Business and Economy

Reno Startup Weekend Draws Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Oct 20, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  A group of local university students wrapped up their first Startup Weekend last night [Sunday], spending three days brainstorming and developing a business idea. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey has more.

Startup Weekend lets developers, designers and marketers come together to practice their entrepreneurial chops.

Working in teams, participants are given just 54 hours to execute their idea, culminating in a five-minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Bryan McArdle of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is one of the organizers.

Rancharrah

The iconic Harrah family estate in south Reno, known as Rancharrah, has been sold to developers. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the deal was sealed Monday after months of review.

Construction will kick off this spring for hundreds of homes, along with commercial offices and retail spaces across the sprawling Rancharrah property. 

Tesla Exec Announces Internship For Nevada Gigafactory

Oct 11, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  A top Tesla executive stopped by the University of Nevada, Reno, Sunday to talk about the future of transportation and battery technology. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the company is ramping up construction at its new gigafactory in northern Nevada.

Tesla's co-founder and Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel says the first employees will begin work at its gigafactory outside of Reno in just a few weeks.

"Construction here has moved extremely fast; it's part of why we wanted to be in Nevada in the first place," he says.

Nevada Tourism Campaign Aimed At Millennials

Sep 30, 2015
Sydney Martinez / Travel Nevada

Nevada is launching a fresh tourism campaign focused on attracting Millennials to the state. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has more.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism has approved a new fall and winter advertising blitz, including two commercials that will run in Nevada and neighboring states.

The spots feature travelers who make friends with a wide array of memorable Nevada characters, including bikers, famous chefs and cowboys. They close with the tagline, "Go home with more stories than souvenirs."

New Projects To Revitalize Downtown Sparks

Sep 28, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  Developers broke ground on a new multi-use development in downtown Sparks today (Monday). Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has more.

The mixed-used community by Silverwing Development will include more than 200 condos and 8,000 square feet of retail space in the historic Victorian Square.

The project represents a $35 million investment in downtown Sparks and has city officials, like councilwoman Julia Ratti, touting a new era for their long-neglected city center.

Switch Plans To Enhance Tech Infrastructure In Nevada

Sep 25, 2015
Switch, supernap.com

  As the Las Vegas-based company Switch expands into northern Nevada, it plans on bringing unprecedented Internet connectivity to the state. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Founded about 15 years ago, Switch is home to one of the largest data centers in the world in southern Nevada, which provides data storage and management to more than 1,000 online companies. 

Alexa Ard

  A study out this week projects significant job and population growth for the five-county region of Northern Nevada. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, local governments are learning just how much demand there will be for more schools, emergency services and housing. 

The new report forecasts potential job growth of between 47,000 to 56,000 new positions over the next five years. That’s about a 4 percent increase each year, more than double the historical average.

Yerington Gets 10,000 Acres For Mining Expansion

Aug 20, 2015

The federal government completed its transfer of 10,000 acres of public land to the city of Yerington on Thursday. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Bureau of Land Management issued the patent to Yerington for the land, which will be used for industrial, recreational and infrastructure projects.

More than half the land will be given to Nevada Copper for expansion of its Pumpkin Hollow mine.

The land transfer was approved last year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress.

Tesla, Now Faraday?

Aug 18, 2015
faradayfuture.com

Tesla, the electric car company, is building a massive battery factory in Northern Nevada. State lawmakers promised it some billion dollars in tax incentives to get it here.

Nevada JobConnect

Many more Nevadans are getting back to work.  That’s according to economic data released Wednesday that shows the unemployment rate in Nevada dropped to its lowest level in seven years. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in June. State economist Bill Anderson says it’s the first time since the height of the recession that the state’s unemployment rate has dipped below seven percent, but he cautions that the number of people still not working remains high.  

Foreclosures In Nevada Up Almost 40 Percent In April

May 21, 2015

Foreclosures in Nevada jumped nearly 40 percent last month, making the state second in the nation for the highest residential foreclosure rate. 

The real estate analytics company RealtyTrac reported yesterday (Wednesday) that one in every 555 Nevada residential properties was subject to a foreclosure filing in April, behind only Florida

Nevada saw 893 foreclosure starts, 681 notices of pending trustee sales and 548 repossessions.

Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority

The three largest veterans organizations in the U.S. are all coming to Reno for upcoming conventions, events that are estimated to bring in more than $36 million to the region.  The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority recently announced that the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans will all be headed to Reno over the next five years. Authority President Chris Baum says having a one-story convention center set Reno apart from competitors like Phoenix, Miami, and San Juan: 

Thomas Vatany / www.planespotters.net

  Nonstop flights from Reno to London were supposed to take off later this year, but the service has already been canceled. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Thomas Cook Airlines made the call after learning that its customers would have to wait at least three hours to clear U.S. Customs at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Brian Kulpin, with the airport, says it all comes down to staffing.

"There's a need for more customs agents here in Reno," he explains. "We just added one at the beginning of April, but it's not enough to do the job faster."

Regional Transportation Commission

The controversial Southeast Connector roadway project received final federal approval this week. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the thoroughfare will eventually connect South Reno to Sparks, easing congestion on Interstate 580 by offering an alternate route to many job sites, including Tesla's gigafactory.

At a press conference held by the Regional Transportation Commission Thursday in Reno, RTC Chair Neoma Jardon said this is more than just a new road, it's a job creator.

Nevada has the fewest wineries of any state, with just four filling our glasses today. While advocates want to grow the industry, there’s fear that the state could become a mere “suburb” of California wine with few bottles bearing a homegrown stamp. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports.

There are no commercial wineries in Washoe County, but UNR Professor Grant Cramer has been making wine in Reno for a decade.

Governor Brian Sandoval delivered testimony during a joint committee hearing Wednesday for his plan to increase business license fees in order to raise money for K-12 education. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Despite wide support for improving the state's lagging education system, Sandoval is charged with convincing a Republican-controlled legislature to raise taxes for the cause.

In a rousing speech, Sandoval made his case, saying economic development will suffer if the state can't create more revenue and devote it to students.

Alexa Ard

In the past, innovation often took place in isolated, suburban office parks where businesses could keep their "secrets secret." That's according to Jennifer Vey, a fellow for the Brookings Institution who studies the revitalization of urban areas and metropolitan economies.

Yevo International, the sister company to Nutrient Foods

A research and manufacturing company called Nutrient Foods is moving its headquarters to Reno, adding 300 jobs to the region. The company, based in New Jersey now, makes nutrient-dense meals as an alternative to processed foods, which can contain empty calories with little nutritional value.

Bryan McArdle is with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, or EDAWN.

SolarCity

Nevada is leading the nation in solar industry job growth. A new report from a nonprofit called the Solar Foundation says Nevada has the most solar jobs per-capita nationwide.

Just last year, the state added 3,500 jobs in that field, and a lot of those employees work for SolarCity in Southern Nevada. They've hired a thousand new workers since last spring.

Reno's MidTown District: One Young Bar Owner's Story

Feb 13, 2015
Alexa Ard

When KJ Flippen took over as the owner of the Zephyr Bar in 2011, it was in his words, "a dive." Today, it's a thriving lounge located in the heart of MidTown. Flippen talks with Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli about the Z-Bar's transformation and what it's like to be a young entrepreneur.
 

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