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Business group wooing Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre to stay in Valley

by Regina Purcell, Nevada Appeal News Service

The Gardnerville Business Association has proposed relocating a popular concert series from Genoa to the historic Dangberg Home Ranch.

Association President Anet Sewell, owner of Netti’s Creations in Gardnerville, approached Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre promoters with the idea last week.

Sewell, Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre promoter John Procaccini and Gardnerville Town Manager Jim Park toured the Dangberg Home Ranch property Wednesday to look at the site.

The Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre concert series, which started last summer at Genoa’s Mormon Station State Park, proved controversial. Because of noise complaints by many residents following the concerts, the Genoa Town Board voted Dec. 10 on whether to renew the series in 2003.

A 2-2 board vote caused the motion to approve the concerts for a second season to fail.

“Genoa just didn’t get it,” Procaccini said. “In our opinion, they blew it.”

“We started in Douglas County for one reason … it’s a beautiful place.” said Procaccini.

“Carson Valley could use an upscale event and they (business association) are working with us in keeping it there.”

Sewell said the concert series is a quality, upscale, top-dollar, open-air theater that will bring money to the county’s business community.

“They have a certain clientele and quality event,” said Dan Holler, Douglas County manager, who has also talked with Procaccini about keeping the concert series here. “This is not a cow pasture concert. Mormon Station met the outdoor ambiance, but unfortunately that didn’t work out.

“We are very willing to sit down and work with them on this.”

The Dangberg Home Ranch was headquarters to Minden’s founding family. While there is litigation pending regarding the personal property at the site, the county has been deeded the real property and will soon take ownership with plans to establish a museum.

The property, located west of Minden near Highway 88, is 34 acres of defunct ranch land with several out buildings, including an old barn, built with wooden pegs, a slaughterhouse and hide house and quarters for hired hands, who helped manage the ranch. The buildings are in disarray and in need of clean-up.

Sewell said the Valley business community needs to step up and take responsibility to get a suitable venue in place to house the concerts.

She wants volunteers to roll up their sleeves and start cleaning up the property or donate services, equipment or money.

“I see beyond the controversy,” she said. “I don’t want ideas. I want offers of responsibility.”

Procaccini said he has been wooed by many areas to host the series, including Carson City.

“They have been courting us a little bit,” he said. “There are positives and negatives about both places.

“It is hard to say. I hope we can satisfy both communities.”