Whittemore Sues Sparks Over Lazy 8

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Developer Harvey Whittemore has sued the city of Sparks for more than $100 million dollars in damages, claiming the City Council rejected his resort project just to protect another hotel-casino from competition.

The complaint was filed in Washoe County District Court Saturday; one day after council members voted three-to-two against his $100 million dollar Lazy Eight project planned with Peppermill Casinos.

A spokesman for John Ascuaga's Nugget hotel-casino in Sparks denies the suit's claims that the action was taken to benefit the Nugget.

Whittemore argues a 1994 entitlement to build a casino at his Wingfield Springs development in Sparks can be moved to a nearby site on the Pyramid Highway.

City Attorney Chet Adams says he thinks the suit has merit and Whittemore has a legitimate right to transfer the development approval.

Opponents say the project would worsen congestion on the busy highway and be too close to a library and park.

Supporters hail the project's benefits to the community, including jobs and tax revenues.