown Reno speaks to the media and local officials Tuesday morning prior to conducting a tour of the newly refurbished business.
Tribune/John Byrne - Jay Meilstrup, general manager of the Siena Hotel, Spa, Casino in downtown Reno speaks to the media and local officials Tuesday morning prior to conducting a tour of the newly refurbished business.
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RENO — New carpet, lighting, signage, poker tables, slot machines, bar amenities and other final touches are being added to the revamped Siena Hotel Spa Casino throughout the week in time for a soft opening on Monday and the start of gaming operations on April 21.

An official grand opening is eyed for sometime in May.

The quick turnaround time on renovation has come as a pleasant surprise to Siena officials, who have pumped more than $4 million into the project since acquiring the property for $3.9 million last November.

“We also shake our heads at the timeline,” said General Manager Jay Meilstrup during a press conference and tour of the property on Tuesday.

Remaking the Siena comes with the goal of attracting an upscale clientele looking for more than just a gaming experience.

Meilstrup called the remodeling process the most aggressive in the history of casinos.

Reno City Councilman Dan Gustin was on hand to lend his support to the project.

“We are very pleased as a city to have this property once again alive and well,” he said. “It’s not just another hotel-casino.”

Whether the market is ready for the Siena’s re-opening is hard to predict, particularly because elected officials and business leaders have stressed the necessity of diversifying the state’s economy beyond the gaming industry.

Gustin said he believes it is a coming success for a region hit as hard as any by the economic recession.

Meilstrup said the Siena’s comparatively small size and special focus on fine dining, a luxurious spa and suites with views make it the right property at the right time.

Moreover, Meilstrup welcomes the entrance of new industries into the local economy because he believes the Siena is positioned to benefit as a result.

“I would love to see a diversified economy,” he said.

Last month, more than 5,000 people attended a two-day job fair at the Siena. Between 350 and 400 positions were filled, according to officials, and hiring will continue through the summer as the hotel-casino’s needs expand.

About 200 construction, carpentry and cleaning workers dashed through the Siena on Tuesday putting the finishing pieces on the 20,000-square-foot casino, three restaurants, ballrooms, meeting spaces, lounges, spa and 214 hotel rooms.

But company officials know they are crunched for time and that it will take a round-the-clock effort to get everything just right for the first customers.

“It’s amazing what happens in the last 48 hours,” Meilstrup said.
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