200 West Second Street
est. 1979
Photo from the Allan Anderson Collection

Jim Bothwell
Grade 1

Walt Akin
Grade 1

Construction of the Comstock Hotel began on May 16, 1977, during a boom period in Reno hotel construction--five other hotels were under construction at the same time, resulting in a totalof 2,074 new rooms. Forty-seven percent of the stock in the hotel was owned by the Fiesta Corporation, which was composed of the (then) owners of the Cal-Neva--Jack Douglass, cal Kinney Jr., Leon Nightingale, John Douglass, Warren Nelson, William Thornton, Howard Farris, Ad Tolen, Greg Nelson, and Steven Nightingale. Another 47 percent of the stock was owned by the Comstock Land and Development Company, and the remainder was owned by several limited partners.

The Comstock opened in May 1978 with 160 hotel rooms, 325 slot machines, twenty table games, one keno game, one restuarant, and included 3,000 square feet of convention space. The hotel featured a decor reminiscent of Virginia City in the 1860s. The casino area was surrounded by false storefronts and a boardwalk typical of the silver-boom days on the Comstock, and the hotel rooms were decorated with authentic antiques, lace curtains, and enlarged photographs of historic early-Nevada scenes. Many of the employees were dressed in period costumes.

John Douglass was the first casino manager of the Comstock, and Chuck Tinder was the first operations manager.

In 1980 a second restuarant was added, and in 1983 the casino area was increased to 4,000 square feet. In 1984 the Comstock underwent a major expansion. An additional seven stories created a sixteen-story tower with 310 guest rooms, and the expanded casino area held a total of 750 slot machines, twenty table games, and two keno games.

In December 1986 an agreement was worked out between the owners of the Club Cal-Neva and the Jack Douglass family, whereby the Douglass family sold out of the Cal-Neva and the Cal-Neva owners sold out of the Fiesta Corporation. This gave the Douglass family controlling interest in the Fiesta Corporation and eventually controlling interest in the Comstock Land and Development Company, making them the major players in the Comstock Hotel-Casino.

In 1996 the Comstock Hotel-Casino added as exciting new display of lights to the exterior of its building. Even though it is out of the downtown area, the Comstock is popular with locals and tourists alike. In May 1999 there was an announcement that the Comstock Hotel-Casino had been sold to the Hertz Corporation of Los Angeles for $5 million. The Douglass family took over the management of the 310-room hotel and leased the casino operation.

According to Dwayne Kling