Nugget room renovations required quick turnaround |

Nugget room renovations required quick turnaround

John Seelmeyer

How do you completely renovate more than 600 hotel rooms in about 90 days?

For starters, you have to work from the top down, says Lou Primak, the area manager for PENTA Building Group, which just wrapped up a $17 million renovation job at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Here’s why PENTA started on the top floors of the Nugget’s 29-story East Tower: The plumbing for sinks and toilets is routed below the fixtures.

“You want to make sure, if you have a problem, that you don’t damage a room you just remodeled,” says Primak.

The job needed to move quickly because John Ascuaga’s Nugget runs a big conventions business and couldn’t afford to be without rooms for long.

The construction schedule called for the closure of four floors at a time, explains Michonne Ascuaga, chief executive officer of the property in Sparks. Two floors were renovated while one floor above them and one floor below were closed to provide a buffer for other guests.

Construction reached its fastest pace during the traditionally slow weeks from Thanksgiving to early January when the hotel could afford to be without some rooms.

Primak says the job also required clockwork precision by subcontractors. The renovation, designed by Karen Buttram of MBA Reno, includes new bathrooms, carpets, furnishing and decoration. Room were completely gutted.

PENTA is no stranger to fast-moving renovation jobs. The company headquartered at Las Vegas has renovated some 20,000 hotel rooms through its history.

Still, Primak says, “This was one of the smoothest operations I’ve been involved with. We had tremendous planning going on. We knew every step we were going to take when the gun went off.”

In large measure, he says that reflects good planning by the management of John Ascuaga’s Nugget. The privately held casino-hotel awarded the contract in July, allowing more than two months for planning before work started Oct. 1.

Michonne Ascuaga say the company now hopes to launch a similar renovation job of its West Tower hotel rooms within the next couple of years.


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