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Lander County pitches open space to lure employers

NNBW Staff

Lander County seeks to recruit business and industry to Austin, Kingston and Battle Mountain through an ad campaign, “Lander of Opportunity.”

Lander County Economic Development Authority funded the ads and a Web site, landeropportunity.org, with grants totaling about $30,000 from Nevada Commission on Economic Development.

To create the campaign, it hired Elizabeth Younger Agency in Reno. Don Vetter, account manager on the campaign, says media buys run for six weeks and target the cities that ring the Great Basin: Reno, Boise,

Las Vegas, Salt Lake City.

“Battle Mountain, Austin and Kingston are committed to attracting investment from new and existing companies,” said Lander County Economic Authority spokeswoman Sarah Burkhart. “Lander’s opportunities are as big as the land.” That land, she adds, offers abundant natural resources that include possible development of solar, wind and geothermal energy. The campaign’s headline, “Betcha didn’t know” leads into a list of the region’s resources.

A touchstone of the campaign, says Vetter, is the area’s intermodal service: rail, road and air. And, he adds, Lander County harbors some overbuilt airports. Battle Mountain retains a World War II-era field once used by the U.S. Air Force. And the military once used Austin for multi-force training exercises.

Campaign research also revealed land coming on the market.

Austin, says Vetter, is surrounded by patented mining land, but some of that acreage is coming off patent when mining claims expire. And excess land previously bought for a county yard with infrastructure already in place is going on the market in 40-acre parcels.

However, the area suffers from a lack of housing. Lander County mining operations, says Vetter, already must bus in workers from surrounding towns.