UNR hosting 'Vision 2021' economic forecast for Nevada on Jan. 22

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is a press release issued January 13 by the University of Nevada, Reno.

RENO, Nev. — The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, will host its Vision 2021: The Nevada Economic Forecast Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, as part of the College’s continued efforts to support the economic development and growth of the state’s economy.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Nevada’s economy in a number of unprecedented and difficult-to-predict ways,” Frederick Steinmann, assistant professor in the College’s economics department and conference organizer, said. “Vision 2021 is an attempt to understand how the pandemic has impacted the state’s economy and how the state’s economy will continue to be affected.”

Policy makers at the state and local level, government administrators, business and industry leaders are welcome and encouraged to attend as the information presented during this year’s event will help in preparing for the year to come.

Vision 2021 is a statewide event with a statewide focus. This year’s primary keynote presentation will feature a set of representatives from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, including Nancy Gilbert, senior program analyst with EDA’s Economic Development Integration; Carleen Herring, Idaho and Rural Nevada EDA representative; Doug Lynott, director of EDA’s Economic Development Integration; and Frances Sakaguchi, EDA Regional Economic Development Integrator.

All four speakers will examine the current state of the larger western and intermountain western United States economy and the Economic Development Administration’s priorities for this region for the coming year.

The next two keynote presentations will feature Nevada State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, who will present a budgetary and fiscal outlook for the State of Nevada for the coming biennium, followed by presentations by Patricia Herzog, director of Rural Economic Development for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Tatjana Vukovic, director of Business Development with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

They both will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state’s overall economy since March 2020 and will discuss how the ongoing pandemic will continue to impact its economy, economic development and recovery efforts in 2021.

The remaining sessions will be dedicated to discussing the immediate future of several key industry sectors vital to the state’s overall economic prosperity, including housing, agriculture, healthcare, mining and tourism.

This year’s economic forecast event will feature individual presentations in these key industry sectors from Brian Bonnenfant, program manager with the College of Business’s Center for Regional Studies; Jennifer Ott, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture; Alan Olive, chief executive officer with Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center; Michael Visher, administrator with the Nevada Division of Minerals; and Brenda Scolari, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

“Nevada’s unique economic profile has left the state particularly susceptible to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Steinmann said. “Nevada’s economy is highly integrated with global and national economic changes. Within the state, and despite considerable efforts to diversify the state’s economic base, changes in a few key industry sectors, such as housing, agriculture, mining, healthcare and tourism, can have widespread impacts on the overall economic fortunes of local governments, private sector firms and individuals.”

As an example, Steinmann said that continued community spread of COVID-19 throughout Nevada, coupled with significant reductions in domestic and international tourism to the state, has led to significant increases in statewide and local unemployment rates as well as growing fiscal stress on the budgets of local municipal and county governments throughout Nevada.

“In Las Vegas alone, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, overall visitor counts have declined from an estimated total of approximately 3.7 million total visitors in October 2019 to an estimated 1.9 million total visitors in October 2020, a net reduction of nearly 1.8 million total visitors or 49 percent in just one year,” he said. “These impacts continue to be felt across the state, and Vision 2021 is designed to provide public-sector elected and appointed officials, government executives, non-profit organization leaders and business owners with a more accurate understanding of how the state’s economy, either overall or within individual industry sectors, will continue to be impacted in the coming year.”

Vision 2021 is designed to bring together experts in various industry and occupation sectors to provide state and local government policy makers and business representatives a clearer understanding of the state’s existing economic condition and how these conditions are expected to change over the coming year.

Policy makers, government officials and business owners will benefit from the presentations of these assembled experts as they prepare to develop and implement their own strategic plans, efforts and budgets for the coming year.

Registration for Vision 2021 is only $25, and you can register for this event online. Attendees are asked to register by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Due to current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on large meetings, Vision 2021 will be held online, live, via Zoom. Upon registration and in order to prevent unauthorized and disruptive access to the event, registered participants will be sent a website link for the event.

If you have any questions regarding Vision 2021: The Nevada Economic Forecast, including a full program registration packet with a complete agenda, please feel free to contact Frederick Steinmann, assistant research professor, at fred@unr.edu or 775-784-1655.


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