Carson City Chamber director seeks united vision

Carson City Chamber of Commerce Director Ronni Hannaman speaks to Rotary on Tuesday.

Carson City Chamber of Commerce Director Ronni Hannaman speaks to Rotary on Tuesday.

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Promoting historic aspects of Carson City, including using the prison as a tourist attraction, the community’s Chamber of Commerce director said Tuesday the city needs a unified vision.

“Carson City is the heart of Nevada, and we have the most unique history in all of Nevada,” Ronni Hannaman, chamber executive director, told a Rotary Club audience.

She promoted making the decommissioned Nevada State Prison into a tourist lure, pushed for unified vision in improving downtown and preferred the historic to any outdoors orientation regarding the city’s primary theme.

Asking her own rhetorical question about whether outdoor recreation should be played up as a city attraction and the theme approach she was pushing, she said: “Personally, I don’t think so.”

The Carson City Visitors Bureau is re-branding the city as an outdoors enthusiasts’ haven, though Joel Dunn, the director there, says he isn’t abandoning history as a tourism lure while using both to promote what he calls “heads in beds.”

The chamber director said she recently went to Texas where she saw a unified vision in such places as San Antonio, a populous city, and Fredericksburg, a town of 10,000. She said both work and San Antonio’s began with a vision in 1929.

Hannaman, though she said she doesn’t yet see the vision in city government’s downtown revitalization project to change Carson Street’s ambiance, cautioned people should stop short of nitpicking everything — including cost.

“We tend to want everything done for a nickel when it should cost a dime,” she said.

Hannaman pushed the prison idea by saying many things can be done with it, said consumers should shop local and give firms more than one chance, acknowledged city progress but said more is needed, and concluded 2016 should be great.


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