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Carson Nugget stewardship building economic diversity

Tammy Westergard
For the Nevada Appeal

It’s reasonable to ask how in this economy anyone can afford to build anything, let alone the pieces of a projected $80-million-plus Carson City center. The answer seems to lie in the counterintuitive notion that adversity brings opportunity.

In terms of the cost to build things, the opportunity is affordability. Commodity and labor prices are at historic lows.

In terms of the significance of corporate citizenship, it’s the gift to Carson City upon the recent passing of Nugget owner Mae B. Adams.

A transaction between the Mae B. Adams Trust and Mr. Alan Adams for 100 percent ownership of the Carson Nugget, Inc. has been executed. It is now subject to approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission, scheduled for an upcoming hearing. Pending approval, the trust will be the sole owner and operator of the Carson Nugget, including all of the real property and the casino.

The beneficiary of the trust is the Hop and Mae B. Adams Foundation, whose primary mission is to support the youth of Carson City through educational opportunities that lead to jobs. The trust supports the creation of the proposed library/business incubator as a center of learning and entrepreneurial opportunity. Through the introduction of new business types and industry sectors that are not currently in the region, it is expected that the effort will create high-paying jobs and grow our local economy.

A business-focused high-tech public library coupled with a business incubator folded into a master development that includes office buildings, retail and commercial spaces, a public plaza, a transportation hub, housing and an evening entertainment venue are proposed for eight acres of mostly Nugget-owned parking lots.

Further, according to Meridian Business Advisors’ economic impact and financial analysis, completed in December, an average of 561 construction jobs (with 820 jobs in the first year) will be generated by the project.

Between today’s more affordable building climate, the generosity of Mae B. Adams and the healthy impact of getting people back to work, the price of missing this opportunity may be the bigger question.

Communication is vital between the community at large, the Board of Supervisors and Carson Nugget Economic Development Project team. Toward that end, Carson City Manager Larry Werner has requested a project status update from the Office of Business Development as a standing agenda item. The first update report was offered this past Thursday.

All of the project detail is being posted online at http://www.nevadasworkingcapital.com. I encourage everyone to stay current, ask questions and offer feedback.

• Tammy Westergard is deputy manager of the Carson City Office of Business Development. Send questions and feedback to twestergard@ci.carson-city.nv.us