City could be 'trifecta of fun' says consultant

Carson City could be a "trifecta of fun" if it uses its restaurants, Divine Nine golf courses and V&T Railway to lure visitors to town, according to tourism consultant Roger Brooks.

"That's what we call it in the office," he said at a tourism workshop in the Plaza Convention Center Wednesday night.

Brooks, head of Olympia, Wash.-based Destination Development, pitched the same idea in the same place in October 2006 when he was lobbying for the city to pick his business to develop a "brand" for Carson.

The city convention and visitors bureau, redevelopment authority and state of Nevada, are paying the tourism consulting firm $65,000 for the work.

The three-part plan, led by the restaurants, will be supported by entertainment, shopping and the city's historical attractions once people get to the city, Brooks said, but they need a reason to come in the first place.

The crowd ranged from supportive to hostile, with Mayor Marv Teixeira as one of the major critics.

Teixeira said Brooks and others in the city are naive to think that the city would narrow Carson Street to two lanes to make downtown pedestrian-friendly any time soon. The state might not finish the bypass until after 2020, he said, and the state won't let the city develop the major parts of the main road through the city until it is finished.

Brooks said finishing the freeway is critical to the success of downtown.

But, he stressed, the city needs to use something it has right now to attract people and the best thing it has are its restaurants.

Visitors always want to know where a good place to eat is, said Margaret Ann Schneweis, a tourism consultant, and she thinks making Carson City the culinary capital is a good idea.

"I think culinary is the way to go," she said. "Everyone wants something that is good to eat and people will drive (to get it)."

Developer Dwight Millard said he's always wondered "why would anyone come to Carson" but thinks the restaurant idea will bring people.

Teixeira was less optimistic.

"OK," he said, "I just say, if they can get the business community to rally together and do this and do it now, let's call it no harm, no foul. Good luck to them."

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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