South Carson Street / US 50 and South Stewart Street
Ormsby County (Carson City), Nevada

The first interior mall in northern Nevada was built on a 13.2 acre plot, situated .3 of a mile south of the Nevada State House. At the time of its completion, CARSON MALL was located in unincorporated Ormsby County, just south of the Carson City limits. On April 1 1969, the political jurisdiction of Ormsby County merged with Carson City, forming the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City.

CARSON MALL was developed by Francis Carrington of Santa Rosa, California and designed by Reno's Seldon & Stewart firm. The fully-enclosed center encompassed 165,000 leasable square feet and housed thirty-one stores and services.

Anchoring the 3 million dollar complex was a 1-level (60,000 square foot), Reno-based Gray Reid's. This store opened for business March 17, 1966. The mall was dedicated March 24, 1966, with Lieutenant Governor Paul Laxalt (R) officiating.

Charter CARSON MALL tenants included Bobby Page's Dry Cleaners, Mode O' Day Frock Shop, Drug Center, Carson Travel, Stork Date maternity fashions, Smart Set Beauty Salon, Karl's Shoes, a Sprouse-Reitz 5 & 10 and (25,000 square foot) Safeway supermarket.

The CARSON MALL Gray Reid's was in business for only 3 and a half years. It was shuttered September 1, 1969 and quickly replaced by a Disco discount mart. This Beverly Hills-based store made its debut December 3, 1969. Disco closed in March 1975 and was followed by J.C. Penney, who opened for business in November of the same year.

Safeway pulled out of the mall in the early 1980s, with J.C. Penney using the vacancy to create a double-header-format store. The old Safeway was devoted to furniture and home merchandise, with the original store selling men's, women's and children's apparel.

Retail rivals in the immediate vicinity of CARSON MALL were SILVER CITY MALL (1976-2000) {.2 of a mile south, in Carson City}, SOUTHGATE CENTER (1994) {1.6 miles south, also in Carson City} and CARSON VALLEY PLAZA (2007) {3.1 miles south, in Douglas County}.

Farther out of town were MEADOWOOD MALL (1979) {21 miles north, in Reno} and -eventually- SUMMIT SIERRA (2006) {16.2 miles north, in Washoe County}.

J.C. Penney shuttered their CARSON MALL operation in August 1994. Fresno-based Gottschalks assumed the south anchor space, expanded it to 72,500 square feet, and opened in March 1995. The north anchor space was divided between two tenants.

A (10,800 square foot) section was leased as an Urgent Care facility, which opened in June 2000. The remaining area encompassed 12,800 square feet. It was occupied by a Corral West Ranchwear store, which was rebranded by the Boot Barn chain in January 2009.

Around this time, CARSON MALL was given a 12 million dollar renovation. Existing store space adjacent to the western wear store was gutted and rebuilt as Carson Cove, a small streetscape section of restaurants. These were L & L Hawaiian Barbeque, Schat's Bakery, Charley's Grilled Subs and Paradise Cove Cafe.

L & L Hawaiian Barbeque welcomed its first customers in January 2009, but closed in January 2011. Schat's Bakery opened in October 2000. Paradise Cove Cafe began business in April 2010, but shut down in February 2012.

It had seemed that CARSON MALL was on a commercial rebound following its early 2000s renovation. However, the shuttering of its Gottschalks, on December 27, 2009, left it anchor-less. Tenants such as The Labyrinth (a maniacal maze) and Spirit Halloween filled the space on a temporary basis.

A permanent leasing arrangement was finalized in July 2013, with Midvale, Utah's Sportsman's Warehouse. Their (42,000 square foot) store opened for business March 28, 2014. The remaining space was occupied by a (24,000 square foot) Houston-based Bealls, whose store was dedicated April 24, 2014.

Boot Barn shuttered their CARSON MALL store in February 2016. The Urgent Care facility closed in February 2017. The 3-year-old Bealls store went dark on June 24, 2017.

Nevada State Journal
Reno Gazette-Journal / "Caldor" / Scott Schrantz