Letter: Costco situation similar to one in Prescott
Watching the goings on about Carson’s dealings with Costco and the
redevelopment district brings back memories. Memories of a trip my wife
and I took to Prescott, Ariz., in the early ’90s.
I had just completed my efforts to get a “brewpub” (microbrewery) law passed in the Legislature, signed by the governor, and had begun traveling to various cities in the region to see how a variety of brewpubs were being done, so I might do the same in downtown Carson City. I was a member of the original Carson City Mainstreet organization and felt that a project like mine would have a beneficial effect on downtown redevelopment.
Prescott had a brewpub/restaurant under construction in a converted downtown department store across from their civic center. It was a unique
design and worthy of consideration for downtown Carson City. We also had
the opportunity to visit with some old friends who had moved there from
Carson City and were involved in the community. We went to dinner at a Red
Lobster restaurant in a large shopping center overlooking the city. There was also a Wal-Mart and other active businesses there.
Our friends described a fiasco that involved the location of the local Wal-Mart store. It seems that Wal-Mart was looking for a potential site for their store. The city fathers hedged, hummed and hawed about a suitable location and none seemed appropriate to them.
As it turns out the local Native American tribe owned a considerable piece of land at the city’s edge and offered a location to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart accepted and became part of the large shopping center I previously described. Having this large store on reservation land precluded the collection of taxes by the city, but was obviously beneficial to the tribal coffers. The community was outraged by this outwardly idiotic decision on the part of the City Council, recalled them and put most out of office.
Perhaps a bird in the hand wasn’t such a bad decision on the part of our
city supervisors after all. Would Carson City’s populace have had a
comparable sense of outrage under similar circumstances? Who knows?