Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on June 5, 1996 · Page 6
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 6

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Reno, Nevada
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Wednesday, June 5, 1996
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Page 6
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6A Reno Gazette-Journal Wednesday, June 5, 1996 Council Supports Riverside Plan OFFICIALS ii "There is a certain character that is Reno and I think we have an opportunity here to grow the market. As long as those two are not opposed, we will do everything we can to help Mr. Stupak." Mayor Jeff Griffin. "It could be a draw, the key to revitalizing the River Walk. It would finally justify the money sitting there. It would please me right down to my socks." Reno City Councilman Tom Herndon "It's a great concept. Now we need to see if we can make it a reality. I did not expect him to come up with a ride." Councilwoman Candice Pearce "I still have to negotiate with this guy" City Manager Charles McNeely. "We need to do something desperately at that end of town. I think it's great." Max Page, chairman of the Downtown Improvement Association. "I hope he brings his magic. It makes sense. We have always been interested in (buying) the Mapes Hotel but it didn't work out. We have a full plate now. But we're still interested in the Mapes." Bill Thornton, chairman of the Club Cal-Neva THE PUBLIC What do you think about the Stupak project? "It doesn't matter to me, what's the big deal? If it brings more tourists that's OK. But, does that mean higher taxes?" Monica Romero, of Reno "Too tall! I'm used to Reno being a small town, so I hate to see the expansion, and they don't have the housing for all that Deople. I don't go downtown that often. This would be more Vegas than Reno." Carl Halterman, of Reno "There's too many people in Reno now. I never go downtown because there's too many people. I was born and raised here." Chic Avery, of Reno 'Very cool. It's more business, more tourists, more jobs, more people coming here. It actually brings the old building back to work." Eric Tashkhanov, UNR student from Uzbekistan "Great, let them build that. It will bring a whole lot more money here. But they've got to take care of the traffic." Marvin Neo, of Reno "Why not? If he has money to do it. It's his money, right? It's not the taxpayers? I think it's pretty. You mean there are people who object to this? It's his money! If it was the money of the taxpayers, I'd give it a thought to that because Reno needs other things such as improving the very bad roads." Doris Heintz, of Reno "That's terrible! It's ugly! Totally ugly It doesn't match, coordinate, with the Riverside Hotel. The sign up there is ridiculous. Actually, most of downtown Reno is bad, totally mish-mash, no planning." Carolyn Brundtland, of Reno (ft ' i'-' City council getting ready to tear into riverfront area By Susan Voyles RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL Living up to its promise to redo the downtown riverfront, the Reno City Council on Tuesday approved getting bids to bulldoze most of the Colombo's block and proceeding with plans to purchase the Mapes Hotel. It also approved $5,750 in travel money for a panel of redevelopment experts to tour the downtown riverfront and ponder its possibilities. The panel, being assembled by the California Redevelopment Association, will visit in late June and prepare oral and written reports for the council. The city and its redevelopment agency already have invested $6.2 million in buying the block southwest of First and Sierra streets. The agency would spend an estimated $669,300 to demolish all but the Riverside Garage including the Colombo's restaurant. Depending on what the group says, the council also could decide to demolish the garage. And there appeared to be ample sentiment to go ahead with that on Tuesday. But assistant city manager Ralph Jaeck suggested holding off for now because the garage has some value forparking. The cost for demolishing the concrete garage built to double as a bomb shelter would be an additional $520,000. Bids could be amended or alternatives sought to include the garage. The council also voted to proceed with negotiations to purchase the Mapes Hotel and, under an ambitious timetable, the sale is to be completed by Sept. 1 if the owners cooperate. The owners want $5 million and the city has an appraisal underway. The council has about $9 million in redevelopment funds reserved for acquisitions. But until it has a firmer plan for the river, the council agreed to set aside advertising the downtown riverfront in a trade magazine. And it's not sure a real estate market study as requested by City Manager Charles McNeely is warranted. A number of market studies have been done on the river as part of the failed River Renaissance proposal that tied the city's handsalloflast year. Griffin said he will not vote for any more studies until the council actually does something. In his first year in office, he said the city has nothing to show for all of its redevelopment efforts. To reduce blight, Griffin asked for ideas on how land speculators could be penalized for not putting their property to its best use. State law actually rewards speculators because property is assessed on its current use. Councilman Pierre Hascheff offered a suggestion: "If people had to spend a substantial amount of money to fix their buildings, they'd be more likely to sell them." Councilman Tom Herndon suggested more entertainment on the two blocks of Virginia Street between the Riverside and Second Street. Stupak From page 1A "I'm not down to my last $100 million yet," he joked. To show his earnest ambitions, he offered the council $25,000 in cash on Tuesday, which was accepted. "Cash is good," Mayor Jeff Griffin said. That money will be used to pay overtime for staffers to get a deal together by June 24. The rest will go to Stupak's favorite charity. In reopening the Riverside, Stupak will need to talk with Washoe Casinos say Stupak plan good for all By John Stearns RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL Bob Stupak's proposal to include a wild ride as part of his plan to reopen the Riverside Hotel received enthusiastic support Tuesday from five Reno casino representatives. "I think it would be fabulous if he went ahead with his plans," Ann Mudd, general manager of the Holiday Hotel-Casino a block cast of the Riverside, said of Stupak's proposal to include a daring ride and giant projection screen in his hotel plans. "I think that Reno is in great need of some form of an attraction. I think it would be real successful in drawing people south of downtown," Mudd said. Jim Rogers, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's Reno, said: "We could use that excitement and thrill in Reno." However, the ride should fit with what city planners envision for Reno in the future, Rogers cautioned, adding that he would like to see a creative ride that doesn't merely copy the successful attraction atop the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. Stupak was the vision behind the Stratosphere, which opened April 29, and is the largest individual shareholder in Stratosphere Corp., of which he is chairman. The hotel also must be planned right, Rogers added, to avoid having a "world-class ride next to a beat-up hotel. "If it's done right, it will be great for Reno," he said. At the Old Reno Casino, General Manager Paul Cox praised Stupak and his plan. "His flamboyant flair in the area south of the railroad tracks I think would be tremendous for Reno," Cox said. An initial investment by Stupak in that part of town hopefully would inspire additional investor action there, Cox said. He labeled the ride concept "great," calling it competition that could inspire more local entertainment, thus help draw people. Despite being north of the railroad tracks, Eldorado Hotel-Casino Chief Executive Officer Don Carano said he was "absolutely for" Stupak's plan and said Stupak "obviously has the financial and creative ability to do it." The more people who v isit Reno, the better, Carano said, adding that he doesn't worry about losing customers south. "I don't look at it that way. We have good operations. We'll get our fair share," Carano said. "Reno needs things of this nature." "We have to compete against Las Vegas, which is tough, and we don't want to be another Las Vegas, but we still have to compete against them," said Steve Trounday, marketing director of Fitzgeralds Hotel-Casino. In moving toward new ideas, Rogers said Reno also must ensure it takes good care of its bread-and-butter customers. "Our audience isn't going to change overnight because you put in a thrill ride," Rogers said. County officials about using a small piece of the county courthouse lawn for a ride elevator. To get to the ride, people will enter the Riverside and go up to the second floor. An outside balcony will be built around part of the hotel where people will queue up for the ride. This will keep kids away from the casino. Stupak said he plans to use every bit of the first floor for the casino and enclose the swimming pool for extra yardage. In the restoration, the exterior of the building will largely remain the same and all the rooms will be refurbished. In an agreement with the Reno Redevelopment Agency, Stupak is asking to lease 250 parking spaces short term and possibly long term in the city's Riverside Garage, the Parking Gallery and a parking lot next to the closed Granada Theater. I lis tower ride will require a wider sidewalk in front of the hotel on Virginia Street and he'd like to remove parking spaces on Virginia Street fora loadingzone. He'll also need the city's help for a historic exemption to its 300-room minimum for casinos and lobbying help to win an exemption from the state's 200-room rule. The hotel has 1 88 rooms. Kidnapping From page 1 A As the kidnapping anniversary approaches, the community's response is quieting. Gone are the candlelight marches through downtown South Lake Tahoe. The posters sporting photos of the smiling 1 1 -year-old arc harder to find. Probyn recently split with her husband Carl, though they remain close friends. She acknowledges that tension associated with her daughter's abduction contributed to the separation. "He wanted me to be done with it and move on but 1 can't," she said. El Dorado County sheriff's Sgt. Jim Watson isn't letting go either. Since the morning Jaycee disappeared, Watson has served as lead investigator in the case. Watson and others have chased countless leads, and on several occasions felt they were close a solution. "We build up an emotional high thinking we're onto something and when it doesn't happen you go through a depressed state. Then you pick yourself up and start over again," Watson said. It's been tough, even for veteran cops like Watson. "I've lived with it for five years," Watson said. "Anyone that wouldn't have feelings about it would be robotic." So Watson, along with other local authorities and the FBI, continue to pursue tips as they come with the hope one will pay off. The detective continues to entertain the notion that Jaycee, who would now be 16, might still be alive. It may be a long shot, but Trish Williams of Child Quest International, Inc. a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recovery of missing children said there's room for hope. "Our motto is keeping hope alive and there's certainly a possibility that she'salivc," Williamssaid. Probyn's grown much stronger since those first days. But the pain's always there, and sadness swells when 6-year-old Shayna, a toddler when Jaycee vanished, asks about herbigsister. "She's asking more questions TIPS FOR PARENTS TELL YOUR KIDS: Don't be afraid to scream if they are in trouble. When in doubt, shout. Don't talk to strangers Go places in groups. Make sure your parents know your routes. Run if you have to. Stay in communication with parents. Don't trust anyone unless you know them well. Noise is the best defense. Don't stray off familiar paths. Don't be afraid to ask someone for help. Always have money fora phone call. 911 calls are free Don't accept presents from strangers. CHILD ABDUCTIONS A child is reported missing every 40 seconds. 11 4.600 children per year are targeted in non-family abduction attempts. 4,600 children per year are abducted by non-family members 150 children per year are murdered in non-family abductions. 354,100 children per year are abducted by family members Children aged 4 to 11 are most frequently targeted by abductors.- - Source Ch'id Ouct lniemarto'Wl tnc than I can answer," Probyn said. She dreams of seeing Jaycee alive. But if nothing else, Probyn said she needs to at least know lor sure what happened to her daughter. Only then can she move on from the ugly limbo. , "She's always in my hopes and in my prayers," Probyn said of Jaycee. "T hat's all I can do for her right now." Forget those cellular calling plans designed for business types. Go your own way Iivcrylhinf txi wed to go cellular in one box. For just $39.99 charged to your $19 99 credit card. 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