In January, The Peppermill Reno will become the first geothermal-heated U.S. hotel, spa and casino. During an $8 million drilling project, contracted workers discovered a hot water aquifer beneath one of the hotel towers. The nearly 170 degrees F water isn’t hot enough to generate electricity, but it can provide enough heat and hot water for use in all its restaurants, casino spaces, spa facilities and in more than 1,600 guest rooms.
Peppermill’s fortune comes at a time when the city of Reno and the state of Nevada are raising awareness about the area’s immense geothermal potential and encouraging geothermal companies to relocate there. The state granted a record 162 permits this year, up from 130 last year, to organizations wanting to drill for wells. Another local hotel, the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, is also considering drilling for wells beneath its property, though it has not filed for a permit yet.