Scene in Passing: Turn trick-or-treat into artful trick & treat

Tonight’s ghoulish trip into All Hallow’s Eve reminds us all that everyone is an ego-tourist.

Eco-tourism, a horse of a different color, is the latest hot topic in economic development in places where it makes sense. But ego-tourism is available anywhere. People like to don costumes, or watch someone else do the same and perform. Actors, singers, troupers, people fulfilling promenade dreams — they all attract audiences. A related form of ego-tourism is donning a uniform or appropriate togs and re-creating oneself via sport.

All this, if you think about it, has portents for continual aid to local, state and national economies.

First let’s focus on Carson City. The 2013 state demographer’s projection report released recently showed Carson City’s private-sector jobs would increase in the period from 2010 to 2032, starting with a baseline of 28,132 but rising 19 years hence to just 28,723. It also showed estimated gains and losses in categories.

Arts, entertainment and recreation coupled with accommodations and food service had 3,960 employed here in 2010, or 14 percent of the city’s total.

Projections to 2032, however, show there will be 5,446 jobs in those two categories, or almost 19 percent of the total by then.

Late this year we’ve been treated to examples related to that pair of categories. Buffalo Wild Wings is hiring and says it will employ 130 or more; Sportsman’s Warehouse will hire soon for next spring’s opening and says 40 will be employed. And don’t forget Nevada Day last weekend. Nevadans donned appropriate attire, paraded here to entertain themselves and onlookers. Money flowed in the process.

So local and state impacts are evident. But let’s widen the focus and check the nation’s economic well-being.

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, a report on economic impact of nonprofit culture organizations and their audiences, was produced based on 2010 data by the Americans for the Arts organization.

“America’s artists and arts organizations live and work in every community coast-to-coast,” wrote Robert Lynch, president and CEO of the organization, “fueling creativity, beautifying our cities and improving our quality of life.” Those assertions came in a report introduction under this headline: “The Arts Mean Business.”

Economic impact of the “nonprofit arts industry” was pegged at $61 billion nationally, plus $74 billion from audiences atop ticket sales. The report said, for example, the average patron spends more than $13 for meals or refreshments related to entertainment. Direct employment was pegged at more than 4 million. Local, state and national government revenue was pegged at more than $22 billion.

To heck with eco-tourism; promote ego-tourism. Keep life an artful trick and treat.

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


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