While I don’t believe it can be definitively attributed to a specific individual, I certainly agree with the statement that, ‘any publicity is good publicity’. To this end, I appreciate Mr. Carlton’s WSJ piece (Available Here) on growth in Reno. I bristle however at the comment that Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada’s (#EDAWN) CEO Mike Kazmierski has ‘cajoled’ businesses to relocate their operations to the Reno/Sparks area. For example, I have a hard time believing that CEO Elon Musk (#TESLA) or CEO Rob Roy, (#Switch) are ‘cajoled’ into any business decisions. To suggest that Kazmierski exerts any control over these or other savvy business people is folly.
Northern Nevada is the ‘real deal’. The business leaders who have decided, or who are deciding to relocate their operations to the Reno area are doing so because they understand the dynamic here and the valuable business climate that Reno, its environs and the State of Nevada as a whole have to offer. Has Nevada attracted enterprise through tax abatements, incentives and by offering ‘cherry’ business conditions? You bet. Other states use similar strategies.
Mr. Carlton’s article correctly points out that in 2009, Reno’s unemployment rate was a whopping 14%. Residents who lived in the area during those hard times remember it all too clearly. Those tough times prompted a very concerted effort by local and state officials, EDAWN (et al) and the existing business community to combine creativity and resources to fix a severely damaged local economy. Becoming a healthy, diversified economy takes more than Mr. Kazmierski and one “cowboy-hat-clad brothel owner turned civic booster” rolling the dice. Mr. Kazmierski, Mr. Gilman and many others have worked tirelessly to pull Reno out of a decades-long slump. Let’s not cheapen their efforts and achievements or those of others by implying snake-oil sales or the use of chintzy monikers. The growth and revitalization currently underway in Northern Nevada is a breath of fresh of air.