Genoa connects vendors, visitors via wifi |

Genoa connects vendors, visitors via wifi

Staff Reports

Visitors to Nevada’s oldest town could be able to log onto free Wi-Fi by Candy Dance, but they may find the service a little limited during the annual fundraiser that attracts up to 30,000 people.

The Douglas County Redevelopment Agency approved $20,000 to fund the Genoa Main Street Wi-Fi Project on Aug. 6.

Genoa Candy Dance Art & Crafts Faire and Genoa Cowboy Festival vendors will be able to complete sales transactions via Squares or other data-enabled devices thanks to the improvement. In the past, vendors have had to turn away debit and credit sales, due to the lack of connectivity.

“We are confident that providing the convenience of electronic payments to town visitors will enhance candy and memorabilia sales during the Genoa Candy Dance and the Genoa Cowboy Festival,” said Genoa Town Manager Phil Ritger.

During big events, a portion of the bandwidth in the Genoa network will be reserved for merchants.

Access to the free Wi-Fi internet will be through a town “splash” page, designed to provide guests with information about current and future events as well as local attractions. The goal is to provide guests with information that will help them plan their current stay in Genoa and the Carson Valley, as well as plan future visits to the area. Users of the service will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of use before connecting to the network, and the agreement will identify and warn users of the potential security risks associated with the use of a nonsecure public network.

The service will allow visitors to access the Internet, find out more about local attractions and recreational opportunities, retrieve e-mail or surf the web. Currently, obtaining a sufficient wireless signal in many areas of Genoa is challenging and this improved technology will allow for enhanced internet connectivity.

“This idea for a Wi-Fi mesh network came up when ordering light poles three years ago for the Genoa Main Street Destination Project,” said Economic Vitality Manager Lisa Granahan stated. “At that time, the poles were modified and equipped with the necessary features needed to provide future Wi-Fi service. It will be a great benefit to those visiting and doing business in Genoa.”

Antennas for the network will be installed town’s street lights and several buildings throughout downtown to create the mesh network. The town is already paying for Internet access.

For more information on this new Wi-Fi service, contact Ritger at 782-8696.