Carson City needs to maximize all potential revenue sources
One message has become clear as we’ve watched sales tax revenues decline steadily ” Carson City needs to identify and exploit every attraction that can draw overnight visitors.
According to a recent study, the number of people staying overnight here has risen in the past four years. It shows people come here for sports tournaments and special events, like Nevada Day and the Silver Dollar Car Classic. They come here to see the capitol and the museums.
Now the challenge is to keep that trending upward, because those visitors spend a great deal of money here.
What we know is Carson City does not have a dominant attraction. Rather, it has a number of traits that, together, make it a wonderful place to live and to visit. People may not fly or drive hundreds of miles for prolonged visits, but there is real potential to attract more weekend stays.
For those answers, let’s look once again at that study.
It shows the parks department hosted regional sports tournaments in 2007 that drew in 42,000 visitors, who spent millions of dollars in Carson City. That is an amazing success story, and city leaders should act quickly to see if this revenue stream can be further exploited, even if it requires spending more money on fields or equipment.
It’s never popular for an elected official to propose spending money on such projects, but if it can be shown there’s revenue attached to it, we hope our leaders are brave enough to do so.
The V&T Railway is another potential revenue source, and the question in front of voters next week will be whether they should give more sales tax to the project for a cut of the revenue.
We will leave it to voters to determine whether this proposal is the right one, but we can unabashedly say that the completion of the V&T into Carson City would be a good thing for the city. If voters trust the numbers as presented by the proposal’s backers, then they should vote for it with a clear conscience as a way to ensure Carson City gets a good return on its investment and another source of future revenue.