It’s amazing the difference 162 years can make — what started as a mining area in 1853 and the site of “The Comstock Lode” has now become “The Comstock Loop” in 2017, a regional transportation loop for Northern Nevada that’s going to move people well into the future of a growing economy, regional recreation and easy access to some of the most beautiful country in the world that’s going to continue to be enjoyed by many for years to come.
The Comstock Loop is an area of Northern Nevada that extends from the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains — home to the beautiful and world renowned Lake Tahoe — all the way east to the mountains of the Virginia Range with beautiful wild horses, as well as everything in between including Virginia City, the historic state Capitol in Carson City, Gardnerville, Minden, Genoa, Reno, Sparks, the new and upcoming wine country of Washoe Valley, Dayton, Silver City, Fallon, Fernley, Silver Springs and Lake Lahontan that complete the loop. The area enjoys 290 days of sunshine per year.
These cities along the Comstock Loop have great potential for increased growth in housing, both traditional and green/solar building, as well as new businesses and a regional transportation system that could provide buses for employees, tourist, and families, and easy access for industries. Imagine electric transportation and solar homes and businesses throughout “The Comstock Loop.” Hey Elon Musk at Tesla, what do you think? Can you help me out here?
Business is booming
Today the Comstock Loop houses a diverse business climate and features high tech data centers, research and development, manufacturing, distribution centers, agriculture, a Naval Air Station, an international airport and two smaller airports, and a plethora of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Largest Industrial Park in the World
Located in Storey County, the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRI Center) is the largest industrial center in the world and is a west coast logistics hub able to serve the 11 western states with one day shipping due to its close proximity, a 15-minute drive, to the Reno Tahoe International Airport, and is serviced by both the Union Pacific Railway and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The TRI Center is home to several logistics, manufacturing, research and development, and distribution companies, including Dell Computers, Golden Gate Petroleum, ITS Logistics, PetSmart, Toys R Us and Walmart Distribution Center.
Tesla is coming
Thanks to Gov. Brian Sandoval for having the forethought for making our future brighter, the TRI Center is also the site of the Tesla Gigafactory, a lithium ion battery factory currently under construction and estimated to bring Northern Nevada a $100 billion economic benefit over two decades just from the construction, as well as creating an estimated 6,500 jobs in the area.
Switch is Coming
Along with Tesla, Switch, a Las Vegas based company, is also expanding into Northern Nevada at the TRI Center. The company will build a 3 million square-foot data center that will include the development of a fiber optic network connecting Reno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, dramatically increasing the speed information can travel among the cities.
Apple is here
In 2012, Apple Inc. chose Northern Nevada to house its newest data center. The data center is within the new Reno Technology Park and has room for expansion. The construction of the center provided construction jobs to more than 500 people, and has created several full-time positions once it was completed.
New freeway under construction
The boom in technology, manufacturing and logistics business east of Reno has brought about the creation of USA Parkway, a 21-mile, four lane highway that connects currently to I-80 near Tracy Clark Station in Storey County. USA Parkway will eventually connect with US 50 near Silver Springs in Lyon County and will provide the TRI Center businesses, employees, and logistics companies with an easier, shorter commute to and from other areas within Northern Nevada, as well as access to convenient air-freight shipping via Silver Springs Airport. USA Parkway will also decrease travel time to Las Vegas from Storey County by 45 minutes, and will provide for a shorter commute to Carson City and beyond. The Comstock Loop and the new parkway will also provide an opportunity for regional transportation.
Rich in history
Full of rich history, the Comstock Loop is extremely important to how Nevada’s statehood came about. In 1859 Virginia City sprang up almost overnight as a boomtown when the Comstock Lode, the nation’s first large deposit of silver, was discovered. In 1863, the city had gas and sewer lines, a large international hotel with 100 rooms and three elevators, an opera house, four churches and three daily newspapers. From 1859 to 1878, the success of the Comstock was estimated to be valued at $400 million, and Virginia City was once called the richest city in America. The area’s increase in population and the wealth that came from the mining industry caused the separation of the Nevada territory from Utah, which later justified and supported Nevada’s statehood.
Interestingly enough, Virginia City can be directly tied to the success of San Francisco during the 1860s. The Bank of California financed building the financial district of San Francisco with money from the Comstock mines, and mine owners spent the majority of their silver wealth in San Francisco boosting the economy.
The history of the area drew the attention of Hollywood. The television show Bonanza, which aired from 1959 to 1973, was the story of a family who lived on a 600,000 acre ranch called the Ponderosa outside of the Virginia City and Lake Tahoe area around the 1860s. Episodes of the show were rerun under the title Ponderosa. Now part of the Comstock Loop.
As diverse as the business climate, the recreation opportunities in the region have something for everyone. For winter lovers, the region boasts excellent ski resorts, snow shoeing and cross country trails. In the summer, enjoy a day at Lake Tahoe or at one of the many other local lakes swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, water skiing and more. With 290 days of sunshine, golf is a sport that can almost be played year round in the valley, and there’s no end to the hiking, dirt biking, horse back riding and mountain biking trails available.
The future is now
The Comstock Loop offers those currently here, as well as those looking to relocate to Northern Nevada a unique area that’s full of rich history and an opportunity to be a part of a bright future that continues to make history.
Come be a part of it — contact 775-720-8501 or Bob@NevadaStyle.net for more information.
Bob Fredlund is a residential and commercial Realtor for Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate in Carson City.