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Fitch Ratings upgrades RSIC debt

Fitch Ratings upgraded its rating of the debt of Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and its report says more development of tribal lands is planned to further diversify its economic base.

A CarMax Superstore is planned for development in 2014 on tribal lands in south Reno, Fitch analysts said. A newly opened Infiniti dealership joins Mercedes and Acura dealerships on the tribal lands.

In addition, Fitch analysts noted that the tribe has a deal to obtain six acres of land next to the Walmart store at 2425 2nd St.

That land, to be purchased from the state, is slated for economic development. The tribe will pay $8 million to the state for a new restitution center to replace the facility that’s currently on the land.

Fitch analysts said the Reno Sparks Indian Colony has taken good strides to diversity its revenues. Once largely dependent on sales of tobacco products, the tribe now generates revenues from the Walmart store as well the luxury auto dealerships.

The Walmart store accounts for about a third of the tribe’s sales-related revenues.

Tobacco sales will generate an estimated 44 percent of the tribe’s revenues this year, but tribal leaders say those sales have been declining by 1 to 3 percent a year.

The 1,064-member tribe holds about 2,000 acres in the Reno area. It employs 300 people, of which about 45 percent are tribal members.

NNBW staff