Scheels All-Sports and the Louisiana Jazz Cafe restaurant already have opened with much success and satisfaction despite the downturn in the economy, said Dennis McGovern, general manager of Legends.
“They’re very satisfied with their numbers,” he said. “(The cafe) has modified its projections for the economy, but they’re very happy.”
The two businesses, however, are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.
During a tour with the Tribune Monday, McGovern said that all buildings except one have been completed and are ready for tenants to move in.
Stores such as GAP, Banana Republic, Nike, Off Broadway Shoes, Forever 21 and Adidas will soon be able to occupy their spaces. Four restaurants, including Louisiana Jazz Cafe and Cadillac Ranch, will have been completed for phase one.
“Shell-wise, we’re ready to go,” McGovern said.
But more is still needed, including the landscaping and hardscaping, or the preparation for concrete pavements. Much of the site is still just dirt. Some of the buildings still need elaborate stonework on the exterior.
McGovern said progress hardly has been delayed by the stormy weather in the past few weeks.
“We’ve had good weather – of course, I say that and now we’re going to be dumped on (with snow),” he said jokingly.
A fountain in the center of the phase one site has yet to be constructed, as well. McGovern said the fountain will display a great number of small, inanimate fish with a very large trout appearing to jump out of a pond in the center. Work on that is slated to begin soon.
In the vicinity of the fountain, a circular meeting center will contain the statues of the “legends” — historical figures such as Mark Twain — and Nevada’s wildlife such as bighorn sheep.
McGovern said he’s pleased at how quickly construction has progressed.
“We’re at the point of all ahead full,” he said.
The next two scheduled openings are Best Buy, which opens Saturday, and Olive Garden, scheduled to open in mid-April.
Construction isn’t the only task to juggle, the Legends manager said.
A job fair is being planned for either the end of April or end of May. Although other details have not yet been finalized, McGovern said optimistically about 2,000 jobs are expected to be offered at that time.
“It’s a great thing,” he said. “Anything that will help people get jobs in this market is certainly needed. People are looking for second jobs. They’re looking for a primary source of income.”
Then there’s the grand opening to coordinate. It will the first of two, or possibly three, openings expected, depending on how Olympia Gaming’s Legends Bay Casino construction develops. One of RED Development’s larger buildings will wrap itself around a side and front portion of the two-tower hotel casino, McGovern said. Until RED receives those plans, that building’s construction must wait.
The summer grand opening seems to be highly anticipated and will offer something for everybody, McGovern said.
Casey O’Looney, the project’s marketing director, said RED’s office has been receiving many calls asking about the project and sharing a strong interest in its completion.
“I think the community is excited that it’s happening in their backyard,” she said. “They can now shop and dine in Sparks.”
“It’s a feeling of possession,” McGovern said. “Two years ago we only looked at blueprints and mud.”
Asked whether the new city branding concept of “the Festival City” might have any effect on Legends, McGovern said while there was much to digest from some of the meetings he’s sat in, he said he wasn’t sure if it might have any effect on the development.
“We might change some stationery,” he said, laughing. “But I don’t have an opinion that counts.”
Meanwhile, Best Buy opens on Saturday. Read Thursday’s Sparks Tribune for more information.