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Carson City landlords ready for wave of legislative lodgers

Anne Knowles
aknowles@nnbw.biz

Early voting in the midterm election started over the weekend, and soon candidates vying for the Nevada Legislature will know whether Carson City is their next stop.

Before the results are in, though, one thing is certain: the majority of winners will be looking for a place to stay in or near the Capital City.

All 42 seats in the Assembly and 11 spots in the 21-member Senate are in play. Thirty-one of those Assembly seats are in districts located in southern Nevada, primarily Clark County, and two are in rural counties not close to Carson City. One covers a wide swath of seven counties, including part of Washoe, and the rest are in the relatively close by counties of Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe.

Seven of the 11 to be determined Senate seats are in Clark County districts.

Some elected legislators will already know the ropes – incumbents are running for 10 of the Senate seats and just nine of the 42 open Assembly seats are being contested without an incumbent.

During the session, legislators will be paid $149.90 per day for the first 60 days and $152 per diem for the entire 90-day session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

So where will the out-of-area lawmakers stay for the four or so months they are conducting the people’s business?

“Primarily, they’ll get apartments. There may be three to four to an apartment. Some rent rooms in houses. Some even bring up motor homes,” says Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. “Most want to stay in Carson City because the ones from Las Vegas don’t want to travel in snow.”

For the first time, the Chamber will be helping lawmakers find housing. The Legislative Counsel Bureau recently called Hannaman and asked her to work with a local real estate broker and lead a presentation on options for incoming officials.

“We’ll be meeting with the new legislators in November after the election, providing them with information and a brochure on housing in Carson City,” says Hannaman. “We’ve always met with their spouses in February on things to do here.”

The first of two orientations for new legislators is scheduled Nov. 12- 14 in Carson City.

Hannaman is working with Angie Smith, property manager/sales with Nevada Premier Properties, who has worked with representatives in the past.

“Many like to be on west side, within walking distance of the legislature,” says Smith about the historic part of town. “Last time I rented someone a 100-year-old house.”

Most legislators, though, rent apartments. Many landlords are happy to rent for short-term because they prefer to start full-time leases in the summer, just when the legislative session ends, says Smith.

Most of the apartments come unfurnished.

“They just go to a local Rent-A-Center and rent furniture,” says Smith.

Smith says she’s already been contacted by a couple returning lawmakers looking for new digs.

“There isn’t much I can do now,” says Smith. “But we’re putting together a list so they have a one-stop shop.”


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