Friday, January 27, 2012

Sports Fuel Northern Nevada Economics

On Wednesday, January 25, I attended a breakfast meeting on Sports Economics hosted by the Northern Nevada Development Authority. Held at the Governor's Mansion in Carson City, guests packed the "Nevada Room" to hear five speakers discuss the economic impact of their respective pursuits on the Northern Nevada community.

In order, the speakers were Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki and Jon Killoran, who discussed the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition; Mike Samuels, who covered the Nevada Wolf Pack's eventual move to the Mountain West Conference; Michael Reynolds, who talked about the locally owned Reno Bighorns basketball team; John Kinkella, who gave an overview of Western Nevada College athletics; and, finally, Lisa Granahan, who gave a rundown of Ascent Douglas County.

Krolicki, Killoran, and the rest of RTWGC organization have been working hard to land a bid from the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Next summer (2013), the International Olympic Committee will call for bids from around the world. About a year after that (2014), the U.S. Olympic Committee will decide whether to bid at all, and, if it does, which city or region gets the bid. In July 2015, the International Olympic Committee will make the ultimate decision from a pool of cities and regions around the world.

In the video below, Krolicki elaborates on the timeline and the general excitement surrounding the possibility of the Reno-Lake Tahoe region hosting the '22 Winter Games.

For more information, including background on the 1960 Olympic Winter Games held at Squaw Valley, read this Nevada Magazine story titled "Then and If." Blogger Tiffany Brown does a great job of covering the RTWGC's marketing effort in this article. Finally, Killoran discusses more marketing logistics in this Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association video.

Reynolds focused on the positives that a conference realignment will have on the University of Nevada, Reno. On July 1, 2012, the Nevada Wolf Pack will move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference. Reynolds said the university is intent on "raising the bar" athletically, which will have a residual affect on the community and school. He added that the move will lead to building infrastructure and the creation of jobs.

The Reno Bighorns are a member of the NBA Development League, which was founded in 2001 with the goal of being the "minor league" of the NBA, similar to professional baseball's minor-league system. The Bighorns were founded in 2008 and are coming off a successful season, in which the team won the regular-season Western Conference championship and won a playoff series. A local ownership group recently purchased the franchise and have made that bond to the community a primary part of their marketing efforts.

Kinkella talked about how the intercollegiate athletics program was started at Western Nevada College in order to provide a model group to use as a positive example for the rest of the students. Mission accomplished: WNC is the only program in its conference to claim an Academic Team of the Year, which it's done seven times. This has led to successful scholarships and transfers for many athletes. The Wildcats baseball team has been to the NJCAA World Series twice in the past four years.

Granahan cited the successful local outdoor recreation and lifestyle industries, even in the recent economic downturn. Companies such as Aviso American Made, Bently Biofuels, and North Sails are leading this charge. The Ascent Douglas initiative is about targeting these types of industries, hopefully creating 700 jobs in Douglas County by 2022 — the same year we as a region will hopefully be hosting the Olympic Winter Games.—Matthew B. Brown, Nevada Magazine editor

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nevada Magazine explores Las Vegas’ cultural side

Nevada Magazine’s January/February 2012 issue is available on newsstands throughout Nevada. Featured in the edition are multiple Southern Nevada museums, highlighted by the opening of The Mob Museum on February 14. Former Las Vegas defense attorney and mayor Oscar Goodman is one of four people interviewed who have strong connections to the new museum, which is housed in the city’s historic former federal building and post office on Stewart Avenue.

The new Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas at Springs Preserve leads off the issue’s other feature story (watch a video of Governor Sandoval's speech at the museum's November 12 opening below). Among the other museums covered are two additional state museums — the Lost City Museum in Overton and Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City — the National Atomic Testing Museum, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, and the Neon Museum.

Also featured in the issue are the Mizpah Hotel, which recently reopened in Tonopah, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, The Gun Store in Las Vegas, Reno-Sparks bakeries, and Reno’s CommRow, home to the world’s tallest artificial climbing wall. The issue also debuts new “Visions” (spotlighting outstanding photography) and “Nature” departments.

To view the digital editions of Nevada Magazine's sister publications, Las Vegas Events & Shows or Nevada Events & Shows, click here. If readers missed any of the magazine’s special Territory issues of 2011, they can view them here.