2016 was an active year for businesses in northern Nevada as the region continued to experience economic revitalization. The following provides a recap of some of the stories that shaped the community in 2016.
Safari Club announces return to Reno
Safari Club International Annual Hunters’ Convention announced its return to Reno starting in 2019. The convention draws 20,000 people from 103 countries annually. The event was last held in Reno in 2013; however, a lack of air service capability forced the convention to be moved to Las Vegas. The addition of new flights to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and economic growth in northern Nevada in recent years allows the four-day convention to return to the Biggest Little City.
New retailers for downtown
Two major retailers opened in downtown Reno in 2016. The home furnishings and décor store, West Elm, opened in the main floor of the historic U.S. Post Office, Fifty South Virginia this past August. The opening of West Elm marked the first major retailer to move into downtown Reno in 30 years. Also, Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear store, moved from their previous location in West Reno to the newly renovated 17,000-square-foot building on 130 S. Center St. Patagonia opened their new downtown store Nov. 22.
Renown Health announced a new partnership between Renown and Stanford Medicine during a press conference at the hospital June 28. The partnership allows Stanford medical professionals to consult directly with northern Nevada patients via telemedicine, more direct coordination with local practitioners to improve treatment and easy access to a patient’s medical history. Furthermore, in September, Renown and the Desert Research Institute announced their collaboration with 23andMe, a leading personal genetics company, to launch one of the first community-based population health studies in the U.S.
Park Lane property purchased
Reno Land Inc. announced Sept. 22 that they closed escrow on the 46-acre property located at South Virginia Street and Plumb Lane. The local development company plans to build a mix of housing, retail, restaurants office space and more. The blighted property has sat vacant since 2009 when the last buildings from the Park Lane Mall were razed. Chip Bowlby, managing partner for Reno Land Inc., plans to start putting in the major backbone infrastructure in the end of the first quarter of 2017 and to start building in the second quarter of 2017.
CAEK, Inc. moves to Reno
CAEK, INC. is a software company that provides regulatory compliance and information security solutions for the medical industry. The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) announced that the company was relocating from Fayetteville, Ark. on August 29. The company leased 11,000 square feet of office space on the second floor of Arlington Towers in downtown Reno. The company expects to grow to more than 150 employees within the next five years.
Eldorado Resort plans upgrades
Eldorado Resorts announced back in September that they plan to invest more than $50 million in facility enhancements to Eldorado Reno, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Reno. Eldorado’s master plan for the three connected properties will be phased over three years, starting in the fourth quarter of 2016. In addition to the renovation of over 4,100 guest rooms, each of the three resorts will introduce new restaurant concepts, nightlife and resort amenities. The Reno properties’ upgrade announcement came shortly after the company’s recent agreement to acquire Isle of Capri Casinos, which allows the company to nearly triple its gaming property portfolio by adding 13 Isle of Capri properties, giving it a total of 20 hotel-casino properties in 10 states.
Aqua Metals opens AquaRefinery in TRIC
Aqua Metals, a lead-acid battery recycling company, opened their 135,000-square-foot Nevada AquaRefinery located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center back in July 2016. In November, the company announced they had produced the first-ever AquaRefined lead at its Nevada AquaRefinery. Lead recycling is historically done through a toxic and polluting process called smelting. Executives from Aqua Metals hope their new, environmentally friendly process will revolutionize the lead recycling industry.
Mynt coming to downtown
Mynt Cannabis Dispensary is opening at the downtown corner lot at 132 East Second St., which has been vacant for more than 10 years. The dispensary is 100 percent owned and operated by northern Nevada residents. Mynt held their official ground breaking for the 3,000-square-foot building on October 13. The business is slated to open in January 2017.
Construction completed in Carson’s downtown corridor
Construction was completed on the Carson Street Urban Design Project in fall 2016. The project was aimed to transform the downtown corridor into more of a community attraction and to make downtown more pedestrian and bike-friendly. The improvements narrowed Carson Street between Williams and 5th Streets to one lane in both directions with a center turn lane. They also added a five-foot bike lane on each side of the street, widened the sidewalks, added parking, landscaping and new bus turnouts. The project also included the addition of the Bob McFadden Plaza, which open this past July.
Injunction on DOL’s overtime rule
A federal district court placed a preliminary injunction of the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule on Nov. 22. The overtime rule, which would have taken effect on Dec. 1, would have more than doubled the minimum amount an employee must earn to be exempt from overtime from $23,660 per year to $47,476, and required more stringent tracking of hours worked. However, the court has yet to rule of the legality of the overtime rule and business owners should follow the case as it develops into the New Year.
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