With one business closing in downtown Minden, the plans are underway to open another one. And this one has the potential to bring a steady stream of people downtown, something Minden needs very much.
This is a relaunch of the plans from two years ago to convert the old C.O.D. Garage building into a casino and bakery. The Hellwinkel family, who owns the building, had a partnership in 2005 with the owners of Slotworld in Carson City to get the casino built, but that deal fell apart. Now the Hellwinkels have new partners, the owners of the Fallon Nugget, and they’re looking to make it stick this time.
In addition to the casino, there will also be a Schat’s Bakery, museum space, and a day spa as part of the project. There’s no word of all the trouble the casino ran into last time it was proposed, where Sharkey’s tried to get a 100-room requirement passed for new casinos in Douglas County. So maybe that’s blown over. They are running into parking problems, but the town board seems to think they can wave that away with a variance, because downtown is so dead most of the time that casino patrons can use other parking lots in the area with no problem.
So while it hardly seems like we need another casino, this might be the jolt that downtown Minden needs to come back to life. And adaptive reuse is always a good thing, especially for old buildings like this.
Now let’s get somebody interested in the old Flour Mill. Please?