Ken Beaton: Do you have grit?

“So, Ken when did you move to Carson City?”

“On June 10, 1975, less than three months after the Carson High School boys’ basketball team won the 4A Nevada State Championship. CHS was still basking in their victory, ‘We’re number one!’ The Penguin and the A&W Drive-In were where teens gathered for fast food and to meet their friends. The paved parking lot at the corner of North Carson and East Sophia streets was the Penguin’s location. Red’s 395 Restaurant replaced the A&W located on Tenth Street.

“What was Carson City like then?”

“There were no big-box stores or hotels. Basically, the motels were ‘mom-and-pop’ motels along Carson and East Williams streets. A couple of the motels were ‘no-tell motels’ where you could rent a room for an hour or two of afternoon delight. This was years before a spouse could track your cell phone’s location.

“Over the past 45 years, some business properties have had a number of businesses open and ‘go dark’ in a few months. The best description is a revolving door. Each new business would have an enthusiastic opening with Chamber of Commerce members, the mayor, several city supervisors and the proud business owner(s) pictured in the Nevada Appeal using the big scissors to cut the opening ribbon.

“In a few months to a year or two, the business went ‘dark.’ Maybe the building was haunted or cursed, not. The basic reason any business goes dark is its expenses are more than its revenues, a lack of customers.”

“My comment was, ‘The only person who made money at that location was the sign company.’ Think about it. Every new business must have a sign to inform and attract customers into the business. The sign company required payment in full at the time of installation before the ribbon cutting.”

“Ken, do you have any predictions about Carson City when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed?”

“First, don’t expect everything to be ‘back to the way it was before the pandemic.’ Similar to the ‘bank holiday’ on March 6, 1933. After March 15, 1933, a third of our nation’s banks never opened, no money. The Emergency Banking Act was passed on March 9, 1933. Included in the Banking Act was the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FDIC guarantees 100 percent of deposits. (Next time you enter or exit a bank, look for the sticker that says, ‘FDIC insures each customer’s savings account up to $250,000.’)

“Second, there are employees who believe they are vital to the success of that business. If you believe that you are a critically important employee, fill a glass three-quarters full of water and set it on a table. Next, stick an index finger in the water and remove your finger. Ifthere is a space in the water the shape of your finger, you’re an important person. No space? File your weekly claim on DETR’s website.

“Third, I support small business. Small business generates two-thirds of all new jobs, more jobs than ‘Big Business.’ While big corporations generate billions of dollars in profits, their employees in the ‘trenches’ do the real work.Unfortunately, their compensation packages don’t have eight or nine numbers and then the decimal point. Can you imagine the CEO of a company making two to 5,000 times what the average employee earns at the same company? Don’t believe me? Read the January or February section of the Wall Street Journal reporting CEOs’ total compensation package for the preceding year.

“I suggest you watch the movie, ‘Nine to Five.’ Carefully observe what happens to Dabney Coleman’s character; he’s the guy you love to hate. Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin rebel to run a much-improved office.”

“So, Ken, what’s going to happen?”

“Follow the money. The casinos have been closed for two months; that means no gaming revenue for the state and local governments for two-thirds of a fiscal quarter. Private businesses will have serious cashflow problems. If there’s no money to pay employees, you’re unemployed!

“If you’re a state, county, city or school district employee, prepare yourself for a 20 percent cut in wages. Have you listened to your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents share their difficult financial times?

“Our planet needs everyone pulling in the same direction. We don’t need any weak-willed whining wimps. When there’s a reliable vaccine, will you be a vertical winner or a horizontal loser?

“Don’t believe me? Take a picture of your favorite barber shop, hair and nail salon, pub, restaurants or any business in Carson City. On July 1, 2021, take a second picture of the same business. How many are dark? Don’t expect everything to return to the same as before the pandemic.”

OMG, on July 1, 2021, the Ormsby House Hotel Casino has been dark for more than 20-and-a-half years!


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