Chamber News & Views: More workers commute to, rather than leave Carson City |

Chamber News & Views: More workers commute to, rather than leave Carson City

Ronni Hannaman
Traffic along I-580 is increasing daily as regional workers commute to and from Carson City.
Jim Grant

Though some folks still insist we are a bedroom community to Reno — admittedly, we once were — we beg to differ.

Just about anything you need can be found here, including a variety of steady jobs, some of which are recession proof.

We have good schools, a community college, a state-of-the-art medical campus and cancer center that covers the region, and national retail chain stores.

Yes, Carsonites were once dependent on Reno — that was before 2000 — though jobs here were always robust and sought after since most other job markets do not offer the salaries, benefits, and stability found within government employment.

I recall once making the twice-monthly trek to Reno to fill up the Jeep with groceries from Costco, home improvement items from Home Depot, and clothing found at Meadowood Mall. I admit, I still enjoy Meadowood Mall, though the frequency of trips there is far less.

When you consider it, we are the center for just about anything. We are 30 minutes or less in each direction to Reno, South Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, Virginia City and Dayton. Other than Reno, surrounding communities come to Carson City to fill up their gas tanks and refrigerators, thanks to Costco. They buy our cars and tires (sales tax is less here) and enjoy carefree shopping without the hustle and bustle. Wait! Renoites tell me they arrive here on gas fumes to fill up their tanks and buy their high-ticket items in our retail outlets.

When it comes to identifying bedroom communities, Dayton, Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe come to mind. These are bedroom communities to Carson City, for many commute here daily to work and shop according to the Inflow/Outflow Report prepared by Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR).

The last commuter study was conducted in 2015. The study shows 26,349 are employed in the various sectors in our City, about a 500-person decrease from the previous year. As one would expect, 44.9 percent of those jobs are held by those who live here.

However, Monday-Friday, we find more travel here to work than leave. Renoites make up about 9 percent — or 2,360. If you take into consideration Sparks (1,439) and other Washoe County residents working here, that number swells to almost 4,000 from that county alone using mostly I-580, and it shows in the morning and evening commutes.

Almost 3,200 travel I-395 during the work week from Douglas County and Lyon County workers total over 2,250 coming in from I-50.

That’s a whole lot of folks working here from outside the City totaling 55.1 percent, according to the study.

The study shows almost 3,300 more come to the city to work than leave the city.

Bottom line: There’s a whole lot of movement between cities and Carson City can hold its own and hasn’t been a bedroom community to Reno for a long, long time.