John Barrette

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July 19, 2014
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Scene In Passing: Disruptive infotech offers up locks to pick

It’s time to declare Carson City open for business. Finally. Again. Whatever.

Whether that proves accurate or misses the mark, only time will tell. Funny thing, though, about time. It’s fleeting, an understatement extraordinaire as the middle of the second decade in the 21st century looms.

As Michael Lewis, best-selling author of “Liar’s Poker,” “Moneyball,” and other writings implied in his 2001 book “Next: the future just happened,” the present is in the rearview mirror and tomorrow is all but gone. Here’s how he put it:

“It is wildly disruptive to speed up information, and speeding up information was not the only thing the Internet had done. The Internet had made it possible for people to thwart all sorts of rules and conventions. It wasn’t just the commercial order that was in flux. Many forms of authority were secured by locks waiting to be picked.”

Fast forward to today. Now the Internet umbilical cord is a traveling passport to everything and anywhere. On-the-go people access it by smart phone or tablet. Being open for business. then, is in flux because forms of authority are locks waiting to be picked and young adults are info-junkies. Television’s window on exotic climes, even if viewed, won’t necessarily trump options online.

So what shows Carson City is trolling for travelers and can deliver local attractions or ambiance to lure the mobile from the global marketplace? Consider this wondrous place and recent events.

“In the long term, Carson City will remain Northern Nevada’s premier location for doing business,” City Manager Nick Marano said as he announced a national search to replace Kevin Gattis, the city’s chief building official, who resigned on July 11. “Remain?” Some may have asked themselves about that, but never mind; it’s a sign of things to come as, once again, the future just happened.

It also happened Thursday when the Board of Supervisors voted, as anticipated, to issue $13.6 million in bonds for capital projects. Among them are an indoor recreational complex and spruced-up commercial corridors, particularly downtown. The recreational facility was two decades in limbo. The pedestrian-friendly downtown initiative is a decade old. Now property owners and businesses need to consider upgrading as well.

Businesses also need a growing city and visitors. Growth isn’t accidental. People visit first, move later. Even if they don’t move, one fun visit spawns another. Getting the word out is a necessary part of luring the active and curious. So a recent Visitors Bureau report about a 21 percent boost in people checking the community’s tourism website, many from mobile devices, is another sign the future is present and time is fleeting.

If the marketing message and disruptive technology work, Carson City commerce can cash in.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 19, 2014 11:47PM Published Jul 19, 2014 11:47PM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.