Business and Economy

It’s Electric! Tesla Gigafactory Officially Opens

Jul 26, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Electric car maker Tesla officially opened its Gigafactory near Reno.

The massive factory is only about 15 percent complete, and when it’s finished will stretch more than 10 million square feet. That’s about the size of 260 pro football fields, making it one of the largest buildings in the world.

The neon sign for the Golden West Motor Lodge.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Earlier this month, the Reno City Council made a controversial vote to demolish two downtown motels.

Natalie Van Hoozer takes a look at this particular case and what might be in store for Reno’s vacant buildings as the city grows.

I’m standing on Virginia Street outside of the Golden West Motor Lodge with Britton Griffith-Douglass, the president of the Riverwalk Merchant’s Association. She says that to her, the property is an eyesore.

Tiny Housing Grows In Downtown Reno

Jul 18, 2016
Rendering of the Tiny Ten housing community.
Haberae.com

A housing community called the Tiny Ten is coming to downtown Reno.

Local urban developers Kelly Rae and Pamela Haberman of HabeRae Properties knew they were on to something when they first started building tiny homes over a decade ago.

“The tiny homes are the future," Rae says, "as far as our millennials, our [baby] boomers or Generation X-ers that don’t want to live in an 1,800 to 3,000 square foot house out in the suburbs, who want to be near the urban core."

Nevada Department of Transportation

The Nevada Board of Transportation is using its powers of eminent domain on a private property that's in the construction pathway of the USA Parkway east of Reno. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

Washoe Libraries Join The Startup Scene

Jul 11, 2016
Library staff and community members gather for the concluding class of the first session of Startup School at the Washoe County South Valleys Library.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Libraries across the country are taking on new roles in today’s digital age. In Washoe County, libraries are offering programs like Startup School.

When we think of libraries, we often imagine stacks of books and study desks.

“It’s not just a house of books, there’s a lot more opportunity and more and more hands on stuff,” said Morgan Tiar, a Washoe County librarian and instructor for Startup School.

She’s in a meeting room where students like Colleen Lennox are discussing their products.

Two Reno Motels Will Come Down

Jul 7, 2016
The City Council voted for the demolition contract unanimously.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Reno City Council has approved a contract to demolish two downtown motels, the Golden West Motor Lodge and the Heart o’ Town.

Tesla Holding Hiring Fair In Reno, Vegas

Jul 5, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Electric car maker Tesla is holding a job fair for its battery factory in Storey County.

The company is hosting an information session in Las Vegas on July 17 and another in Reno on July 23.

The invitation-only sessions will provide more information on available jobs including skilled technicians and production associates.

People who wish to receive an invitation to one of the events should visit a Nevada JobConnect site ahead of time.

The Link Between Brexit And Nevada's Gold Industry

Jul 1, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Market uncertainty following Great Britain's decision to exit the European Union has buoyed gold prices, and that's actually good news for Nevada. The state’s gold producers account for more than 70 percent of the U.S. total. As we wrap up our look at mining this week, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey takes us on a tour of one of Nevada's largest gold operations.

I'm standing on a platform overlooking Newmont's gold quarry pit in northeastern Nevada, just outside Elko, where 225,000 pounds of explosives just detonated about a mile away. A huge plume of dust drifts into the sky.

Beatrice Murch, Flickr, CC by SA-2.0

Nevada’s prehistoric lakebeds are more than just picturesque, they’re the site of a lithium rush taking place on public lands. This quest for alkali riches has been fueled by a surge in worldwide demand for batteries.

For more than a century, prospectors have searched for lucrative minerals across the American West under the Mining Act of 1872.

That law allows them to stake a claim on a piece of ground and whatever minerals may be hidden beneath. Lately, in Nevada at least, the area drawing the most interest are its salty, ancient lakebeds.

Chris Vega/courtesy of ThisisReno.com

Electric carmaker Tesla has received and sold about 20 million dollars in transferrable Nevada tax credits as it starts tapping into a hefty incentive package that lured its battery factory to the state.

Tesla confirmed Monday that it sold the credits to casino company MGM in an arrangement first reported by ThisisReno. Bob Conrad runs that online news site and he's also a KUNR contributor.

Julia Ritchey

From geologists to truck drivers, women have been working jobs in the mining industry for much of the last half century. Yet for all their progress, women are still largely under-represented in the industry, prompting some trade groups to take a closer look at gender disparity. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey brings us the first in our series this week on issues in modern day mining. 

New Drone Regulations Good News For Nevada

Jun 27, 2016
Courtesy Drone America

The Federal Aviation Administration released its new regulations for drones this month, much to the excitement of Nevada companies. The new regulations open up air space for drones and lift onerous requirements around who can fly the unmanned aircraft. 

Event Provides Reno Entrepreneurs Free Legal Advice

Jun 13, 2016
Holland and Hart Attorney Doug Flowers (left) invites Reno entrepreneurs to ask any questions they have at his annual event.
Natalie Van Hoozer

This is the second year for a series of meetings called 'Law on Tap' at the Depot Craft Brewery and Distillery in Reno. Here, local entrepreneurs can network and get free legal advice.

One of these entrepreneurs is University of Nevada, Reno, graduate Landon Gonzalez. He is in the early stages of creating his own outdoor apparel company and came to the event to learn how he can build his business from nothing.

Hundreds Gathering For Elko Mining Expo

Jun 7, 2016
U.S. Geological Survey

The Elko Mining Expo kicks off Wednesday in northeastern Nevada, drawing hundreds of mining companies, equipment manufacturers and other vendors.

The trade show will take place Thursday and Friday at the Elko Convention Center downtown.

Dana Bennett is the president of the Nevada Mining Association. She says depressed commodity prices for gold, silver and other metals have hobbled the industry in recent years.

Connecting Reno’s Female Entrepreneurs

Jun 1, 2016
UNR student Melissa Perez Rios, 21, plans to own a gym and restaurant in the future.
Natalie Van Hoozer

The Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno, is launching its Women’s Initiative. Reno Public Radio’s Natalie Van Hoozer has more.

A group recently gathered at the Innevation Center in downtown Reno to mark the start of the new project. It aims to connect local business owners with aspiring student entrepreneurs and build mentoring relationships.

Washoe Golf Course Owes $1 Million Says County

May 31, 2016
Bob Conrad

A local golf course's future is in question because its managers owe Washoe County a hefty bundle of fees. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.com has the story.

The Washoe Golf Course, operated by Bell-Men Golf, Inc. since 1982, owes the county about $1 million in unpaid and late fees. 

“We’ve been working with the operator trying to get payments going," says Dave Solaro with the county. "That obviously has not happened."

Our series “Squeezed Out,” on housing shortages facing Reno and Tahoe, continues with reporter Amy Westervelt’s story on how tourism affects Tahoe residents.

On my street in Truckee, there are about 20 houses. But only three of us live here. That's not uncommon throughout the Tahoe region, where more than sixty-five percent of the housing stock is second homes. In many discussions of economic development and housing in the region, it's the elephant in the room.

Squeezed Out, Part One: A Look Beyond The Lake In Tahoe

May 17, 2016
Courtesy Domus Development

The Reno-Tahoe area is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing, impacting everyone from families to employers to even the police force. In this first story of our series on the subject, "Squeezed Out,"  Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt visited a side of Tahoe most people don't see. 

"I just kicked a liquor bottle, in a park where there are unfortunately a lot of kid bikes."

That's Heidi Hill-Drum, executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, showing me around one of the few affordable housing options in King's Beach: a run-down trailer park.

Bringing Reno and Tahoe Techies Together

May 13, 2016
Rachel Arst McCullough

The monthly event series Silicon Mountain is celebrating a new livestream that lets anyone join in, and a regular viewing party at a Reno co-working space. Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt went to one of those meet-ups to learn more.

"Hi there, I'm here to talk about 'Why hackathons,' ..."

Chief Executive Magazine

Nevada ranks ninth overall for being business-friendly. That's according to a newly published survey of CEOs. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick has more.

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