The days of regional competition are "behind us" when it comes to economic development, said the head of the state's program Wednesday.
Steve Hill, director of the governor's office of economic development, made that point at the monthly breakfast hosted by the Northern Nevada Development Authority, and less than an hour before the NNDA and its Reno-based equivalent signed an agreement to that effect.
Rob Hooper, executive director of the NNDA, Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, and Hill signed a collaborative agreement in the Capitol Building to "define how the two authorities cooperate and collaborate to the benefit of their service territory and their clients," as the agreement reads.
Hooper described it as a "long time coming."
"I think the future of Nevada will be much brighter with the two organizations working together," Hooper said before the signing.
The agreement splits the northwestern chunk of Nevada into two regions: The greater Reno-Tahoe region, which covers the Interstate 80 corridor from Washoe County to Fernley, including parts of Storey and Lyon counties and serviced by EDAWN. The Sierra region covers Carson City, Churchill and Douglas counties and portions of Lyon and Storey counties south of I-80 and east and south of Fernley.
Hill called splitting the regions and encouraging the two areas to help each other play to their strengths - and help potential businesses move to their best locations, regardless of region - "formalizing common sense," while noting that sometimes competition can be a good thing.
But ultimately - and the final point in the agreement - the two organizations should maintain a "climate and culture of clear and honest communications."
Kris Holt, executive director of the private and for-profit economic development organization Nevada Business Connections, praised the collaboration.
"Congratulations to both EDAWN and NNDA for finally burying the hatchet after 25 years of turf wars. It's nice to see these government agencies working together for all of Northern Nevada," Holt wrote in an email.