Brian Sandford: What’s next for Carson? Here are some ideas

Our city is safe. It’s close-knit. It’s a great place to raise kids. It has great weather. Outdoor recreation abounds nearby. And it’s not Las Vegas.

Residents mentioned those virtues and many others when asked to list their favorite things about Carson City during a Chamber of Commerce gathering Wednesday.

But the goal of the Soup’s On! luncheon, held at the Silver Oak Golf & Event Center, wasn’t just to praise the present. It was to brainstorm about hopes and expectations for Carson City in 2020, a scant seven years away.

As outlined in a story about the event on Thursday’s Page A1, audience members voted on their priorities for improving the city. The top two vote-getters were improving schools and bettering downtown.

Travel to Reno was a theme in both the what-we-like and what-to-improve portions of the luncheon. Residents like that Reno, and its airport, are a short drive away. Two audience members suggested building a light-rail system between Carson City and Reno. One even suggested a light rail linking Carson City and Las Vegas — which raises an interesting question about where it might stop in between. Perhaps Coaldale and Beatty.

Another idea for improvement involved making Carson City more of a tourist destination, attracting some of the hundreds of thousands of people who travel to Lake Tahoe each year. Suggested methods of doing so included creating a museum at the shuttered Nevada State Prison, expanding the arts scene here, bringing a state or multi-county fair to town, highlighting the city’s rich history more effectively and extending the V&T Railway into Carson City.

Quality-of-life issues also cropped up frequently. Audience members discussed installing fiber optics in every home and improving Internet service, building a new sewer plant, seeing the U.S. Highway 395 freeway extension finally completed and expanding housing downtown.

Completion of the Ormsby House renovation was mentioned a couple of times, but in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. No one at the meeting was optimistic that would happen anytime soon.

Western Nevada College educator Robert Whitcomb concluded the luncheon with a simple message: Conceiving ideas for improvement is one thing. Implementing them is quite another.

Here’s hoping at least some of these great goals are realized in the next few years.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at


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