Rosy predictions for Carson business in ’04 |

Rosy predictions for Carson business in ’04

by Susie Vasquez

Unemployment is down, retail sales are up, and chief executive officer of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce Larry Osborne is optimistic about the city’s economic outlook.

Osborne expects:

• An agreement between city officials and auto dealers concerning a new auto mall in Carson City this year.

• That construction of a new hotel or motel at the intersection of Highway 50 East near the proposed freeway should start in the second half of the year.

• Based on inquiries, another national retailer will decide on a Carson City location this year, possibly in the old Kmart in north Carson City.

“The addition of a new Carson City Wal-Mart is good news, and the decision to locate there is being driven, in part, by construction of the new freeway,” Osborne said. “Now that people can see progress on that freeway, it will be a real boon to economic growth.”

Scott MacGruder, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said completion of the freeway to Highway 50 in south Carson City isn’t expected until 2010. But once that happens, Osborne expects a resurgence downtown. Businesses have struggled there, but that should change once Carson Street and the surrounding area are more pedestrian-friendly.

“We’ll see more local shopping in the community,” Osborne predicted.

Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention and Tourism Authority, echoed that sentiment.

“Whenever we do visitors’ surveys, traffic in Carson City is the No. 1 complaint,” she said. “Tourists get into the flow of traffic, and they can’t get out. Once that traffic is rerouted, it will be easier for tourists to find attractions and parking. It will be very positive for Carson City.”

Completion of the Ormsby House renovation will mean more rooms for tourists and business people and additional convention space. The Plaza Hotel is adding conference space and rooms, and the new Holiday Inn Express will enhance tourism, Duncan said.

“I’ve had this job for 13 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “Three properties developing at one time is wonderful.”

Duncan and Osborne expressed optimism about city officials coming to an agreement with auto dealers to create a mall.

Duncan said reconstruction of the V&T railway from Gold Hill , a project that’s been on the boards for more than 10 years, is taking form.

“Carson City raised their room tax so the city could bond for money to support the project,” she said. “A lot is going to happen in 2004.”

Contact Susie Vasquez at or 881-1212.